SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on a Mac!

Having read Rob’s post about the release of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition sp2 (could they not have come up with a snappier name – think mySQL, for example!), I decided to go ahead and see if it would install and run on my Mac!

The install was uneventful and I documented it as a series of screenshots on Flickr.

Having installed SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on my Mac, I fired it up and created a database and a table using the SQL Server Management Studio Express (again, snappy name?) which ships with it. The process was very straightforward, as you would expect.

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on Mac

Well, now that I have that up and running, what good is it? Any suggestions for what I could use it for? Rob?

18 thoughts on “SQL Server 2005 Express Edition on a Mac!”

  1. Blimey Tom – you installed a big chink of M$ software for no reason other than to see if it would install? AND you wrote a blog post on it?!! I’m cancelling my subscription to your feed.

  2. busy day then?!!

    LOL Robin – tbh it was all done in the background while doing other stuff (aka multitasking). The download was done while on a conference call with a prospect. While the install was done while encoding mp3’s of talks from last year’s it@cork conference.

    I’m cancelling my subscription to your feed.

    Mmmm, ok then. Sorry you took such offense to what I felt was an interesting academic exercise (it is not like it was the first time I have attempted to install sql server on a Mac and blogged about it!)

  3. You could also install Sybase ASE Developer edition as well, and it’s free. Why play with a toy database when you could get a real Sybase Enterprise Database server? (BTW: Aqua Data Studio is pretty good as well)

    Let the war begin.

  4. Not really Rob – I mean I know my way around an IDE. I managed teams of developers in the past developing ASP and dot.Net apps in Visual Studio so I can read code but I wouldn’t call myself a developer.

    It is like I can read books but I’m not an author!

  5. SQL Server is quite tightly integrated with ASP.NET (although it can be used from any development platform), so I use it on an almost-daily basis when doing development myself. Visual Web Developer Express Edition, also free, has great tools for working with SQL databases.

    If you don’t have a specific application in mind, though, I’m not sure what to recommend that you do with it. I’d suggest you keep in around in case you’re doing any dev (or dev management!) in future.

    Hope that helps

  6. Technically, you didn’t install it on a mac… you installed it in windows which is on your mac or used vmware. The point is, it would be great if you can get your mac to interact with it. For example, run SQL Server through Parallels or vmware but have your local sites on your mac connect with the database. That would be an achievement. But putting a windows application on a mac? Not very exciting. And the title of the post is a little misleading for those mac developers searching for ways to run SQL locally on a mac.

  7. You are clearly a dumb-ass. Its running in a virtual machine on windows! Pillock!

  8. @anonymous – I don’t want to split hairs here but I did install it on a Mac. I didn’t install it on OS X which is I think what you are trying to say and you are absolutely correct that getting apps in OS X to interact with it would be cool. I may try to get that going. It shouldn’t be too hard. I mean through Parallels they share networking. Hmmmm!

    @David, I’m not sure who your comments are directed at but if they are at me, then you are right, I am a dumb-ass. I generally try to keep that hidden. Thanks for outing me 😉

  9. Im just curious, have you followed up any of “anonymous’s” ideas? for example, actually connecting to a database on your SqlServer from a client pc. The reason is becuase i need to buy a laptop soon, and id prefer to buy a mac. The only catch is, id like to use it at work, and we do windows development. Ive done a bit of research, and i can run MS Visual Studio and such on the parallels or bootcamp software, but the crunch is whether or not other people will be able to connect to my “virtual” SqlServer the same way they could connect to a SqlServer on a Windows box. Ive done a fair bit of searching, but i havent found a Mac user that actually runs SqlServer and has other people connecting to it with 100% functionality. Otherwise i’ll just have to buy a windows lappie, and then wait a while before i can afford the mac as well, though id much prefer to go the apple route, as ive used a friends Mac in the past, and i enjoyed OSX much more than windows.

  10. I am a Windows developer, but I primarily use macs for personal use for about 5 years now (including hobby development). Sorry to say this, but what you did wasn’t very blog worthy. If you want to query, manage, interact with the sql server, you should use a client application that can run natively on OS X, which uses something like JDBC. One example is squirrel sql, which is what I use at work instead of management studio, because it also allows me to connect to firebird, and oracle databases. It is a Java application, but I have been looking around for a cocoa version, just out of interest. Squirrel sql is very mature however. Remember, squirrel is not a server, it is a database management client, like studio express. The server itself will always be running on your vm machine.

    One last thing Tom, not trying to sound hostile, but being able to read books but not being an author, is not the same as managing developers without being able to develop. I would say a better analogy is being able to follow a foreign film, without being able to understand 99% of the dialog.

  11. Can I ask you to take down this blog post or change the title/copy? It is misleading as other have suggested. Those searching for an Enterprise Manager for a Mac pull this up and its a red herring.



  12. Tom, I found this interesting and thought-provoking so I’m probably a dumb-ass too. Is there some sort of club to join where one can get discounts on stuff?

    And I appreciate @WTF?!’s efforts to clean up the Internet so (s)he doesn’t have to learn how to develop search terms more intelligently and thus not waste the 30 seconds or less it should have taken to realize this wasn’t what (s)he wanted.

    Thanks for trying this install for me, so I don’t have to.

  13. “Well, now that I have that up and running, what good is it? Any suggestions for what I could use it for? Rob?”

    that, out of everything i’ve read in this post is the funniest thing i’ve ever heard.. its like saying “Well hey i just got this brand new car.. any idea what i can use it for?”


  14. It’s not a challenge : You can install whatever you want on a parellels desktop computer…

  15. Well, as I would have to agree that running anything proprietary windows on a VM or Parallels is not that impressive. I can add that I do the same thing often. I have VMFusion partitions with DB2, Oracle, and SQL Server. I then use my mac to interact with them via the application from Aquafold. I really like it because I can do about anything on any of the databases. To link directly via a programming aspect, I use the ODBC drivers for mac that you can get many places third party.

    Now all that being said, I do have a DB2 database running on my mac that isn’t in my VM but rather I used the UNIX version of DB2 to run it on my mac.

    For my purposes I run a Mac Pro with 28 gigs of ram and a 4 drive raid setup. I host many test environments on it for other developers that I work with.

    So to sum it all up. Even with using VMFusion you have the ability to connect to a database or anything else on the mac, Which leads to the question of what can you do with it… In regards to a mac app, that is still in development.

    I would agree that these companies need to start making apps that use the bigger database platforms, but i don’t see hardly any of them with the ability to even use ODBC connections which is really sad. On my mac I also use FileMaker Pro and Bento.

  16. i would like to install sql server on my macbook pro can any one suggest me which version of sql server, I should install on my mac for the database management.

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