Skip to main content
Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey

All versions of Microsoft SQL Server (not MySQL). Please also add a version-specific tag, like sql-server-2016, since it is often relevant to the question.

Microsoft's SQL Server is a suite of relational database management system (RDBMS) products providing multi-user database access functionality. It originated from the Sybase SQL Server 4.x codebase and Transact-SQL dialect (T-SQL), but it has forked significantly since then.

SQL Server is available in multiple versions, typically identified by release year, and versions are subdivided into editions to distinguish between product functionality. The latest released version is SQL Server 2017.

The SQL Server product range is split broadly into six categories:

  1. SQL Server is the main suite of enterprise and developer server products. Primary differences are licensing costs, capacities, and components included in the product, with some minor differences supported language features. Standard components include database language and storage server, developer tools, ETL tools, schedulers, and replication. Other components include OLAP, reporting, and parallel computation. Components runs as NT Services.

  2. SQL Server Express is free for use and distribution but has reduced engine performance, functionality and capacity than found in its other server siblings. It is focused on small deployments and runs as an NT Service.

  3. SQL Server Compact Edition is an embeddable subset of SQL Server. Like the Express edition it has a reduced language, functionality and capacity, but it is free to distribute. It's focused on small installations and desktop applications where its small footprint and no-management-required features are a great advantage.

Note: SQL Server Compact Edition is deprecated. Customers should use SQL Server Express (and possibly LocalDB).

  1. Azure SQL Database is a completely managed, hosted, high-availability SQL Server Database with some language syntax support for federated queries, operated in Microsoft Azure datacenters.

  2. Azure SQL Managed Instance is a completely managed, hosted, high-availability instance of SQL Server with some language syntax support for federated queries, operated in Microsoft Azure datacenters.

  3. SQL Server Analytics Platform System (or APS), formerly known as SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), is a pre-built data warehouse appliance that offers massively parallel processing for SQL Server, allowing support for many hundreds of terabytes.

  4. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an enterprise-class distributed database in the Azure Cloud capable of processing up to petabyte volumes of relational and non-relational data. It is the industry's first cloud data warehouse with grow, shrink, and pause in seconds.

SQL Server Release History

Version      Year  Release Name               Codename
1.0 (OS/2)   1989  SQL Server 1.0 (16 bit)    Ashton-Tate 
1.1 (OS/2)   1991  SQL Server 1.1 (16 bit)    -
4.21(WinNT)  1993  SQL Server 4.21            SQLNT
6.0          1995  SQL Server 6.0             SQL95
6.5          1996  SQL Server 6.5             Hydra
7.0          1998  SQL Server 7.0             Sphinx
 -           1999  SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Tools  Plato
8.0          2000  SQL Server 2000            Shiloh
8.0          2003  SQL Server 2000 x64        Liberty
9.0          2005  SQL Server 2005            Yukon
10.0         2008  SQL Server 2008            Katmai
10.25        2010  SQL Azure DB               CloudDatabase
10.5         2010  SQL Server 2008 R2         Kilimanjaro (aka KJ)
11.0         2012  SQL Server 2012            Denali
12.0         2014  SQL Server 2014            Hekaton
13.0         2016  SQL Server 2016            SQL16 
14.0         2017  SQL Server 2017            Helsinki 
15.0         2019  SQL Server 2019            Seattle


Tagging recommendation:

There are several version- and edition-specific tags. It is recommended to use the tag together with the version- and/or edition-specific tag; for example, or . Do not use this tag for other types of DBMS (, , etc.).

Code Language (used for syntax highlighting): lang-sql