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Reading a MS SQL db on another machine


I use MS SQL server 2012 that is part of a third party db app. This app has three clients and a server and runs fine. I normally sign in to the database with my username and pw but i also have an admin acct for making changes. I want to take the database onto my laptop for read only access when away from the office but i do not want to purchase a microsoft sql product to do this. And I do not want to install a server and a client on my laptop just to read the db since i am the only user that will be doing this. I do not know sql since our program has shielded us from actual sql queries . However, I realize that a 'sql db explorer' product will have no knowledge of the db structure and I will prob have to learn sql as well. What is the suggested method/program to allow this?


Will you be trying to query the actual database or a copy of it? I'm a little confused. If you want a copy of the database, then you have to install SQL Server. If this is the case, how big is the database? You might be able to use SQL Server Express Edition, which is free. If the database is too big for Express, you will have to purchase a Developer Edition license ($50 I believe). If instead you will be querying the actual database, then you can simply install SQL Server Express Management Studio.


Thank you. Yes, just want to read subsets of data so I was going to go get Express Studio. But then I realized that I could export my data and import into excel. Since I just want to make charts and would need to get into excel anyway, it saves me having to learn sql. For some reason, the database is 45 gig but I cannot understand how it grew so big- we are talking about ~5000 customers a year over 5 years. Half of these are repeat customers so their additional data would not be much. Anyway, my exports are ~ 2 mB/year. The data for a chart of a 5 year trend is only 10 mB and excel can easily handle that.