SSEE, WSS, MOSS and SQL Server 2005 Express

The purpose of this article is to simply clarify what type of database the stand-alone installation of WSS 3.0 actually uses.

SSEE, or SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition, is the database that’s installed with a stand-alone configuration of WSS 3.0. SSEE is just an alternative name for Windows Internal Database. The following is directly from Wikipedia:

“Windows Internal Database is an alternative name for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition (SSEE). The term is used in the documentation for such applications as Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Windows Server Update Services 3.0 and Windows Server 2008, where it is installed as a back-end database. SQL Server Embedded Edition is just a specially configured named instance of the SQL Server Express database engine which can be accessed only by certain Windows Services, or by SQL Server Management Studio Express using \.pipemssql$microsoft##sseesqlquery as server name.”

That clarified a lot for me. If you’ve got SSEE installed in a WSS 3.0 configuration and you’d like to get access to the databases on that server (be careful when making any changes though!), you’ll need to download SQL Server Management Studio Express from here.

Windows Internal Database DOES NOT have any database size limitations.

Once it’s been dowloaded and installed, launch management studio and in the place of server name, put:


That should do it, you should now see your WSS 3.0 databases.

When MOSS is deployed using the Basic option, SQL Express 2005 gets installed.

SQL Express 2005 DOES have a database size limitation of 4GB.


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