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Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition Is Now Free

Author: Eric Russo | | July 7, 2016

Do you need a free development and testing environment for your company database? Great news! Microsoft recently announced that SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is now free to download for Visual Studio Dev Essentials members. Additionally, the SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition will also be free when released later this year.

The new changes are a major step in SQL server accessibility, presenting maximum advantages and capabilities to all developers for their data solutions. Please note that the SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition is suited for development and testing only, and not for production environments or for use with production data.

Benefits of Free SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition

The SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition:

  • Has all the features of SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, enabling you to build any kind of data solution on SQL Server
  • Offers a high level of performance across all workloads
  • Provides a platform for hybrid cloud, allowing enterprises to easily build, deploy, and manage solutions in the cloud or on-premises
  • Offers limited security vulnerabilities for any enterprise database

Features of SQL Server Developer Edition

  • In-memory OLTP with up to 30x performance gains
  • Enhanced in-memory columnstore for data warehousing (DW) that is fast, updatable, and has better compression
  • In-memory business intelligence (BI) with power pivot for fast insights
  • Buffer pool extension to solid state drives (SSDs) that provides faster paging
  • Enhanced query processing delivers faster performance without any change in app
  • Enhanced security and scalability
  • High availability
  • Easy access to data
  • Hybrid cloud solutions such as simplified cloud backup, cloud disaster recovery, and extending on-premises apps to cloud
  • New cloud Migration Wizard that makes it easy to move on-premise SQL Server to Windows Azure
  • Full server functionality support in the cloud with windows Azure virtual machine

Significance of Free SQL Server Developer Edition

SQL Server Developer Edition being free is a very good deal! It provides a full-featured suite of SQL Server tools with database engine, as well as DW/BI capabilities for developers and learners. Until now, the SQL Server Express edition was the go-to free database for entry-level development, but it had many limitations. Some of these limitations included single CPU utilization, 1GB maximum RAM allocation, and maximum size of a database set to 10GB.

About Visual Studio Dev Essentials Membership

Visual Studio members are required to sign in at the Visual Studio website using a Microsoft Account. It’s free, and you can sign up at this link.

Being a Visual Studio Dev Essentials member has several benefits, including:

  • Monthly Azure credit of $25 for 12 months, which you can use to develop and test applications using your own personal sandbox.
  • On-demand access to Xamarin University, which provides mobile development training and lets you build native Android, Windows and iOS apps in C#.
  • Three-month subscription to Pluralsight that provides industry training.

A Visual Studio Dev Essentials membership enables you to easily build and deploy apps on any platform. However, if you require development of your Microsoft SQL Server, Datavail can help you do that seamlessly. With more than 600 database administrators worldwide, Datavail is the largest database services provider in North America. With 24×7 managed database services, including database design, architecture and staffing, Datavail can support your organization as it works with SQL Server, regardless of the build you ultimately select.

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