Using wizards is the simplest way to implement replication. Developers and DBAs generally avoid wizards because they have limited features, but implementing replication without wizards requires numerous calls to arcane stored procedures and is a tedious and painful process prone to user errors. However, in some cases it is necessary to use the replication stored procedures, for example, if you develop and test replication in several environments. The task to use the wizard to configure it across the environments could be just as painful as running the scripts. Fortunately, during the wizard configuration process, you have the option to generate a script of all user actions. This script can come in handy during various stages of deployment and in some disaster recovery scenarios.
Before configuring replication, you must understand the limitations of various SQL Server editions. For example, SQL Server Express can act only as a subscriber, and the number of subscribers each edition can have is limited. Merge replication can be used to replicate only to subscribers with the same version or lower. For example, you can't have a SQL Server 2008 R2 publisher merge replicating to SQL Server 2012 subscribers; however, a SQL Server 2012 publisher can replicate to a SQL Server 2008 R2 subscriber. Merge replication is the only replication type that can replicate to SQL Server CE subscribers.
Creating a Publisher and Distributor
To enable a server as a publisher you ...