Executive Summary: SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 is Microsoft’s smallest version of SQL Server. It’s a full relational database that runs in-process with your application. You can use it as a database for desktop applications or mobile applications and distribute it with your applications.

Inside Visual Studio (VS) 2008, you’ll find a new edition of SQL Server called SQL Server Compact Edition. Formerly known as SQL Server Everywhere, SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 is Microsoft’s smallest version of SQL Server. Unlike other SQL Server editions, SQL Server Compact Edition runs in-process with your application. You can use it as a database for desktop applications or mobile applications and distribute it with your applications. And it’s free—it’s part of VS 2008 and VS 2008 Express, or you can download it from microsoft.com/sql/editions/compact/downloads.mspx.

What OSs does it support?

SQL Server Compact Edition supports server, desktop, and device OSs including various editions of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Mobile.

What are its system requirements?

Designed for mobile applications, SQL Server Compact Edition has a very small footprint requiring only 5MB of RAM and 2MB of disk storage. It uses a single .sdf file for storage and supports databases up to 4GB. On the software side, SQL Server Compact Edition requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0, ActiveSync 4.0, and VS 2008.

Is SQL Server Compact Edition a full relational database?

Yes. It provides full referential integrity, including support for cascading deletes and multiple column indexes. It also supports transactions, including the ability to commit and roll back database changes. However, it doesn’t support stored procedures. Data files can be encrypted using RSA 128-bit encryption.

How do you manage SQL Server Compact Edition databases?

You create databases using VS 2008 and SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools. You manage them with SQL Server Management Studio or SQL Server Management Studio Express.

How do you program SQL Server Compact Edition applications?

To program SQL Server Compact Edition applications, you can use VS 2008 (including the Express editions) and the .NET Framework 3.5. For data access middleware, you can use LINQ, ADO.NET, and OLE DB.

Can it integrate with other versions of SQL Server?

Yes. You can connect it with SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 using the new Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, merge replication, or Remote Data Access. You will need a SQL Server CAL.

 

YOUR SAVVY ASSISTANT - The Missing Link to IT Resources


When it comes to new product versions and releases, Michael Otey is pretty darn hip. He’s so knowledgeable about upcoming improvements and new features. I am always amazed at how far in front of the curve he is. As you can probably tell by my less-than-chic yellow turtleneck and outdated hairstyle, I am none of those things. It takes me a while to move on, and I’m more inclined to stick with whatever works—at least until it breaks. So I understand if you (or whoever makes your organization’s upgrade decisions) aren’t convinced to upgrade to Visual Studio 2008. While Michael flies on ahead of me to trendy-town, I’m dawdling behind so that I can provide some Visual Studio 2005 resources that might be right up your alley.

 

“Take Control of Your Reports with ReportViewer, Parts 1 and 2,” InstantDoc IDs 92970 and 93554

“Managing Hierarchical Rowsets,” InstantDoc ID 97182

“Express Essentials: The Code Connection Between Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server Express,” InstantDoc ID 97509

“Crystal-Clear Reporting on Hierarchical Data,” InstantDoc ID 97789

“SSMS Tools Pack: 6 Tools That Help You Do More with SSMS,” InstantDoc ID 98307