Sam talks about his experiences with the new SQL Express Beta 2 Edition. He is frustrated by the lack of UI tools (in particular, the publicized tool called “XM”), the lack of sample databases, and the lack of clear guidance on how to fully utilize the new database, especially for new developers looking at the Express product line. As I mentioned on my SQL Server blog last week, I also got a chance to install SQL Server Express. I also installed the other Express line of tools, and finally the full Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 this past weekend.
I first noticed that sample databases were missing. This didn't bother me as much as others, as I have been in the habit lately of removing sample databases as per my reading of SQL Server Security. My first test, though, was to add a new database. Uh oh, no UI. Fortunately, I also installed the C# Express tool, and started to use that to create the new database. Unfortunately, I got this nasty error: “Insufficient memory to continue the execution of the program.“ Yuck. I also downloaded Visual C++ Express as well and tried that. Success! I looked to file a bug, saw that it was already filed, and added my workaround. It turns out that the Visual Basic Express version worked as well. Also, sqlcmd.exe can be used to do the same thing (through the command-line, of course).
Now, having created a new database, try to delete that database. Guess what? You can't through the Express tools! Plus, I found you can't through the full Visual Studio Beta 1 either! How? Through sqlcmd.exe again!
I typically use command-lines daily with Oracle, but I thought this would at least be an improvement as Microsoft has produced some of the best UI tools for SQL Server over the last few years (with 7.0 and 2000). Obviously, not all of this is done and ready (yes, of course, I know it is still a Beta product!). But, I can imagine it would be very frustrating for new developers trying to work their way through these steps.
In the meantime, get familiar with the sqlcmd tool. I keep a printout of the commands near my computer at the moment.