Install SQL server 2017 & connect with SSMS step by step


Install Microsoft SQL Server Express for free. You can install and use Microsoft SQL Server Express on Windows server without paying any license fees for production. Other than Express & Developer edition you must have a valid license key. The developer version is fully functioning as Enterprise edition, but can not be installed on production server or cant not be used for production environments.

Remote Desktop Connection

To manage the installation on your server, you can use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection (RDC). Connect to your Windows server with Remote Desktop Connection. On your Windows machine, launch Remote Desktop Connection. Enter your server’s IP address, enter your user name and password.


From the Start Menu, open Internet Explorer. Paste Go to URL: URLs into the address bar, then press Enter.

Microsoft provides two specialized free editions to work on MS SQL server:

01) Developer: It has all feature which MS SQL server offers, we can use it from the learning perspective only.
02) Express: This is also a free version but with the limited set of features with no business intelligence applications.

Download SQL server of your choice. Click on the ‘Download now’ button. After clicking you will get below the popup window.

Setup file

Save the file in an appropriate location. We will get set up as ‘SQLServer2017-SSEI-Dev.exe’.

Double click on “SQLServer2017-SSEI-Dev.exe”. Below screen will appear with three options: Basic, Custom and Download files.

Microsoft Server License Terms

Choose the basic version by clicking on the ‘Basic’ option, as it has all default configuration required to learn MS SQL. ‘Microsoft Server License Terms’ screen will appear. Read the License Terms and then click ‘Accept.’

SQL server install location

Below ‘SQL server install location’ window will appear. The default location is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server. Optionally, we can also change the installation location by clicking on Browse.3. Once the location is selected, click the ‘Install’ button.

Below ‘Downloading install package’ progress screen will be displayed. Wait until the download is complete. Once, the download is complete; the system will initiate installing developer edition.

Once, the download is complete; the system will initiate installing developer edition.

Installation completed

After installation completed successfully, below screen will appear.

Instance name: This is by default labeled as MSSQLSERVER. Connect now: This will open a separate command line window for connection testing of what we have just installed. The system will run by default ‘select @@Version’ statement to confirm that we can connect to new MSSQLSERVER instance successfully.

Connect SQL server with SQLCMD

Customize: This will open the SQL Installation center to customize further and add feature other than which are there as a part of the BASIC installation. Install SSMS: This is IDE which will take us to Microsoft SSMS download link. Close: This will close this window.

Connect SQL server with SSMS

To connect SQL server with SSMS, open SSMS. Then click on ‘Conect’ & a pop-up window will appear, as shown in below image.

Click on ‘Server name’ dropdown box & then select ‘Browse for more’. Below window will appear. Then click on ‘+’ sign just beside ‘Database Engine’. A list of SQL Server will appear. In my case, two SQL server is showing.

Select the SQL server you want to connect.

Successfully connection stablished with SQL Server. Expand the ‘System Database’ folder, you will find system databases. As its a fresh installation, no user database is created.


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