Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 released with Visual Studio 2008. The English release of SQL Server Compact 3.5 is available on the download center and the links are as given below:

1. SQL Server Compact 3.5 and Synchronization Services for ADO.Net v1.0 for Windows Desktop: Installs the files for SQL Server Compact 3.5 and Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.Net for Windows Desktop platform

2. SQL Server Compact 3.5 for Windows Mobile: The download contains the CAB files and DLL’s that are used to install SQL Server Compact 3.5 on the Windows Mobile Devices platform

3. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Server Tools: Installs the Server Tools on the IIS server enabling merge replication and remote data access (RDA) with SQL Server 2005 and later.

4. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Books Online and Samples: The download contains SQL Server Compact 3.5 Books Online, Online Read Me and Samples. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Books Online do not install with Visual Studio 2008. The Books Online are only available on the Web.

5. Synchronization Services for ADO.Net v1.0 Books Online: Synchronization Services provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. The Books Online has more information about Synchronization Services. The forum for Synchronization Services provides technical Q&A about using Synchronization Services.

Visual Studio 2008 is the development environment for SQL Server Compact 3.5. Visual Studio 2008 installs SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools, SQL Server Compact 3.5 for Windows Desktop and SQL Server Compact 3.5 for Windows Mobile. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Design Tools installs the SQL Server Compact 3.5 design-time components with Visual Studio 2008 and is not available as a separate Web download. The design-time components are the user interface, dialog boxes, and design-time environment, which are used to write applications for SQL Server Compact 3.5. 64bit versions of Windows are supported under WOW64 mode until a native 64bit release is available.

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SQL Server Compact 3.5 introduces the following features for software developers.

Installation and Database File Upgrade

  1. Support for side-by-side installation together with the previous version (3.1) on desktop computers. If you try to open database files created by using earlier versions, SQL Server Compact 3.5 will give you a message that the file cannot be opened. To open it, the database file first must be upgraded by using the Upgrade to SQL Server Compact 3.5 Database dialog box in Visual Studio 2008. To access the Upgrade to SQL Server Compact 3.5 Database dialog box, click Data, click Add New Data Source, and then click Add Connection. When you try to open an earlier version of the database file, you receive a message. By selecting OK, the Upgrade to SQL Server Compact 3.5 Database dialog box appears. The file name extension of SQL Server Compact 3.5 is *.sdf, which is the same as that of the earlier versions (SQL Server Compact Edition, v. 3.1, and SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, v. 3.0). After a database file is upgraded to SQL Server Compact 3.5, you will no longer be able to open the database file by using earlier versions of SQL Server Compact. Database files created by the earlier versions of SQL Server Compact 3.5 can be programmatically upgraded by using the SqlCeEngine.Upgrade API. Refer to the documentation for more information.
  2. To support older operating systems, with older encryption algorithms, and newer, more secure encryption, SQL Server Compact 3.5 supports backward-compatible encryption modes. The encryption modes available in the Upgrade to SQL Server Compact 3.5 Database dialog box are as described in the following list.

Platform Default: When you create or upgrade SQL Server Compact databases, Encryption mode will select the default encryption for the operating system. By creating a database on one of the newer platforms shown here, older platforms (such as Windows CE 4.2 or Windows Mobile 2003) will be unable to open encrypted SQL Server Compact files. The older platforms do not support the newer encryption algorithms.

    • Windows CE 5.0
    • Windows CE 6.0
    • Windows Mobile 5.0
    • Windows Mobile 6.0
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Vista

For example, if the database is created on Windows XP, it will select encryption for Windows XP. The encrypted database created on Windows XP with the Platform Default option cannot be opened on Windows CE 4.2 or Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC.

Engine Default: By default, the encryption mode for the SQL Server Compact 3.5 database file will not work on Windows CE 4.2 or Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC. This encryption mode will work on all newer SQL Server Compact 3.5 supported platforms.

    • Windows CE 5.0
    • Windows CE 6.0
    • Windows Mobile 5.0
    • Windows Mobile 6.0
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Vista

PPC2003 Compatibility: While less secure, this option can be used to support older and newer operating systems including:

    • Windows CE 4.2
    • Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC
    • Windows CE 5.0
    • Windows CE 6.0
    • Windows Mobile 5.0
    • Windows Mobile 6.0
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Vista

Tools Support

  1. The Visual Basic Express Edition and Visual C# Express Edition of Visual Studio 2008 now fully support SQL Server Compact 3.5-based applications for desktop computers.
  2. Enhanced SQL Server Compact 3.5 Table Designer in Visual Studio 2008 provides a user interface for creating primary key and foreign key relationships between tables.

Core Database Functionality

  1. Implements the timestamp (rowversion) data type.
  2. Support for Transact-SQL statements has been extended as follows:
    • Nested query in FROM clause
    • CROSS APPLY and OUTER APPLY
    • CAST and DECIMAL
    • TOP
    • SET IDENTITY INSERT

Data Synchronization

  1. SQL Server Compact 3.5 now includes a new developer oriented, componentized synchronization model by using Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, available for desktop computers only.
  2. Server Tools for configuring Merge Replication and RDA by using SQL Server Compact 3.5 can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. Note that SQL Server Compact 3.5 Server Tools cannot be installed side-by-side with earlier versions of Server Tools on the computer that is acting as the IIS server. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Server Tools can replicate data between SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server 2005 and later versions. The Server tools can also support synchronization between SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server Compact 3.1. SQL Server Compact 3.5 Server Tools also supports data replication between SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition or SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition and SQL Server 2005 and later versions.

Programmability

  1. Supports local TransactionScope on desktop computers.
  2. SQL Server Compact 3.5 supports LINQ to SQL. LINQ to SQL is a component of the LINQ project. It provides a run-time infrastructure for managing relational data as objects, without giving up the ability to query. It translates language-integrated queries into Transact-SQL for execution by SQL Server Compact 3.5, and then translates the tabular results back into the objects as defined by the application developer. There is no designer support for SQL Server Compact 3.5 in LINQ to SQL. The SqlMetal.exe utility must be used for SQL Server Compact 3.5. For more information, see the documentation.

Regards

Ambrish Mishra

Program Manager - SQL Server Compact