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Introducing Merge Replication

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (SQL Server Compact Edition) replication is based on SQL Server merge replication. You can implement merge replication by using the SQL Server 2000 database or the SQL Server 2005 database.

Merge replication is ideally suited to portable devices because it lets data be updated autonomously and independently on the portable device and the server. The data on the device and the server can be synchronized when the device is connected, to send changes from the client to the server and to receive new changes from the server.

Merge replication requires more configuration and maintenance at the server than Remote Data Access (RDA), but it is appropriate for applications that have many devices. Merge replication also provides built-in and custom conflict resolution capabilities, allows for replication of data from multiple tables at the same time, lets you use monitoring tools by using SQL Server, and provides rich data replication options such as article types and filtering to improve performance depending on the data needs and identity range management.

Merge replication is also a good solution when conflict resolution is required, when data must be propagated to and from desktop or portable computers and devices and when rich data distribution capabilities are required.

Common scenarios for merge replication include the following:

  • Downloading read-only data
  • Entering and uploading new data
  • Updating and synchronizing data

Most applications use a combination of these scenarios. For example, a sales support application might use a download-only article type for price list reference data to a device while relying on data capture and upload to capture new orders on the device and then upload them to a server.