I have developed a Java program which works with SQL Server as it's database. I have installed SQL Server 2012 Enterprise edition on my Windows and designed the database via SQL Server Management Studio; for example: I have designed its tables, have set a backup schedule and it takes a backup from itself every 24hs once, and other features.

Which version of SQL Server Express should be installed on a user's Windows computer so that not only can my program connect to a local db and work with that, but also the other proscribed database features (like backup schedule) would work?

The database and Java program are going to be on the same computer.

The criteria I have for chosing a database edition are

  1. My database has some tables
  2. The Java program is going to insert, update, delete, select, and add columns to tables
  3. iReport will be used to report on the data, in addition to the Java application
  4. The database file is set so that it can not be deleted
  5. It has a scheduled backup and nothing else
  • 2
    And here we come to the single most important developer-looking-to-distribute-his-own-product: You have to do full testing, so don't be afraid to set up VMs and install the default Windows Install and see what comes up (in this case, I'm pretty sure .NET now includes a SqlExpress instance on Windows 7 and 8, that you could've connected to in the first place to answer this question). However, as you've also touched on features such as Backup Schedule, or Tasks, then I expect you're going to need more direct help. Cheers.
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 27, 2012 at 15:43
  • @jcolebrand You are correct, Visual Studio does in fact come with a SQL Express instance. Dec 27, 2012 at 16:25
  • Visual Studio does, but what about something more basic. Scratch that, I think you can just grab an installer package from MS for SqlEx if need be. Have to think on it a bit more, but I bet Soheil could read up on those options, maybe look up Visual Studio Express or the like.
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 27, 2012 at 16:53
  • Yes you can grab SQL Express as a download from microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29062 Dec 27, 2012 at 18:22
  • a redistributable version of SqlExpress fwiw
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 28, 2012 at 2:20

3 Answers 3


Backup are automated via SQL Agent jobs in SQL Server. Since no express edition includes the SQL Server Agent, then you would have to find a way to have your application initiate the backups. Otherwise, you need standard edition.

What other features are you using? Some of them may require enterprise or standard. Personally when I was doing a lot of development, I would try to use an edition that matched what an average target user would have. So If I want them to have SQL Express, then that is what I used for my development.


If the automated scheduling is something you were hoping to use, as noted elsewhere that is not a feature of SQL Server Express Edition.

However, Windows Task Scheduler should be a more than serviceable option for you. The base API is not .NET friendly so unless you're familiar with working with COM interfaces, it seems the best approach is to either use the command line options for the scheduler or grab the handy dandy taskscheduler library off codeplex.


Use SQL Server 2012 Express Edition - it will provide all that you need. Best of all - it's FREE. Just note that the maximum database size is 10 GB

Here's the comparison for 2012 versions: Microsoft SQL Server 2012: Choosing the Correct Edition

  • Does it provide automated backup scheduling?
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 27, 2012 at 15:40
  • No. You would need the sql agent service for that. Dec 27, 2012 at 15:55
  • @jcolebrand Yup, I missed that one :( Dec 27, 2012 at 21:57

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