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Side-by-Side Support for SQL Server Compact Versions

Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.1, Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5, and Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0 can be installed side-by-side on a desktop computer.

Consider the following as you work with multiple versions of SQL Server Compact:

  • SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 are deployed in different directories on a desktop:

    • Desktop

      %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v3.5

      %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v4.0

  • SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 have unique entries for the managed providers in the global assembly cache (GAC), and for the native DLLs in the registry.

    Note Note

    You must have Administrator rights on the computer to do the following:

    • Add the managed providers of SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 to the global assembly cache.

    • Register the native DLLs of both versions of SQL Server Compact.

  • On desktop computers, a single process can load the DLLs in the memory for SQL Server Compact 4.0 and SQL Server Compact 3.5.

  • Development support for the different versions of SQL Server Compact is as follows:

    • Visual Studio 2010 SP1 supports the development and deployment of applications for both SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 on a computer.

  • The side-by-side experience of SQL Server Compact 3.5 and SQL Server Compact 4.0 database file (.sdf) is as follows:

    • If you try to open database files created by earlier versions of SQL Server Compact, you will get a SQL Server Compact 4.0 message saying that the file cannot be opened. To open it, the database file first must be upgraded by using the Upgrade to SQL Server Compact 4.0 dialog box in Visual Studio. See, Upgrading from Earlier Versions (SQL Server Compact) to upgrade the data base file. When a database file is upgraded to SQL Server Compact 4.0, you will no longer be able to open the database file by using the earlier versions of the SQL Server Compact engine.

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