SQL Server Compact Edition and Visual Studio


To distribute applications to friends and family


  1. No Schemas
  2. No Views
  3. No Stored Procedures
  4. Data types missing include:
    1. nvarchar(max)


  1. Difficult to switch a dataset from SQL to SQL compact at runtime. Considering having to projects with the datasets one SQL and one SQL Compact. Then having an IObjectData and implementations of both
  2. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is not supported by SSMS SQL Server Management Studio
  3. SQL Server Compact 4.0 is not supported by datasets

Because of limitations of 2 and 3, it may be best to stick with 3.5 SP2 for now. 4.0 seems more linked to Web projects for the minute.

If using 4.0 or in anycase it is possible to use Visual Studio > Views > Server Explorer or also Visual Studio > Data drop down menu item


Visual Studio Tools for SQL Server Compact 4.0. Unable to find microsoft site but link from here works.
Until this tooling is installed the pre-requisites offers only 3.5 SP2


Error Messages

“Format of the initialization string does not conform to specification starting at index 0” Means that the connection string format is not correct. I had missed out the “Data Source=”