When I asked whether Scott Guthrie might have something else up his sleeve after the announcement of IIS Express, I don’t think I quite expected another surprise this quickly. Today Scott has announced a new version of SQL Server Compact Edition which is designed to work with ASP.NET web applications with a simple /bin folder-based deployment model and no install required. A public beta will be available soon.
So, essentially what you’ll have with SQL CE 4 is a free, embedded database that works with ADO.NET, EF, etc., that will work in medium trust hosting environments, so you don’t need to have a separate database account to get database support for your applications.
Additionally, the team is planning to ship tools to make it easy to migrate from SQL CE 4 to SQL Server Express (free), SQL Server, or SQL Azure.
I’m looking forward to trying this out, and I hope you’ll read the full post for all the details (link below)