You know you’ve got a successful product when everyone cares about the name. Since we’ve posted the June CTP, we’ve received feedback that the name was causing some confusion with some partner products. We care a lot about the partner community and have decided to change the name, again.And the new name is….SQL Server Compact EditionYup, that’s right, we’ve gone a little retro and have used the original name. So, why Compact? Because that’s exactly what it is. The compact version of the mighty SQL Server family. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer questions about how Express and Everywhere compare. Calling it Compact Edition worked for several reasons.
A couple of Q & A’s
Q Does SQLCE mean it’s limited to the CE, mobile platform?A No. This has caused the most angst about the name. SQL Server Mobile edition was too limiting as it implied a limitation to mobile scenarios. We do plan to use SQLce in multiple locations and new environments. Mobile would have been too limiting. The trick is to not confuse the fact that we have a CE platform, and use the Compact name as it applies to the SQL Server family
Q Does the new name reflect any changes in supported platforms?A Yes. We continue to add to our platforms supported. Based on your feedback, we’ve added Windows 2000. SQLce will be an important part of our database strategy to help developers, enterprises, ISV’s and end users manage data wherever they are, whether or not they’re connected to “the network” As the Microsoft platform reaches further out, SQLce will continue to reach with it. SQL Server Compact Edition is our default database for local storage.
Q What’s the release date?A Very, very soon. We had the RTM bits complete and were ready to launch at our next big developer event. Because of the name change, we won’t be able to go RTM on that same date as it will take us several weeks to re-localize the runtime, all the docs and update the tooling with the new name. We will release the current RTM quality bits as a release candidate (RC), and aprox. 5 weeks later release the renamed packages. All of this fits within the next several weeks.
Q What functionality is in the new SQL Server Compact Edition product?A Since the June CTP, the team has been busy integrating feedback and some minimal feature work including
Q Why so long, for so little amount of feature work?A Great question. With the name change, it was felt the product should have a consistent tooling and runtime experience. While we did have some work to do within the product, most of the time has been waiting for a consistent tooling experience within Visual Studio. With VS Sp1 the tooling won’t jump from SQL Server Mobile Edition to SQL Server Everywhere Edition to SQL Server Compact Edition. Visual Studio has a lot of components and teams delivering, so it took several teams to incorporate the name changes. Doing all this tooling work, and supporting new scenarios, we didn’t want to take a great product, SQL Server Mobile, and make it less stable, so we wanted to take the time to make sure we had a great end to end experience. I won’t say it’s perfect, and we’ll be doing more work in Orcas to round out the tooling and experience to make it easier to use SQLce as the default local database for client applications, but we got a lot done within an interim release and service pack.
Q What can we expect from the next release, and when will it be available?A The SQLce team has spent most of their time this last year working on the next release. We already have a 3.5 release mostly done which incorporates several new features including all the OCS work we’ve been doing. You can see on the screen cast I did earlier at: http://blogs.msdn.com/stevelasker/archive/2006/10/13/occasionally-connected-systems-sync-framework.aspx The 3.5 release is scheduled to release with the next release of Visual Studio code named Orcas, which is scheduled for the end of ’07, beginning of ‘08
Q Will SQLce be in the .NET FrameworkA No. The current design of the. NET framework is anything that ships in the framework, must only ship in the framework and ship on its schedule. I say current because we recongnize the deployment and servicing issues of the framework and are working on some exciting new things that will make this mo' better. Because SQLce will ship more frequently, and we're working on some new deployment characteristics of the framework, we’ve taken the painful decision to not ship in the framework. As an example, if we had shipped in the 2.0 framework for Tablet PCs only, we would not have been able to ship this release to the broader platforms. Version 3.5 will ship with, or before Orcas. 4.0 will ship at the same time as the next release of SQL Server. This means SQLce will have shipped 3-4 times in the same time as SQL Server and Visual Studio. In order to ease deployments, we do support private deployment of the SQLce runtime within each application. This eases the need to admin deploy the runtime throughout your users.
Q Will Compact Edition Support Side by SideA Yes. One of our main goals of SQLce is to make developers productive building client applications that enable end users. Part of that productivity involves stability of their client apps. An application that was installed, and working perfectly fine with SQLce 3.1, shouldn’t be forced to upgrade to 5.0 just because they also installed another application that just happened to use 5.0. We haven’t forgotten dll hell and having MDAC upgrade and break your existing apps.
That's all for now. Enjoy, and keep the feedback coming,