LocalDB Review

I evaluated Oracle & PostgreSQL but am sticking with SQL Server because of its vast knowledge base & better feature list.

Valuable Features

The memory footprint is the smallest in its category of products. I think Microsoft did a very good job squeezing as many features as possible in such a tiny executable. The price, being it free, it's of course a plus. And the capability to do almost everything as in the commercial version. When using a developer machine or also a virtual machine, it is essential that every MB of memory is well utilized. The binaries are loaded in memory only when needed. It uses the same client libraries as its bigger siblings, including the Native client. Unlike the Compact version which uses a limited set of functionality this LocalDB has Stored Procedures, Geometry, Geography data types, online backup, transactions, data integrity etc. It runs as a separate process as opposed to in-proc DLL.

Improvements to My Organization

For the development process and for small Business Intelligence projects, this software gives a very good head start because the installation is merely seconds. It runs in the current user context, and this allows the developer to be freed from switching accounts many times during the develop/deploy/test phase.

Room for Improvement

The storage limit is about 10GB, so for medium to big databases it is not applicable.

Use of Solution

I've been using SQL Server since version 7, so approximately 15 years, this 2012 Express is the latest release of this software. This is a free lightweight version of the 2012 full fledged product.

Deployment Issues

No. The setup is really Next -> Accept ->Next -> Finish.

Stability Issues


Scalability Issues

Of course you won't use LocalDB if you need to scale. I mean, in order to scale one should buy the commercial version of SQL Server. But even so, the database will not need any modification. According to Microsoft web site: "Upgrade from SQL Express to paid SQL Server editions is a matter of typing in a license key and no installation is required"

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I did not use the customer service, the sheer amount of information, articles, blogs and forums about SQL Server covers practically the 99% of issues one may encounter with this database system

Technical Support:

I'd rate it "good enough", based on previous products experiences.

Previous Solutions

I used both SQL Server and other open source RDBMS. I switched because of the vast knowledge base and the far better feature list in SQL Server.

Initial Setup

Very straightforward. One download, pick the 32 or 64 bit version and run the SqlLocalDB.msi installer

Implementation Team

In house, literally in "my" house.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Setup cost, 0€. Day to day cost 0€, excluding power consumption.

Other Solutions Considered

I also used Oracle 11 XE, MySQL, PostgreSQL.

Other Advice

The only caveat is to pay attention to the user context. The SQL engine doesn't run with a privileged or system account, so it really has only the permissions of the currently logged in user (files, network, etc.). It is advisable to install the SQL Server management studio (also free) to administer and configure it

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

This review is great but should just make clear, this is express version only. There are many versions of sql server.

14 October 15
Senior business Intelligence consultant at Asociación SevillaUPConsultantTOP 10

Yes, you're correct. In fact it is the localDB version, not express. I should have specified it in the title. Thanks

14 October 15
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