Logical behind the data source = (local) in the connection string

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I have two instances of SQL Server 2008 Express and one instance of SQL Server 2012 on my development machine. We're developing an ASP.NET MVC application and use the expression data source=(local); inside of our connectionString in Web.config.

Now my question is what is the logic behind this expression? Which instance gets chosen and how can I change this behavior?


Using "local" you get the default instance which is usually the non-express SQL Server since by default in SQL Server Express installation the instance name is "SQLEXPRESS" and in full SQL Server installation by default you don't get an instance name unless you set it explicitly.