Updated: 5/22/2006

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1.0 Introduction

Microsoft® SQL Server™ Management Studio Express (SSMSE) provides a graphical management tool for SQL Server™ 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) and SQL Server™ 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services (SQL Server Express) instances. SSMSE can also manage relational engine instances created by any edition of SQL Server 2005. SSMSE cannot manage Analysis Services, Integration Services, SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, Notification Services, Reporting Services, or SQL Server Agent.

SSMSE is a free Web download.


2.0 Downloading and Installing

You must install the .NET Framework 2.0 and MSXML 6.0 Parser before installing SSMSE.

The .NET Framework 2.0 and MSXML 6.0 Parser might be already installed if you have a machine that is running SQL Server Express.


2.1 .NET Framework 2.0

You must install the .NET Framework 2.0 before installing SSMSE.

SSMSE depends on the .NET Framework 2.0.50727.42 or later. If you have a different version, your SSMSE installation might function unpredictably. You can download the .NET Framework 2.0.50727.42 from this Microsoft Web site.


2.2 MSXML 6.0 Parser

You must install MSXML 6.0 Parser before installing SSMSE. You can download MSXML 6.0 from this Microsoft Web site.


2.3 SQL Server Management Studio Express

SSMSE is available for download at this Microsoft Web site.

Be sure to follow the instructions provided at the download site for downloading and extracting the product.


3.0 Known Issues

3.1 Side-by-Side Installation

SQL Server Management Studio and SSMSE cannot be installed side-by-side on the same computer.

SQL Server Management Studio can be used to connect to SQL Server Express instances.


3.2 Full-Text Catalog

You cannot update the full-text catalog by using SSMSE because it is not supported by the tool. You can use sqlcmd utility or Windows Scheduler to update the full-text catalog. For more information, see "Creating Full-Text Indexes," "CREATE FULLTEXT CATALOG (Transact-SQL)," and "ALTER FULLTEXT CATALOG (Transact-SQL)" in SQL Server 2005 Books Online at this Microsoft Web site.

In Object Explorer, you will see the full-text catalog object, but only the Refresh command is available.


3.3 Replication Support

Interactive Resolver, which lets you resolve conflicts manually during on-demand synchronization in Microsoft Windows Synchronization Manager, is not supported in SSMSE.


3.4 SQL Server Agent

SSMSE does not support scheduling administrative tasks by using SQL Server Agent. In Object Explorer, only the Refresh command is available to refresh the state of the service for all SQL Server instances except SQL Server Express. This is because SQL Server Agent is not supported by SQL Server Express.


3.5 Help Experience

3.5.1 Help for SSMSE is not installed by the product

Help for SSMSE is not installed by the product. If you press F1, MSDN Online help opens. By pressing F1, you are able to access all F1 help topics, but you do not see a table of contents or an index for the SQL Server 2005 documentation. To add SQL Server 2005 documentation to SSMSE, install SQL Server 2005 Books Online from this Microsoft Web site. After installing, in the Contents pane of the Books Online, you can use the SQL Server Express filter to hide the content that does not apply to SQL Server Express edition.

When you press F1, the topics that open might refer to user interface elements or features that are not supported by SSMSE. This is because the documentation was written for SQL Server Management Studio, which is installed with SQL Server 2005.


3.5.2 Help Might Not Function Properly in Integrated Mode

Some features in the Help Search and Help Favorites windows might not be functional if the Help option is set to Integrated Help Viewer. To address this situation, do the following:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio Express.

  2. Click Tools, click Options, and then click Help.

  3. Under General, set Show Help using: to External Help Viewer.


3.6 Upgrade Experience

A pre-release version of SSMSE cannot be upgraded to the final release version. You must uninstall a pre-release version of SSMSE before you can install this version.

When you uninstall a pre-release version of SSMSE on a computer that also has Visual Studio 2005 installed, you must repair the Windows Registry before you can use the Visual Studio Dataset Designer. For more information, see Knowledge Base article 917635.


4.0 Additional Information

4.1 Object Explorer Behavior

In SSMSE, Object Explorer only supports Database Engine instances. The Connect to Server dialog box prevents connecting to other services, such as Analysis Services.

All objects that would normally be enumerated for a specific Database Engine Object Explorer tree are still visible in SSMSE. If it is an object for an unsupported item such as full-text catalog, only the Refresh command is available.


4.2 Connecting to SQL Server Express

To connect to a SQL Server Express Database Engine instance, in the Connect to Server dialog box, specify any of the following:

.\sqlexpress, (local)\sqlexpress, or server name\sqlexpress

Note   The default installation of SQL Server Express uses an instance name (SQLExpress). This instance name must be supplied to connect to SQL Server Express by using SSMSE. If you have an instance name other than SQLExpress, connect by using computer name\instance name.


4.3 Connecting to a User Instance

SSMSE allows developers to administer SQL Server Express user instances. The prerequisite for using SSMSE with a SQL Server Express user instance is that the user instance should be running and active. To activate a user instance, install SSEUtil.exe from this Microsoft Web siteMicrosoft Web site. When a user instance is running, SSMSE connects to the user instance using the named pipe protocol.

To determine which named pipe to use to connect to the parent instance of SQL Server Express

  1. To open SSMSE, click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and then click SQL Server Management Studio Express.

  2. To open a new query editor window in SSMSE, click New Query.

  3. In the new query window, enter the following commands:

    Use Master;
    Select owning_principle_name, instance_pipe_name from sys.dm_os_child_instances;
  4. After the results are displayed, under the owning_principle_name column, find the user name for which the user instance was generated. From the instance_pipe_name column, copy the named pipe value.

  5. Create a new database connection. In Object Explorer, click Connect. In the Connect to Server dialog box, paste the named pipe value, preceded by np:, as shown:


You can now use SSMSE to manage objects related to your user instance.

For more information about user instances, see "User Instances for Non-Administrators" in SQL Server 2005 Books Online at this Microsoft Web site.


4.4 Configuring Remote Access to SQL Server Express

SQL Server Express listens on local named pipes and shared memory. With a default installation, you cannot remotely connect to SQL Server Express. You must enable TCP/IP and determine if the firewall is enabled.

To enable TCP/IP and Named Pipes:

  1. From the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2005, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.

    Optionally, you can open Computer Manager by right-clicking My Computer and choosing Manage. In Computer Management, expand Services and Applications, and then expand SQL Server Configuration Manager.

  2. Expand SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration, and then click Protocols for InstanceName.

  3. In the list of protocols, right-click Named Pipes, and then click Enable.

  4. Right-click TCP/IP, and then click Enable.

    The icon for the protocol changes to show that the protocol is enabled.

To enable the firewall:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections.

  2. From the navigation bar on the left, click Change Windows Firewall settings.

  3. On the Exceptions tab, in the Programs and Services box, you will probably see that SQL Server is listed, but not selected as an exception. If you select the check box, Windows opens port 1433 to let in TCP requests. Alternatively, if you do not see SQL Server listed, do the following:

    1. Click Add Program.

    2. Click Browse.

    3. Navigate to drive:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\BINN

    4. Add the file sqlservr.exe to the list of exceptions.

4.5 Newsgroup Support

For newsgroup support, click the "SQL Server Tools General" link at this Microsoft Web site.

Do not use other Microsoft newsgroups for posting questions regarding SSMSE.

Newsgroups are supported in English only.


4.6 Community Support

Resource Description


Ask a question. On this site, you can search through existing newsgroup postings for any questions that you might have. Use this as a starting point to see if someone else has encountered a similar situation to the one you are experiencing.


Send feedback. On this site, you can participate in the development process by submitting suggestions and bug reports for SSMSE. You can search for bug reports and suggestions that others have submitted, and add your vote or enter a new bug report if you cannot find one that matches your scenario. Be as specific as possible in bug reports to help the development team reproduce the problem. You can also set up alerts to monitor the status of your report as changes are made by the development team.


Check question status. On this site, you can monitor responses to MSDN forums, threads, and posts that you have participated in or subscribed to.


A site for developers who are building SQL Server databases, reporting systems, and business intelligence solutions, and enabling their applications and Web sites to use these systems.


4.7 SQL Server 2005 Books Online

Starting with the April 2006 update of SQL Server 2005 Books Online, a separate Books Online for SQL Server Express is unavailable. SQL Server 2005 Books Online is the primary documentation for SQL Server Express.

SQL Server 2005 Books Online is available at this Microsoft Web site. After installing Books Online, in the Contents pane of the Books Online, you can use the SQL Server Express filter to hide the content that does not apply to SQL Server Express edition. For more information about SQL Server Express documentation, see "Using SQL Server Express Books Online" in SQL Server 2005 Books Online.

The April 2006 update of Books Online reflects all product upgrades that are included in this service pack, and also includes other improvements to the documentation. We strongly recommend that you install this update to keep the information in your local copy of the documentation current with SQL Server Express.