SQL Server Compact 3.5 B2 released

Release UPDATE:

We've since shipped SQL Server Compact, so these B2 links are no longer valid.  There were some good comments on the blog, so keeping with blog tradition, I don't want to kill this post.  To get the final, released, RTM product, please visit: www.Microsoft.com/SQL/Compact


For those that wish to download and use SQL Server Compact 3.5 B2, or Sync Services for ADO.Net with Visual Studio 2005, you can simply download this ~2mb package and get started today.  For the designer support, you can download the larger, but more functional Visual Studio 2008 B2

You won't be able to use any of the Visual Studio 2005 designers for SQL Server Compact 3.5 as they specifically look for version 3.1, however the same coding scenarios will work.  ...plus you get the new features such as TimeStamp and Sync Services.

SQL Server Compact 3.5 B2 for Windows Desktop operating systems

SQL Server Compact 3.5 B2 for Windows Mobile

Please continue to provide the great feedback on our forums and blogs


Comments (15)
  1. Microsoft Synchronization Services для ADO.NET позволяет синхронизировать данные из разных источников

  2. Mike says:


    I have been having "fun" trying to get all the bits (SSCE 3.5, Orcas Beta 2, SQL Managment Studio) in Vista 64 and Xp 32.

    So far I have found at the SQLMetal does work with SSCE 3.5 but not in Vista64

    BUT I cannot get any tool (tried SQL and SLQ express) to manage my SSCE db – ie make relationshipos so that SQLMatal can do its stuff

    Any advice


  3. Steve Lasker says:

    Hi Mike,

    For database management tools, you’ll need VS 2008 B2.  VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Management studio both look for SQLce 3.1.  You could of course create a 3.1 database then update it with the SqlCeEngine.Update() menthod, but you’ll need the newer 2008 VS and Management tools to get the new database tools.

    I’ll pass on the SQLMetal 64/bit question to find out if they’ve finished testing.  As far as I know, it should just work as think they’re all managed code, but I’m just guessing here.  I’ll try and confirm.


  4. Steve Lasker says:

    Ok, I realized the problem when talking with Dinesh (PM for DLINQ) and Ambrish. (PM for SQLce).  While VS is limited to WOW mode, SQLMetal is fully managed.  Because the LINQ to SQL Designer isn’t enabled for SQLce, you need to use SQLMetal from the command line. That means you’re no longer limited (nicely constrained) by VS to WOW mode.  If you run SQLMetal in full native 64bit mode, and SQLce is in-proc, you’ve got an impedance mismatch.  If you simply run SQLMetal in WOW mode, you should be fine as things will just line up.  

    This was a good catch and we’re discussing how to document this behavior until we get SQLce in full native 64bit mode.



  5. Rocky says:

    Hi Steve,

    Does SQL Server Compact 3.5 Beta2 support Regular Expressions?

    here’s what I am trying to do-

    Select patindex(‘%[1-9]%’,’abcd1234′)

    On SQL Server 2000/2005 this would return 5. on SQL Server Compct it would return 0 because it treats %[1-9]% as the search term



  6. Jacqueline says:

    I installes SQL Server Compact Edition 3.1 and SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5. When I try to use SQL Server 2005 Management Studio to create a Compact database I cannot choose either one of these databases. Do you have a solution for this?

  7. Steve Lasker says:

    Hi Jacqueline,

    Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server Management Studio 2005 will be unable to connect to SQL Server Compact 3.5 databases as they don’t have knowledge of the future/newer format.  However, you did point out that this blog post didn’t point out how to use SQL Server Management Studio with SQL Server Compact 3.1.  

    In order to use SQL Server Management Studio with SQL Server Compact 3.1, you’ll need SQL Server SP2.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/bb426877.aspx In addition to the SQL Server Engine, SP2 includes updates to the SQL Server Management Studio, including the Express editions.


  8. tech_tantra says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have VS 2005 with me and I want to make use of SQL CE 3.5 api’s for developing windows mobile applications on win mobile 5.0 platform.

    Please do let me know how to create a DB (sdf file) specific to SQL CE 3.5 and how to write code using the API’s which are specific to SQL CE 3.5

  9. Steve Lasker says:

    Hi Tech,

    The way you create 3.5 databases in code is the same as 3.0/3.1.  Assuming you’re working from managed code, you’ll just need to reference the new 3.5 version of the System.Data.SqlServerCe provider.

    The easiest way is to use the SqlCeEngine.CreateDatabase() method.  Here’s a blog post that covers the larger scenario: http://blogs.msdn.com/stevelasker/archive/2007/03/31/creating-your-sql-server-compact-edition-database-and-schema-in-code.aspx

    These are covered in the docs listed above as well, but I’m more than happy to help,


  10. Shalan says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am using Visual Studio 2005 with SSCE 3.1, but want to migrate to 3.5 so that I can make use of nested queries.

    I have all the prerequisites installed necessary for SSCE 3.1…would I need anything in addition, or can I uninstall 3.1 engine and install with 3.5?

    thank u and regards!


  11. Steve Lasker says:

    Hi Shalan,

    You can install 3.1 and 3.5 side by side so you can easily take advantage of the 3.5 features without having to worry about 3.1 based apps.

    Just be aware that we don’t have tooling for 3.5 in VS 2005.  Likewise, we don’t have tooling for 3.1 in VS 2008.

    This is something we’d like to solve in the future, but a current limitation.


  12. Sam says:

    Hi Steve,

    I have a question about RDA process. I have on a comp sqal server 2005, sql ce 3.5 and IIS configured. And ofc a sql ce database on a PPC.

    I have some problems to make it work so my questions are : Does those version are compatible together for RDA ?

    Does sqlcesa35.dll and sqlceca30.dll are compatible ?

    Thanks and good day

  13. Steve Lasker says:

    Hi Sam,

    Laxmi wrote a very extensive post here: Connectivity Cross Version Compatibility (SQL Server Compact 3.5) discussing the different compat modes.  RDA is part of our Merge stack, so just substitute RDA for Merge.

    That said, are you just starting out with RDA?  Or are you using it from a pre-existing app.

    If you’re new to RDA, you might really want to check out Sync Services.  For some background, you may want to read some explinations here: Q&A on OCS & Sync Services for ADO.NET


  14. Kalyan says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am trying to use SQL CE 3.5 with Visual Studio 2005. However I have been unable to do this and have been getting an error message “upgrade using SqlCeEngine.Upgrade() method”. Could you kindly advice as to whether it is possible to use SQL CE 3.5 along with VS 2005 ? If so could you provide me the detailed procedure  (from installation onwards w.r.t SQL CE 3.5).

  15. Sush says:

    I want to install SQL CE 3.1 using Visual Studio 2005. In a nutshell I wish to install SQL CE 3.1 programmatically. Can this be done?

    Please help me as soon as possible.

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