Free SQL Server Developer Edition Is Mostly for Demos

Up until Mar. 2016, a Per-User perpetual license for the 2014 Developer edition cost approximately US$40 through volume licensing and retail channels. Beginning with SQL Server 2016, Developer edition became available for free through the Visual Studio Dev Essentials (VSDE) program. Developer edition continues to be restricted to scenarios involving the design, development, test, and demonstration of software built on SQL Server.

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