For quiet some time Microsoft offered a SQL Server Developer Edition for a minimal price tag of around $50. On March 31, 2016 the SQL server blog announced that the SQL Server Developer Edition is free to download. You just need to join the Visual Studio Dev Essentials program. The dev essential program is free to join as well. The visual studio dev essentials program offers several other development tools Visual Studio Community Edition, Visual Studio Code, etc..
The developer edition of SQL Server has all the capabilities and functionalities of the enterprise edition. The only difference between enterprise edition and developer edition is the license. Developer edition and be used only for development and testing purpose.
If you are not familiar with visual studio dev essentials program, then follow the below steps to download the developer edition of SQL Server 2016 for free.
NOTE: In SQL Server 2016, the database engine and the management studio are in separate executable files in different location. We’ll first download the SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition database engine and then download the Management Studio.
Steps To Download SQL Server Developer Edition
- Go to https://www.visualstudio.com/products/visual-studio-dev-essentials-vs.
- Click the green Join Now button.
- It will take you to the online visual studio screen.
- If you have a Hotmail account or outlook.com account then use it to login to the online visual studio.
- Once logged in you will be in the Visual Studio Dev Essentials benefits baseboard.
- One among the tools listed there is Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition.
- Now, press the Download link. In the download screen choose the language and hit the download arrow to download the iso installation file. The iso file will be around 2.1 GB. Based on your internet speed, the download may complete within few minutes or may take more than an hour.
- Installation steps for the downloaded developer edition is available here.
Download SQL Server 2016 Management Studio
You can download the Management Studio released along with SQL Server 2016 from https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt238290.aspx
Don’t forget to read my article on free and discounted development tools and applications from Microsoft.