[wix-users] Bootstrapping SQL Express 2019 from WiX?

Wiles, Dean dean.wiles at compucom.com
Tue Sep 29 09:38:04 PDT 2020

Unfortunately, there were no replies to this inquiry and no examples found
anywhere for bootstrapping the 2019 version of SQL Server Express, however
I did get it to work. Below are my findings and the WiX code I pieced

There were some online examples for the 2012/2014 versions, but Microsoft
now has an additional wrapper for SQL Express (SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe
wraps SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe).

SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe (for version 2019) does not have a published download
Url, but it can be deduced using Fiddler. BTW, the SQL Server 2019 Express
links on http://downloadsqlserverexpress.com/ are not current; they should
now be:

SQL Server 2019 Express Edition (English):

   - Express Core (255 MB)
   - Express Advanced (796 MB)
   - LocalDB (53 MB)

NB: The downloaded file for SqlLocalDB.msi did not change even though the
URL did.

There is no command-line documentation for either SQL2019-SSEI-Expr or
SQLEXPR_x64_ENU, but I have requested it at

SQL Server 2019 Express is 64-bit only, but the WiX Bootstrapper project
defaults to 32-bit, so be sure to include Win64="yes" in any RegistrySearch
for SQL registry keys.

In my main Bundle.wxs, I put the following inside the <Chain> node:

<!--Installs SQL Server 2019 Express using web installer-->
<PackageGroupRef Id="Sql2019ExprWeb" />

I then put all the WiX code for SQL Server 2019 Express in a separate file
named SQL2019Expr.wxs:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Wix xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/wix/2006/wi" xmlns:util="
        SQL Server 2019 Express installation state properties
        Official documentation can be found at the following location:
           SQL Server 2019 -

  <?define SqlServerInstance=SQLEXPRESS ?>
  <?define Sql2019ExprDownloadUrl=
  <?define Sql2019ExprInstallCommand=/ACTION=Install /QS
  <?define Sql2019ExprUninstallCommand=/ACTION=Uninstall /QS /ENU
  <?define Sql2019ExprRepairCommand=/ACTION=Repair /QS /ENU

      Key="SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\Instance Names\SQL"
      Win64="yes" />

    <PackageGroup Id="Sql2019ExprWeb">
        <!--If you want to uninstall Server 2019 Express when uninstalling
your bundle, then set Permanent="no" in the ExePackage node above-->
          Description="Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Express"
          ProductName="Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Express"
          Hash="004a55528a3d38224b71c2de0d1a3291daef5e0f" />

The conditional install of SQL Server 2019 Express worked well, but the
uninstall was problematic on my machine so I excluded it. I have not tried
repairs or upgrades yet.

Hopefully, this will help save someone else some time...


On Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 9:59 AM Wiles, Dean <dean.wiles at compucom.com> wrote:

> Are there any working examples of Bootstrapping SQL Express 2019 from WiX?
> Google found a few examples of installing earlier SQL versions (e.g.
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18930854/bootstrapping-sql-express-from-wix),
> however with SQL 2019, Microsoft only makes the latest version directly
> downloadable via SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe (
> https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=866658).
> From the SQL2019-SSEI-Expr command line, it can download and install SQL
> using a config file:
> SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe /IAcceptSqlServerLicenseTerms /Quiet
> /ConfigurationFile="SQL2019ExpressConfig.ini"
> Anyway, I'm looking for an example of how that is all put together in WiX,
> including how to download the latest SQL2019-SSEI-Expr.exe, similar to how
> it works for NetFx48Web (the .NET 4.8 download & install) in NetFx48.wxs?
> Thanks!
> *Dean Wiles  |  CompuCom*
> Financial & Business Software Development, Programming Advisor
> direct: 509.927.5637   fax: 509.922.0930
> Dean.Wiles at CompuCom.com
> 8775 E. Mission Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99212-2531
> www.CompuCom.com <http://www.compucom.com/>
> Out Of Office Alert:  Fridays, August 21 - September 4, 2020

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