Installing SQL Server Compact Edition

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (SQL Server Compact Edition) is the next version of Microsoft SQL Server Mobile. SQL Server Compact Edition is a relational database with a compact footprint that is ideal for embedding in mobile and desktop applications. SQL Server Compact Edition supports the same SQL syntax and ADO.NET programming model as other editions of SQL Server. The management tools for SQL Server Compact Edition are SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Management Studio Express. The development environment is Visual Studio 2005 or later versions.

SQL Server Compact Edition can also be used as a stand-alone database for personal information management (PIM) tools or other applications on the supported devices and desktop computers. SQL Server Compact Edition is free to download, deploy and distribute.


A SQL Server Client Access License (CAL) is required for any connection to SQL Server, including a connection from SQL Server Compact Edition.

SQL Server Compact Edition is available in three ways:

  • Integrated with SQL Server 2005 or later versions.
  • Integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later versions.
  • As a download from the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition Web site.
    This section describes how to install SQL Server Compact Edition and its various components.
Topic Description

Hardware and Software Requirements

Lists hardware and software requirements for each system that is used with SQL Server Compact Edition.

Installing Prerequisite Software

Describes the prerequisite software and describes how to install and configure the software that is used with SQL Server Compact Edition.

Installing a Development Environment

Describes the software that must be installed to form a development environment.

Installing a Server Environment

Describes the different types of SQL Server Compact Edition server environments and the software that is required to exchange data with SQL Server.

Installing and Deploying on a Device (SQL Server Compact Edition)

Describes how to install SQL Server Compact Edition on a desktop and a Tablet PC.

Installation Summary

Provides a complete summary of the installations and configurations that you must have to enable data exchanges between SQL Server and SQL Server Compact Edition.

Upgrading SQL Server Mobile and SQL Server CE

Provides information about upgrading from Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition (SQL Server CE) 1.0, SQL Server CE 1.1, SQL Server CE 2.0, or to SQL Server Compact Edition.