SQL Server Compact(SQL CE) is a free, embedded database that software developers can use for buildingwebsites and Windows desktop applications. It's most well known as sql server mobile edition for its light weight on mobile and desktop devices. The latest release includes 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. The 184.108.40.206 is mainly for development purpose.
SQL CE comes as default database for Webmatrix and can be used by Visual Studio as well. Unlike the other database systems that requires server end installation, sql ce can be working independently on web hosting server without any special configuration. Means, you can host sql ce web application with any asp.net hosting service that has asp.net 3.5 sp1 or asp.net 4.0 installed. Because of this, the hosting server performance will be your sole consideration.
Best SQL CE Hosting Service
Arvixe(http://www.arvixe.com) is awarded the best sql ce hosting after reviewed 20+ reputable asp.net hosting providers based their plan features, server uptime, customer support and price value. The arvixe sql ce web hosting plan comes with unlimited databases support per single hosting account. Arvixe setup all .net hosting accounts on latest windows server 2012 with newest hardware production. Using standard websitepanel, you can configure and host your sql ce application easily and professionally. Arvixe sql ce hosting core features including:
- FREE domain name registration
- Dedicated Application pools
- Unlimited databases support
- 99% server uptime guarantee
- 24x7x365 live tech support guarantee
- 60 days worry free guarantee!
Learn more about arvixe .net hosting plans from http://www.arvixe.com
How to host sql ce application with arvixe?
You need to follow the below steps in order to configure your sql ce application properly with arvixe hosting.
1. Go to your development computer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0\Private, then copy the following dll files to your website bin folder:
2. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0\Private\x86 and copy over the following dlls to bin folder too:
3. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0\Private\x86\Microsoft.VC90.CRT and copy over the following dlls to website bin folder:
Now, your sql ce is connected and ready to run! You can always follow above steps to deploy sql ce website to any other .net hosting service.
Why should you use SQL CE?
Among all microsoft database systems, SQL CE is an excellent option for a large number of small to mid-sized database driven websites. Read the following advantages then check why you should use other database system!
SQL CE is FREE: SQL CE is completely free database with no license required. You even don't have to have a driver on server end but just need to configure proper asp.net frameworks.
SQL CE is Full Functional: It's almost the same like full version sql server database except it does not support stored procedures. However, it's already good enough to power most .net websites.
Easy to Upgrade: Because SQL CE is sql server system, in case you're going to take advantages of full version sql server for more features, you can easily upgrade your existing sql ce to other sql server database systems painless
SQL CE FAQs
Where I can get sql ce?
SQL CE can be downloaded from this microsoft page directly. it's free.
How can I configure sql ce connection string?
The connection string for sql ce is very simple. Here is an example:
<add name ="sample"
connectionString="data source=|DataDirectory|\sample.sdf" />
How do I make sure my sql ce application will work with hosting?
You need to make sure your hosting server is full trust compatible and follow above deploy procedures. Medium trust will not work for sql ce.
Should I use sql ce or sql express?
SQL CE is pretty light weight comparing to sql express. While not every hosting providers be able to support sql express database, sql ce is compatible with almost all .net hosting providers. If you're going to put up a light weight website and don't have special requirements to database system, sql ce is absolutely your best choice.