csname


I want to write a PC application that prepares a SQL Server Mobile Files (.SDF) and sends it to a PocketPC.

I get this error message:
"SQL Mobile usage is restricted on this platform. To use SQL Mobile, you
must install SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, or the Tablet PC SKU"

If I install "SQL Server 2005 Express" the error message disappears and everything works fine.

Question:
Is it allowed to create SDF-Files if "SQL Server 2005 Express" is installed or is it necessary that my customers buy "SQL Server 2005"




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Laxmi NRO MSFT


With out having SQL Server 2005, or Visual Studio 2005 installed on a desktop using SQL Mobile is *NOT* allowed.

SQL Mobile is unrestricted only for Devices and Tablet PCs.  On desktop it is restricted and it is *ILLEGAL* to use SQL Mobile on a desktop with out having SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005.

Please let me know your requirement and scenario so that I can understand it well and respond to you with a better *LEGAL* solution for you.

Thanks,
Laxmi NRO, SQL Mobile, Microsoft Corporation





Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

csname

Thank you very much for your answer!

I want to write a software for taking orders with Pocket PCs.
A server application on the PC should store all the data in a database.
The PC sends customer and item data to the Pocket PCs and gets orders back.

I need to avoid license fees because it should be an inexpensive standard software, my customes should not need to buy a whole SQL Server.

The database on the PC should be Jet or SQL Server Express.
The database on the Pocket PCs should be SQL Server Mobile.

A simple way for transfering the data would be to send zipped SDF-Files, but you say that's illegal.
What other solution would you recommend

Another question:
Is it legal to use SQL Server Mobile on the Pocket PCs if I use SQL Server Express on the PC or would I have to use Jet on the PC side

The reason I am asking is:
This page talks about licenses that are needed if "connecting SQL Server Mobile to a SQL Server database":
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/sqlmobile/howtobuy.mspx
Does this include "SQL Server Express"






Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Sriram Krishnan MSFT

How are you communicating between the PC and PocketPC There are several mechanisms for getting data from Sql Server to Sql Mobile (RDA, for example)




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

csname

Is seems to me instead of using RDA a PocketPC application could just a well read data with System.Data.SqlClient from the SQL Server and write it into the SQL Mobile Database with System.Data.SqlServerCe.

So I don't understand why one should use RDA.
Can you help me




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Ilya Tumanov

It's faster, easer to use, requires little coding on your part and works over HTTP so it can go through firewalls and your SQL Server is not exposed.

But, sure, you can use SQL Client and write it to SQL Mobile db if you willing to do all the coding.< xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />






Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

csname

I have just found out that I can't use RDA because I want to use SQL Express which has no SQL Agent process that the SQL CE/Mobile server tools can coordinate with.




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Laxmi NRO MSFT

Yes SQL Express can not act as a Publisher.  And does not have SQL Agent.

So, with SQL Mobile to SQL Express, sync is not possible either through RDA or Merge Replication.

Thanks,
Laxmi NRO, MSFT, SQL Mobile, Microsoft Corportation





Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Xentrax

We have quite similar question.

We chose (quite mistakenly) SQLCE to store user data. User can have many (20-100) SQLCE databases. User sees these databases just like "documents". Our clients use our own Windows CE devices to run our program.

There are PC Office software which connects to CE devices via ActiveSync RAPI and downloads/uploads data from/to user "documents" in our intermediate format.

We long has wanted to eliminate this step and allow to users to carry files on flash card.

Certainly our users would not install SQL2005/VS2005.

As SQLCE3.0 format has changed, it's silly not to solve the problem forever.

We are thinking of changing DB engine (we had some success in porting one of open-source DBMSs).

But if it was possible to use SQLCE3.0 we probably could stay with it.

Another problem is that small part (< 1%) of sales is PC version of the software. Now it uses OLEDB Jet 4.0.

Our task to find a solution to have one data format across ALL platforms.


The problem is that company I'm working for would not do anything ILLEGAL, so the question is simple: is it absolutely impossible to use SQLCE3.0 on desktop





Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Laxmi NRO MSFT

Hi,

    SQL Mobile is UNRESTRICTED on Windows CE based devices.

    But I could not figure out why do you want SQL Mobile to be used on DESKTOP.
    
    Can you tell us the following so that we can understand your scenario better:
    1) What operations you would perform using SQL Mobile on Device
    2) What operations you would perform using SQL Mobile on Desktop

    Is it just the creation of SQL Mobile DB on desktop
 
    If we know your scenario in detail, then it would be better for us to give you a way to go ahead.

   [PS: SQL Mobile 3.0 DB can be created on desktop now unlike SQL CE 2.0.  And copy the DB file on to hundreds of flash cards and make the life easier]

Thanks,
Laxmi NRO, MSFT, SQL Mobile, Microsoft Corporation





Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Xentrax

    1) What operations you would perform using SQL Mobile on Device



OK, I'll be more descriptive.

We store in a SQL database surveying information (geodetic coordinates andother data from GPS receivers/ theodolites/ build-in photo cameras). Relational model addresses our tasks very well: we store a lot of GPS data, names of points, complex structures. Users can survey & stakeout points (and more complex objects) and do a lot of other additional operations (we have 20 mb of compiled binaries).

Users prefer to begin new "file" every new working day. As sometimes SQLCE 1.0/1.1/2.0 databases become corrupted, it's very good idea.

Users can then save data in many formats, including LandXML and Autodesk's ones just from our Windows CE application. The richness in import/export capabilities was mostly "inspired" by "ActiveSync problem", as we call it. We have the biggest import/export list in the mobile market. Thank you, SQLCE Team :o)


    2) What operations you would perform using SQL Mobile on Desktop

There are several copies of the software which were sold for rugged notebooks users, but users work in the field in really bad conditions (we even have built-in heater for users from Siberia ) and even TabletPCs are not reliable as water/crash-proof Windows CE Devices with small screens (even these screens are broken sometimes).
Anyways, Desktop version is currently using *.MDB MS Access files via OLE DB Jet 4.0.

BUT we have Office software which can
- processes collected data from CE devices or directly from built-in memory of GPS
receivers/ theodolites
- prepares data for work to be done in the field.

Format for this data is the same as mentioned above MDB MS Access file.

The Office software (Desktop SW Team) is using their own internal format, a kind of home-made hierarchical database, they read/write MDB only to interact with CE devices.

We created helper DLL which alllows to read data on CE and write it into MDB on desktop and vice versa.

The REAL problem is that our users want to just take a flash card, plug it into their PC and open it in our Office Software. Now they have to have Windows CE device by the hand: they copy *.sdf file to back Windows CE device, run very lengthy (SDF files sometimes more than 20 MB) process of extracting data.

We still did not deprecate some old devices (SH4 CE 3.0) which did not have slave USB port (only master USB), so ActiveSync works via RS232, what is very slow.

More to it, users sometimes want to take BIG AutoCad DWG file, convert it directly to "software document", put it on the flash card and go to field putting marks on the ground in design points.

The problem is that WCE AutoCad LIBs take a lot of space and they consume memory when working, so users can open only small files. You know that WCE application has access only to 32MB of memory (our devcies feature 128 MB of RAM memory but it can be used only via introduced in WCE 4.0 VirtualAlloc hacks, and AutoCad's LIBs or MFC's CString do not know about these abilities)

Users just want to write some file to the flash card, insert it into WCE controller, and begin working.

The decision to use SQLCE (in version 1.0) was made without us, and nobody had thought about such problems.

You see, we certainly need to have UNIFIED format to allow users to access their collected data in the office without help of ActiveSync.

This item is in our URD for > 2 yrs already, and in a couple of days we go to US for a software meeting where we need to finally to come up with some decision.
 
It seems that we can access SQLCE 3.0 with our old code, we have functionality similar to "update.exe"'s built-in into our code, so it seems, thatall we need is to settle legal questions. Our PM will be contacting MS directly, but I'd like to provide him with more details first (as I have a little bit more time).

Our Company tries not to pay royalties for each item being sold, all libraries are licensed for unlimited installations number.





Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Laxmi NRO MSFT

Hi XenTrax,

    Thanks for the detailed info.  Let me put this details before my team and should get back to you with the details.

Thanks,
Laxmi NRO, MSFT, SQL Mobile, Microsoft Corporation




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Laxmi NRO MSFT

We are still working on this and I am sorry that we are not able to get back to you soon.

Thanks,
Laxmi NRO, MSFT, SQL Mobile, Microsoft Corporation




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Darren Shaffer

All -

One under-utilized method of synchronizing data between SQL CE/SQL Mobile and server-side RDBMs is some simple web services.  Beyond RDA and Merge replication, when I am faced with back end databases other than SQL Server or a situation where I have low bandwidth connections, some simple web services which get and put updates work well.  I've found that using GUIDs for uniqueness of records and using an outbox table for each oltp table on the mobile db that stores the GUID of any record that needs to propagate or be removed from the server works well. 

So for all of you asking about SQL Mobile to SQL Express data sync, you can use web services to achieve this.  You have atomic control over every detail of the synchronization, but you will have to write some code to it your specific requirements.  In my experience, you do need to be careful with the payload of data being sent via web services - if your typical data sync round trip involves more than about 1MB of data, this may not be the right option.

-Darren Shaffer




Re: What is necessary to create SDF-Files on desktop legally?

Bob - GP

Hi,

We are using webservices for the data transfer from desktop to Sql CE 2.0 and back. But we are getting "out of memory exception" sometimes as the data sync is greater than 8 MB. Could anybody suggest some better solution for this

Now we decided to create sdf files before itself and copy them onto the flash card. But I would like to know the methods of creating huge sdf files on the desktop.

Please suggest.

--GP