SQL Server Express

SQL Server Express

Microsoft SQL Server Express is a free edition of the Microsoft SQL Server relational database server. SQL Express is designed for small-scale applications and local database use. It was known as Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE) when released with SQL Server 2000.

While SQL Server Express is a viable and capable database server, it is limited in resources and functionality in order not to compete with main SQL Server product line. Resource limitations are continuously relaxed in order to keep pace with general software development and expectations. Currently database can be up to 10GB in size and server will use only one CPU (though it will use all cores). SQL Express will only use 1GB of RAM for its user regardless of available RAM on the server.

Even with all the limitations in place, Microsoft SQL Server Express is a capable server for small workloads and modest number of concurrent users. As all free database server variants of commercial servers, it’s intended to lock small businesses in SQL Server use and upgrade them to paid edition once they grow.

As SQL Express is derived from SQL Server and is compatible in connection mechanisms with it, all our applications that work with SQL Server will work perfectly with SQL Express database.

Full Convert supports SQL Server Express database directly. SQL Server Express is also known as Microsoft SQL Server Express, Microsoft SQLExpress, SQL Express, SQLExpress (related files: mdf, ldf, bak).

SQL Server Express data types we support


bigint, int, smallint, tinyint


decimal (numeric), double, float (real), money, smallmoney


char, nchar, ntext, nvarchar (sysname), nvarchar(max), text, varchar, varchar(max)


binary, bit, timestamp, varbinary


date, datetime, datetime2, datetimeoffset, smalldatetime, time

Large objects

geography, geometry, image, ntext, nvarchar(max), text, varbinary(max), varchar(max), xml


dynamicobject, hierarchyid, sql_variant, table, uniqueidentifier

Export SQL Server Express database

It may make sense to migrate your data away from SQL Server Express. You may want to do it permanently or just need to share your tables with a collague in a different format.

We will copy all your tables with their data and apply indexing and relationships exactly as they are in your current SQL Server Express database. In a nutshell, you get exactly the same database in another database engine. Each time you run the migration, we will copy all the tables again. Of course, we have a built-in scheduler, so you can run this overnight and have a fresh database copy in the morning.

Take a look at the quick tutorials below to see how it's done.

Import data into SQL Server Express database

Additionally, if you want to import data on a regular basis and do not want to recreate the whole target database from scratch every time, but rather do tiny targeted sync of only changes since the last run, please use Full Convert Pro or Ultimate.

Take a look at the quick tutorials below to see how it's done.