I installed Visual Studio 2010 on my machine and it installed along with it SQL Server Express 2008.

Now I'd like to use the Management Studio, but I can't seem to find it so I assume it doesn't install it without installed the SQL Server by itself.

Is there a way to just install this software without setting up a brand new instance of a SQL Server?

3 Answers 3


You can download and install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express from this Microsoft Download Center page.

The Non express version only ships with SQL Server 2008 editions and cannot be sold or distributed separately.

  • Any limitations of the express version? Jul 24, 2011 at 23:54
  • 1
    I'm unsure. But nothing too significant. I believe you cannot install known plugins on it (Like Redgate tools, for instance). You don't have also access to the SQL Server Profiler and Tuning Advisor tools. And that's basically just it. For any day-to-day administration of SQL Server Express editions, it's ideal.
    – A Dwarf
    Jul 24, 2011 at 23:59
  • SSIS is neutered in SSMS Express but if you only have Express Edition instances you probably don't care. Jul 25, 2011 at 2:03
  • The Express editions are no joke. They'll run your whole gambit of queries, stored procedures and such.
    – surfasb
    Jul 25, 2011 at 7:04

The full version of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio can be installed WITHOUT installing the server, and it can administer a SQL Server Express Edition.

Here's a tutorial (with screenshots) on how to do this: SQL Server 2008 Client Tools Installation

About SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition (from Wikipedia):

Microsoft has also introduced a free edition known as the Express Edition. As with all of Microsoft's "Express" products, this is downloadable as a standalone tool or integrated with a SQL Server Express edition at no charge. The tool's limitations lie in the fact that it cannot manage SQL Server Analysis Services, Integration Services, Notification Services, Reporting Services, or SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition.


Yes, it can be done but I only got this to work using SQL server Management studio 2005.

Works well with SQL 2008.

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