Installing SQL Server

2019 Developer Edition

Posted by: Aubrey W Love on August 24, 2021

If you want to learn how to work on or with SQL Server, you really need to have a working copy at your disposal. Gone are the times where you had to have an active server to install SQL Server, now you can install a full working copy on your personal computer (PC) or laptop.

In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps to downlaod and install SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition on your personal computer.


Before you get started, you need to make sure your computer is capable of running SQL Server 2019. The following link list the minimum system requirements to install SQL Server 2019 Developer edition.
SQL Server 2019: Hardware and Software Requirements

  • example Most PC's and laptops, purchased in the last 10 years, are capable of installing and running SQL Server 2019 Developer edition.
    But, it's not a bad idea to check with the link above to make sure.

Downloading the Software

When downloading any software, always go to the source before attempting to download from an after-market site. With that said, here's a link to download your own copy of SQL Server 2019 Developer edition (for free) straight from the manufacturer, Microsoft.
SQL Server 2019

Once you get to that webpage, it should look like the image below. (But without the red X's and arrows.)

Under the "Developer" edition (bottom left of the screen where the red arrow is pointing) click the "Download" button.

A pop-up dialogue box should appear allowing you save the download in your preferred location. Select your destination and click "Save".
This should only take a few seconds, depending on your internet speed.
When the download is complete, navigate to where you saved the file and double-click the file "SQL2019-SSEI-Dev.exe" to start the install.

The Install Setup

Step 1

The first dialogue box to appear should look like the following image. Select the "Download Media" option.

Step 2

Select the language and storage location of the installation files.

Step 3

The downloader will start retrieving the installation files. This is going to take several minutes to complete.

Step 4

Once the downloader is finished, click the "Open folder" button.

Step 5

Right click on the ISO file and choose "Mount" from the available options.

Step 6

Open the installation folder and double click on the "setup.exe" file.

The Install Process

Step 7

The first dialogue box for the installation process should look like the image below. In the left pane, click on "Installation".

Step 8

In the right pane, select the top item. "New SQL Server stand-alone installation..."

Step 9

In the next dialogue box, select the edition you want to install. In this case we want the "Developer" edition. Click the "Next" button.

Step 10

Click the box to accept the license terms then click the "Next" button.

Step 11

If you don't want Microsoft to send you updates (Who does?), then uncheck the "updates" box and click the "Next" button.

Step 12

Next, the installation checks for prerequisites before beginning the installation. You may notice a warnging regarding the Windows firewall. Ignore this, it has no effect on the installation.

Step 13

In the next dialogue box, select the services you want to install. For learning purposes you will need to install the "Database Engine Services". Select it and click the "Next" button to continue.

Step 14

This is a step that most articles just breeze right through. But it's a section that I wanted to give you a little more detail about. The "Instance ID" will be the name of your SQL instance. You will want to name this based on how you are going to use SQL Server.
For example: you can name your instance during this install as "SQLtest". Later you can run through this install process again and name the instance "SQLproduction".
You can have more than one installation (instance) on your computer. Later, when you open SSMS to work with your SQL server installation, you will have the option to open either the SQLtest instance or the SQLproduction instance.

Step 15

In this step, we create a password for our "sa" (system administrator) account. Select the "Mixed Mode..." radio button as shown in option 1. Enter and re-enter an administrator password. Write the password down and keep it in a secure location. Do not share!
Next click on the "Add Current User" button. This should populate the box above the button with your current username on your computer.
Click the "Next" button to continue.

Step 16

Verify the SQL Server features to install. This should list the services that you selected in step 13.
Click the "Install" button.

Step 17

If all went well, your next dialogue box should look something like the image below.

Congratulations! You just installed your first instance of SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition.

... Now, let's install SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) so we can start using our new database.

Click here for that article.

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