The SQL Server editions are classified into two editions “Principal Editions and Breadth Editions”.
Breadth editions of SQL Server are basically FREE versions or they are offered at very low cost. There are two editions which Microsoft describe as Breadth Editions.
SQL Server Developer edition includes all the functionality of Enterprise edition, but is licensed for use as a development and test system, not as a production server. SQL Server Developer edition is an ideal choice for developers and programmers. The developer edition used to cost approximately $75. The developer edition starting with SQL Server 2016 is now free.
SQL Server Express edition is free database and is ideal for learning and building desktop and small server data-driven applications. However, Express edition comes with number of limitations such as number of processor it can use, size of database and maximum memory it can utilize.
Express Edition is the best choice for independent software vendors, developers, and hobbyists building client applications.
Principal Editions includes all the editions of SQL Server which are designed for production environment. These Editions are:
- Enterprise Edition
- Standard Edition
- Data Center Edition
- Web Edition