Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express (64-bit)
Full user review
"Outstandingly good download with zero problems"
Totally free. Upgrades started immediately from Microsoft. It's surprising to me that such a great studio is free for the downloading. I'm very new to C|net and to winging it on my own, but really loving the feeling of being able to pick and choose what I want without having to argue with anyone at some job. Makes me want to stay home for good. Maybe I'll even end up working that way for good?
Can't find any faults at this time. The PL SQL Developer that's supposed to go with MS SQL did NOT download at all, hitting some type of firewall problem. I haven't had time to figure that out and so far, haven't needed Developer. I'm no DBA, but then, maybe some day?
I realize that there are other EXPENSIVE suites that can be purchased and downloaded and for the sake of being technical, if you really need high-end features and security, by all means download those high cost packages from the sellers. On the other hand, if you can get by with an "express" package for free that you could easily scale up later, this one may be what you need? No way to argue the price when it's totally free. I still can't believe how things have changed that way.