How to download the SQL Server 2019 developer edition for free?

How to download the Microsoft SQL Server 2019 developer edition for free?

SQL Server 2019 developer is the free edition, and the download contains the full set of available features. It also provides a real option for evaluation for developments, tests, and proof of concepts. Nevertheless, it is not for use in a production environment. Indeed, SQL developers must install the DBMS tool locally to understand its architecture and operation. In particular, the various services installed on the machine such as the SQL Server engine, the SQL Server agent, or the SQL Server Browser.

1. SQL Server 2019 developer and express editions are free

First, before the download of MSSQL, let’s talk about the two free editions available. For these two options, no licence key is needed:

  • The Developer version provides testing and development in non-production environments only without a paid licence.
  • The Express version comes in as the lightest version, dedicated for example to small servers and web. It allows installation and usage in Production environments.

Select the Developer version to have all the features, the link downloads an executable file to the machine named SQL2019-SSEI-Dev.exe.

Download the SQL Server 2019 Developer edition in English here on Microsoft website.

2. Main Azure and On-premises editions are paying

However, the main SQL Server 2019 paying versions are the Azure one and the on-premises one.

  • The SQL Server 2019 on Azure uses the same database engine as the on-premises one. It allows reusability of the previously on-premises purchased licences.
  • The SQL Server 2019 on-premises download comes with a 180 day-trial for the Windows server (or client) version.

3. Operating systems compatible with SQL Server 2019

To conclude, let’s talk about the platforms. Install the 2019 version of Microsoft database on Windows server or in Azure Virtual Machines. It’s also available for Linux distributions as well as on Docker containers. A bigger list of supported operating systems is available below. Note that this list is not exhaustive and it might not be up to date.

Windows systems
  1. Windows Server 2019
  2. Windows Server 2016
  3. Windows Server 2012 R2
  4. Windows 11
  5. Windows 10
  6. Windows 8.1
Linux distributions
  1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.3 and 7.* above, 8
  2. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) v12 SP2, SP3, SP4, SP5, v15, v15 SP1
  3. Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04
  4. CentOS 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 8
  5. Oracle Linux 7.3 to 7.7 (Using the Red Hat Compatible Kernel)

Docker containers

  • SQL Server 2019 is also available as a Docker container image, which can be run in Docker Engine on Linux or Docker for Windows/Mac.

Check out this tutorial on how to install a second instance of SQL Server to improve database management by splitting T-SQL development and tests into different instances for example.

4. Technologies available with SQL Server 2019

Today the SQL Server software suite for data engineering is very popular amongst companies and have a lot of market shares. Especially in the BI field with Power BI leading the market in 2022. It’s worth downloading SQL Server developer edition with Visual Studio and give a try to the features! Visual Studio allows, for example, the development of :

  • Databases in T-SQL
  • Data integration with SSIS
  • Machine learning
  • The R language
  • Python
  • Multidimensional and in-memory OLAP cubes
  • Reporting with Power BI and SSRS

This article explains where to download MSSQL Server 2019 for free and the different options available. The article below explains where and how to download SQL Server Management Studio 18 (SSMS).