I'd like to try creating a Dev environment without the hoops and delays required by our IT department. Can I use the free SQL Developer license?
Yes you can but only for testing or development. An alternative would be to use SQL Express which is fine for those purposes and does not require the system resources of Developer edition.
Is SQL Express free as well? My quick Google search gave me conflicting results.
Yes it is. One of the reasons why PDM Standard uses SQL Express exclusively.
Yes. I believe you can also add a commercial license SQL Dev, which means you can turn a sandbox environment into a production one, depending on what you're trying to do.
You can indeed use SQL Developer license to be used in Dev Environment.I would see after getting sql server installed:S-017826 - CreateArchiveFromDb tool is great!
Retrieving data ...