SQL Express vs Full SQL Editions for SOLIDWORKS Electrical

This article outlines some of the differences between SQL Express and full SQL Editions in relation to SOLIDWORKS Electrical.


With default installation options, SOLIDWORKS Electrical will install an instance of Microsoft SQL Express, onto which the SWE databases are then installed. SQL Express is a free edition of SQL, but has some performance limitations. Full SQL Editions (Standard, Enterprise, etc.) lift these limitations, but must be purchased separately from SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Note that we do not recommend installing the SWE databases to a SQL instance that is already being used for SW PDM Professional.


The table below outlines the basic differences between SQL Express and SQL Standard at the time of writing. Please refer to this link for more information.





Maximum processing cores



Maximum memory use

1 GB

128 GB

Maximum database size

10 GB

524 PB


Each SWE project has its own database, so the 10 GB limit in SQL Express is sufficient for large projects. However, the processing and memory requirements of a SQL instance will increase with the number of simultaneous users. As a general rule, we recommend using full SQL rather than SQL Express when the number of SWE users exceeds five. You should also ensure the machine hosting the full SQL instance is able to provide this improved performance by giving it additional processing cores and RAM.


For guidance on installing the full SQL instance and installing the SWE databases onto a pre-installed instance, please refer to this article, Manual SQL Instance Installation Guide For SOLIDWORKS Electrical.


Note that the SQL instance should be named during installation and should be a separate instance from any used for other programs. For more information, refer to this article, Named And Unnamed SQL Instances For Use With SOLIDWORKS Electrical

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