Overview of Databases (SQL Server Compact)

You can create or connect to a Microsoft SQL Server Compact database on a desktop computer.

A SQL Server Compact database is stored in a file with the .sdf extension. The file contains the complete contents of the database and can be up to 4 GB. SQL Server Compact can access and modify the database file on desktop computers by using Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 and other tools.

By using either Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 or Transact-SQL statements, you can connect to an existing database on a desktop. You can also create and modify databases from a desktop. You can then view the design of that database in a tree hierarchy by using the object tree. Each node has a shortcut menu with commands for modifying the database or retrieving information about the database.

Some of the functions you can perform in a SQL Server Compact database include the following:

  • Creating, deleting, and editing tables and the associated data.

  • Creating, maintaining, and deleting indexes.

  • Examining information schema views and data types.

You can use Transact-SQL commands, including data manipulation language (DML), data definition language (DDL), and functions, with the SQL Server Compact database.

You can also ASP.NET web applications with a database that is exposed through native and managed APIs.