I was in a customer meeting today with David Portas of Conchango who is hard at work doing battle with the new FileStream data type in SQL Server 2008.  He is developing a solution where large filestream objects are being pushed around a site from central servers to roving laptops.  Curiously, he’s using SQL Server 2008 Express on the laptops for a number of reasons:

  • There is the same FileStream support in express as there is standard, enterprise etc.
  • Although there is a 4gb database limit, this does not apply to the FileStream objects so these can be as large as required.
  • SQL Express 2008 can run on a 64 bit edition of windows as a 64 bit application albeit only using one physical CPU and 1Gb RAM.
  • SQL Server  Express can take part in messaging from other editions of SQL Server, so David has his master database in enterprise edition and hopes to use service broker to push the FileStream objects down to the laptops.
  • SQL Server Express is free and can be distributed for free as part of an ISV solution to customers

I could also add spatial support to this list but while there is also support for all the new 2008 data types in Express, in this solution would spatial analysis not be that much useful.

I cannot be more specific about the actual application at the moment but it does give you an indication of the sort of use to which SQL Server Express can be put in an enterprise solution.