I'm a natural born fool for free stuff. Better yet, I'm an even bigger fool if the free stuff is worth something. I can't get over how cool SQL Express 2005 is and the cost is, well... free. Here's yet another example of how cool this thing truly is:
I'm about to plow through SQL 2005 Reporting Services Step-By-Step (MS Press) and the introduction has specific instructions on how to set up the environment. I was about to reach for my trusty MSDN subscription, (insert you best QueeksDraw voice here) but hold on there just a minute. What if I could set up SQL Express 2005 to duplicate the development environment required to complete the exercises in this book?
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Download SQL Express 2005 sp1 with Advanced Services
2. Download the additional SQL Express toolkit from the same page
3. Install SQL Express and Reporting Services from the first download (complete install)
4. Install the tools download - this is the key because this gives you BI Studio, the piece you'll need to author reports. This is Visual Studio, BTW.
How easy was that - and no shooting gallery required? I will report back to this blog on any quirks or constraints that I encounter while moving through the book. So far, I have all the pieces needed to get started authoring reports.   
 Here’s the download link:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/sql/download/

Ken Garove
QUOTATION: How much would it cost you to stand at the wrong end of a shooting gallery?
ATTRIBUTION: S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho Marx, Horsefeathers, Huxley College president to con artist Baravelli (Chico Marx) after a frustrating session of negotiations (1932).