Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 architecture includes both a development environment and a client and server environment. This section describes the components that make up each environment.
The development environment includes the computer on which applications are developed. This computer must have appropriate versions of Microsoft Visual Studio to create applications for SQL Server Compact 3.5. Visual Studio 2010 is preferred for developing SQL Server Compact 3.5 applications for computers. Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is preferred for developing SQL Server Compact 3.5 applications for devices. These versions of Visual Studio can be installed on the same computer and run side by side. You can create managed applications by using either Microsoft Visual Basic or C#, or you can use Microsoft Visual C++ to create native applications.
For more information about the development environment, see Installing a Development Environment.
In the SQL Server Compact 3.5 architecture, the client environment is made up of one or more supported computers and devices on which the application and SQL Server Compact 3.5 are deployed. When the devices do not contain network connectivity, you can use Microsoft ActiveSync to connect SQL Server Compact 3.5 to the server environment.
The server environment is made up of one or more computers that run Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) and an instance of SQL Server or data propagated for a heterogeneous data source. You can run IIS and SQL Server on the same computer or configure them over multiple computers. IIS is required to connect to and exchange data between servers and clients.