Overview of Databases (SQL Server Compact)

You can create or connect to a Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 (SQL Server Compact 3.5) database on a device or on a desktop computer.

A SQL Server Compact 3.5 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 3.5 can access and modify the database file, both on a smart device and on desktop computers by using SQL Server Management Studio and other tools.

By using either SQL Server Management Studio 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 3.5 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.
  • Initiating replication and remote data access (RDA) synchronization.

You can use Transact-SQL commands, including data manipulation language (DML), data definition language (DDL), and functions, with the SQL Server Compact 3.5 database.

You can also use replication or RDA with a database that is exposed through native and managed APIs.