This post was authored by Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director of Data Platform Marketing
NOTE: For the latest information on Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition, please see the blog post: Test the latest SQL Server features with Microsoft SQL Server 2017 Developer Edition
Exciting news! Starting today, SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is now a free download for Visual Studio Dev Essentials members (you will be prompted to sign in to Visual Studio Dev Essentials before you can download SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition). We are making this change so that all developers can leverage the capabilities that SQL Server 2014 has to offer for their data solution, and this is another step in making SQL Server more accessible. SQL Server Developer Edition is for development and testing only, and not for production environments or for use with production data.
Visual Studio Dev Essentials is Microsoft’s most comprehensive free developer program ever, with everything you need to build and deploy your app on any platform, including state-of-the-art tools, the power of the cloud, training, and support.
SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition offers the full feature set of SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition, and allows you to build almost any kind of data solution on top of SQL Server. SQL Server 2014 delivers mission critical performance across all workloads with in-memory with in-memory built-in, faster insights from any data with familiar tools, and a platform for hybrid cloud enabling organizations to easily build, deploy, and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud. It also delivers peace of mind with the fewest security vulnerabilities of any enterprise database six years in a row.  To learn more about the value proposition of SQL Server 2014, read the datasheet.
SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, when released later this year, will also be free. To learn more about the exciting new features in SQL Server 2016, read the datasheet.
SQL Server Developer Edition does not include a licensed OS, such as a license for Windows 10 included on a new laptop. 90 to 180 day free trials of Windows and Windows Server are available on the TechNet Eval Center.
For customers needing a comprehensive database development solution, we also offer Visual Studio Professional and Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions. Visual Studio subscriptions provide additional benefits, including:
- Past and current versions of SQL Server (including Enterprise edition)
- Past and current versions of Windows and Windows Server for dev/test
- A monthly Azure credit of $50 to $150 to use for running dev/test workloads, including Azure SQL Database, SQL Server running in Azure Virtual Machines, and much more
- 2 or 4 incidents with Microsoft Technical Support
- Visual Studio Professional or Visual Studio Enterprise, for state-of-the-art database development
- Source code management/version control, work item management, builds, and more using Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Team Services
- And much more…
Click here to download SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition from Dev Essentials. You will be prompted to sign in to Visual Studio Dev Essentials before you can download SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition.
 National Institute of Standards and Technology Comprehensive Vulnerability Database, February 1, 2016