When I attempt to install Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express, it forces an installation of SQL Server 2008 Express, which is okay. However, it forces it to have the instance name SQLEXPRESS instead being the default instance.

I tried installing SQL Server 2008 Express first, but the Web Platform Installer 3.0 still wants to download and install the named instance, which then I have to uninstall.

I'm putting together a guide that several others in my group will follow, so I'd like to not have to tell them to "install, then uninstall".

So, is there any reasonable way to either (1) install VWD w/o SS, or (2) install VWD but configure SS do use the default instance?

  • "install VWD but configure SS ... use the default instance?" - I can't find it at the moment, but I believe if you are deploying SQL Server Express side-by-side your application it must be a named "SQLEXPRESS" instance. Not a technical requirement, just a licensing one. Jan 15, 2011 at 0:49
  • This has been a big bug-bear for me - it amazes me the quantity and scale of some of the supposed dependencies that WPI comes up with. In this case, it wanted to instal SQL Express AND SQL Compact Edition along with various bolt-ons and updates - none of which were needed.
    – CJM
    May 23, 2012 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


I found a link to Visual Web Developer that does not require installation of SQL Server first. It's the same link that Web Platform Installer uses.

I was able to install SQL Server as a default instance, and then install using this link, and life is good.



As taspeotis says in the comment, SQL Express requires its instance to be SQLEXPRESS. The only way to install a default instance of SQL Server is with Developer, Standard, Enterprise, and whatever else there is available in that realm.

As for your installation, does it not offer a "remote SQL instance" for configuration? I've just installed WebMatrix, using the Web Platform Installer, and because I have SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer on my machine, I chose the remote instance option, and configured it post-installation to connect to . (i.e. localhost).

  • SQL Server Express can be installed as a default instance, but you're not allowed to do that if you're deploying it SxS. Jan 15, 2011 at 3:24
  • @taspeotis - I wasn't aware of that. Every time I've tried Express, it's pretty insistent on the named instance. Good to know.
    – user3463
    Jan 15, 2011 at 5:40

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