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SQL Server Compact Edition Released

SQL Server Compact Edition has been released. As we reported in September, this product is being positioned as a replaced for the venerable Jet engine traditional used by Visual Basic programmers for lightweight databases.

SQL Server Compact has had several names in the last few months, including SQL Server CE, SQL Server Mobile, and SQL Server Everywhere. All of them are a bit misleading, as SQL Server Compact Edition is not based on SQL Server.

Unlike all the other products listed under the title SQL Server, SQL Server Compact is not really a server at all. Like Jet, the engine used for Access, this edition comes as a set of libraries that run in-process. This makes SQL Server Compact ideal for situations were managing a service is not feasible. From the user's perspective, SQL Server Compact is just like any other stand-alone file format.

As it lacks stored procedure support, SQL Server Compact will probably not replace SQL Server Express for small business applications. SQL Server Express also has the advantage of a direct upgrade path to the full version of SQL Server.

Deployment and performance comparisons between SQL Server Compact and other lightweight databases are not yet available.

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