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Migrating to SQL Server CE

How you do it, and why.

Many enterprises have begun to think seriously about moving their SQL Server databases to SQL Server CE to support mobile users. If you need to migrate your data, you can do so by using the Remote Data Access (RDA) Pull method with no tracking to bring your SQL tables and data into a SQL Server CE database. To set automated data entry such as defaults, add referential integrity rules, or create any indexes, you must use the appropriate commands like the Alter Table command, since RDA does not pull this information along with the data. Each Pull command can bring in one table along with one primary key index.

Along with RDA, replication can also copy tables to your CE database, and will automatically map your data types. At the moment, the replication method will only work with SQL Server 2000. Whereas RDA will do a simple import, replication of published SQL Server 2000 data has the advantage of allowing you to overwrite data on both the server and on your CE devices, along with merging data. You'll find that SQL Server CE offers a subset of SQL Server's SQL commands, but they are sufficient to create and insert data.

For more information on this topic, and others related to SQL Server CE, see "SQL Server CE Books Online" (the online help system for the SQL Server CE product), and in particular the topics: "Introducing Remote Data Access", "Planning for RDA", and "Implementing RDA."

Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.

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