compatibility SQL Express VS SQL Standard

New Contributor



I am currently using SQL Express 2017. The database has grown so much that I have to switch to the standard version.


I have several programs connected to the SQL server that work on a common database. The specification of one of the programs states that it works only on Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition version 2008/2012/2014/2016 / 2017.Other programs work correctly with the SQL Standard 2017/2019 version. When investing in the program, I would like to buy the latest SQL Standard 2019.


I contacted the producer of the program. Support claims that the program will not work on SQL Standard 2019, that it only works on Server Express Edition 2008/2012/2014/2016/2017.


A few years ago, I was migrating the base of my old sql Express 2008 accounting program to sql express 2017 and everything worked.


I am not an expert in technical matters. But is there a difference between the operation of SQL Express 2017 and SQL Standard 2019? Theoretically, the programs execute SQL commands, which should be backwards compatible.


Can I ask for any information / help ??

1 Reply
best response confirmed by KrzysiekBojak (New Contributor)

@KrzysiekBojak , the database engine of Express, Standard, Web, Developer and Enterprise are exactly the same, there are only limitations in the available feature set.

If an app works with Express Edition, then it works with Standard Edition as well, only "better" = faster.


You can see it on Service Packs, you use the same SP installer independent on the installed Edition.


See also Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2019 - SQL Server | Microsoft Docs