Microsoft offers a free tool, the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express, as a convenient means of managing and editing entries in SQL databases through a GUI. The SQL Server 2008 license comes with the full version of the Management Studio, but the Express version is still very functional for the day-to-day operations. However, finding the stand-alone version of the software is quite a pain. Most people don’t need to install a SQL server on their machine, but that is the most promoted means of getting the Management Studio Express.
You can download the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express as a stand-alone application directly from Microsoft here:
Download the 32-bit (168.3 MB) or 64-bit (176.5 MB) version from Microsoft and then run the executable.
Once the installer starts, select “Installation” from the left column. The options on the right will change to match your selection. When they update, click the top link ‘New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation’.
Follow the on-screen instructions and when you get to the Feature Selection screen put a check in the box in front of Management Tools – Basic. You should be able to select the defaults through the rest of the installation unless you want to customize it a bit.
After the install completes, you should find an entry on your Start Menu for Micrsofot SQL Server 2008 and under that folder the SQL Server Management Studio shortcut lives.
Clicking on the shortcut should successfully launch the Management Studio and prompt you to login to your SQL instance.
If you’re getting this error after installation:
The file C:WindowsMicrosoft.NETFrameworkversion_numbermscorlib.tlb could not be loaded. An attempt to repair this condition failed because the file could not be found. Please reinstall this program.
You can find a successful solution that involves a small bit of Registry editing from the Microsoft Knowledge Base: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918685