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Professional Windows® Embedded Compact 7 by Thierry Joubert, David Jones, Samuel Phung

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MICROSOFT SQL SERVER COMPACT

Tabular or list data can be easily saved as text or an XML file. When data storage requirements are simple, those methods are quite efficient. When more complex data storage and manipulation is needed, a database is a more efficient option. Desktop applications tend to use a remote database server (such as Microsoft SQL Server) but that is not efficient for an embedded device, particularly because they are often disconnected. Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Compact 7) has a file based database optional component, Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 (SQL Compact). In this section you look at databases in general, have a quick look at two native databases engines in Compact 7, and then do a deep dive into SQL Compact in a Windows Embedded Compact 7 context.

What Is a Database?

Files are an excellent solution for storing data, particularly when it is mainly used in a serial manner such as a music file or a file that can load in its entirety when required. Databases are an alternative to file storage in which information is stored in a structured manner. Database tools and libraries that exploit that structure implement fast querying of the information in databases. For the music application, the meta-information could be stored in database tables, whereas the media files remain in the file system. Database software provides a range of functions to create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) database information.

A database can consist of tables, information ...

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