SQL Server 2008 R2 Express, a free edition of SQL Server is ideal for learning and building applications for desktops, servers and the web.
One of the biggest changes from its previous versions is the maximum size of database that can be supported on Express editions. The current version of Express Edition supports databases of upto 10 GB but it still supports one 1 CPU and 1GZ of RAM. SQL Server 2008 R2 offers 4 different variants of express editions. These are:
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Database Only: This includes the core SQL Server 2008 R2 relational database engine but not the business intelligence (BI) subsystems like Analysis Services, Integration Services, or Reporting Services. This minimal installation option also doesn’t include any built-in management tools. However, most of the SQL Server core features are included such as support for the CLR and support for all data types, including the new geospatial and FILESTREAM data types. This option is suitable for including in ISV packages and as a database for custom applications. This can be downloaded from: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9729742
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Management Tools: This doesn’t include the relational database engine. This installation option includes only SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE). This can be downloaded from: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9729746
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Database with Management Tools: This version, SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Database with Management Tools, is probably the best version for low cost database development or for use with small business and departmental database needs. It has all the relational database features plus it also has SSMSE, which you can use for basic database management. This can be downloaded from: https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=56ad557c-03e6-4369-9c1d-e81b33d8026b
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Database with Advanced Services: The SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Database with Advanced Services option is the most full-featured SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition. This includes the basic SQL Server relational database engine, as well as SSMSE, support for full-text search, and support for Reporting Services. YES, it has SSRS with limited features and works only with the local SQL Server 2008 R2 Express instance. This can be downloaded from: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9729748