Perceptive Readers, Here from the pocbooks.com archives July 19, 2014.

The Enterprise level SQL Server edition has more features and possibilities than technologist would ever implement unless he or she is working with an enterprise level organization, i.e., Microsoft may be the only organization using them all.(Just kidding… Well, who else uses every single feature offered?) This is where the SQL Server Express Editions provide a significant alternative. The SQL Server Express Editions Microsoft provides are limited to:
● 1 processor socket (4 cores)
● 1 GB of memory per database instance
● 10 GB Maximum relation Database size

There are additional limitations that we will not mention here, due to the reason you can gauge from the 3 items already noted, whether Microsoft’s SQL Express will fill the need with smaller scale usage for server and web applications.

  1. It is great for your Windows lab environment
  2. You should be able to choose all default settings during the install.
  3. The bare minimum; yet, powerful features of SQL, will provide what you normally need without the learning curve confusion. You can constantly build upon your knowledge of why and when additional features are needed after you get the fundamentals down.
    SQL Express Server can be upgraded to other featured pack versions like standard and enterprise.
    SQL Express Server is free.
    Even though Microsoft presently has a SQL 2014 Server express edition available for download, often technologist will use a few versions behind; IMHO and others, it is a good practice to allow time for the bugs to be found in newer versions of software before production use, hence I’ve provided a link to
    Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29062
    Grab the most commonly used components. Install in the A , B order.

A) SQL Server 2012 Express
B) SQL Server Management Studio 2012 Express
Hope this helps you with your setup know-how of SQL. Note the differences between Microsoft’s SQL Server & MYSQL. As you develop small to medium size applications it is good to be familiar with both. At the very least, you can test and decide if you will upgrade to a higher version of Microsoft’s SQL in the future. But for today, you can get basic experience with minimum to free costs.