MSDE Database History and Benefits

Microsoft Data Engine 1.0 (MSDE 1.0) and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) are SQL Server-compatible database engines for creating desktop and shared database solutions. MSDE enables software vendors to build desktop and shared database solutions that easily migrate to SQL Server 2000 when the solution must scale.

When Microsoft first introduced MSDE 1.0, it was called Microsoft Data Engine and it shared the same code base as SQL Server 7.0. With the release of SQL Server 2000, Microsoft introduced MSDE 2000 and called it Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine.

SQL Server Enterprise Manager

Unlike SQL Server, MSDE does not have its own management tools like Enterprise Manager. MSDE ships with the osql utility only and it’s very difficult to create and manage databases from the command prompt. You can only create and manage a MSDE database via third-party tools


MSDE 2000 is a redistributable version of SQL Server 2000. It is a database engine provided by Microsoft that is based on the core SQL Server technology and supports single- and dual-processor desktop computers. In other words, MSDE 2000 is a scaled down copy of SQL Server. MSDE 2000 was introduced to provide application developers a database engine that is more powerful than the Jet engine and at the same time expandable to SQL Server. It is ideal for client applications requiring an embedded database and websites serving up to 25 concurrent users.

The common technology base shared between SQL Server and MSDE 2000 enables developers to build applications that can scale seamlessly from desktop solutions to multiprocessor enterprise clusters.

As an alternative to the Jet engine, MSDE 2000 provides a cost-effective option for developers who need a database server that can be easily distributed and installed. Because it is fully compatible with SQL Server, developers can easily target both SQL Server and MSDE database objects with the same application code base. This provides a seamless upgrade path for MSDE database instances to SQL Server if an application grows beyond the storage and scalability that a MSDE can provide.