While it’s very convenient to have SQL 2008 Express installed along with Visual Studio 2010, it’s unfortunate that it’s missing the Express version of SQL Management Studio. There is, however, a pretty straightforward (if not particularly discoverable) way of adding Management Studio to your shiny new Visual Studio 2010 RC installation – just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Database page on the Microsoft/Express web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/express/Database/

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  2. In the combo box on the right-hand side of the page, be sure to select Management Tools (not “With Management Tools”).
  3. Click Free Download. The download process uses the Web Platform Installer to download and install SQL Management Studio. If you don’t already have that installed on your machine, don’t worry, it’s a quick and painless install.
  4. After SQL Management Studio Express has been downloaded and installed (which will take a while), you’ll want to apply (or re-apply) Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008. You can get the appropriate version of this Service Pack by running Windows Update.

Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational SQL Server Express instance!