Microsoft has released a video to help developers get started with a version of SQL Server Express aimed specifically at developers.
As we reported when it was introduced, if you want to use SQL Server 2012 without spending lots, one option Local Database Runtime (LocalDb). This is a deployment option for the free SQL Server 2012 Express Edition, and is a small shared component that runs in-process rather than a service. It’s quick to install, and can be used for applications that need an embedded database that is API compatible with SQL Server.
There’s a video (also available on Microsoft’s Channel 9) that shows how to get up and running and what you can do with LocalDB:
Microsoft’s goal for LocalDB was that it would be as easy to use as SQL Server Compact while being as powerful and compatible with full SQL Server as SQL Express. So it gives you a way to get a SQL Express database up and running without doing lots of configuration and management. It is limited to databases that are opened for exclusive use, so wouldn’t work in server-based or multi-user environments.
However, it does provide full support for T-SQL, and you can use the same client-side methods of access as you use with other versions of SQL Server, including ADO.NET, PDO and ODBC. You can run multiple applications each with their own LocalDB process, but each has exclusive access to a database. LocalDB processes are started and stopped automatically when needed.