When comparing MariaDB vs SQL Server Express, the Slant community recommends MariaDB for most people. In the question“What are the best relational databases?” MariaDB is ranked 3rd while SQL Server Express is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose MariaDB is:
e.g. GIS since 5.3
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro More cutting edge features
e.g. GIS since 5.3
Pro Truly open development community
All development decisions for MariaDB can be reviewed and debated on a public mailing list or in the public bug tracker. Contributing to MariaDB is easy and the patch flow is fully transparent and public. But it's not all about the code contribution either - MariaDB also has very active documentation efforts and other related things that help developers in their day-to-day database administration.
Pro Dynamic column support
MariaDB has dynamic column support which allows for some NoSQL type functionality. So one database interface can provide both SQL and NoSQL for different software development needs.
Pro Rich developer tools
SQL Server Express has deep integration with Visual Studio, Visual Web Developer and SQL Server Management allowing for ease-of-use and rich table and query designers. It may be the best choice for someone who develops in the Microsoft environment.
Pro Easily manage SQL Server instances
"Manage SQL Server Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans, and access management and maintenance options."
With a variety of versions to choose from the SQL Server Express version is free of charge. It is capable of upgrading to higher tiers, but that requires a fee.
Pro Easy backup and restore
Can be deployed to all editions of SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database
Con Hardware limitations
Maximum number of cores: 4
Maximum memory utilized per instance: 1GB
Maximum size: 10GB
This hardware could be limiting with some high profile apps and sites.