Tech Ed: Microsoft upgrades SQL Server for small devices

Microsoft has announced an upgrade to a version of its SQL Server database software designed for the Windows CE operating system.

Microsoft has announced an upgrade to a version of its SQL Server database software designed for the Windows CE operating system.

SQL Server Windows CE Edition 2.0 is a cut-down version of Microsoft's database server software that allows data to be shared between corporate systems and mobile devices, Eric Rudder, Microsoft's senior vice-president of developer platforms, said at the company's TechEd 2002 developer conference in Barcelona.

The SQL Server software for small devices has replication capabilities that allow users to input data into a database document while a device is offline and, when connected to the Internet, synchronise that data with a version of SQL Server running on a back-end server. Those replication capabilities have been enhanced for version 2.0, Tom Rizzo, a group product manager at Microsoft, said in an interview at TechEd.

Enhancements include integration with the company's Visual Smart Device Extensions, a tool used for building mobile applications. The add-on tool for Visual can be used to build applications such as one demonstrated here, designed to lets users of handheld devices track the history of an order stored on a server-side SQL Server database.

The new version of the software is also integrated with the .net Compact Framework, a version of the .net runtime environment for small devices that is required to run .net applications, Rizzo said. The .net Compact Framework is still in beta testing. With support for the .net Framework, developers building applications for the CE edition of SQL Server can now write applications in more than 20 programming languages. With the previous version, SQL Server Windows CE Edition 1.1, developers could only write applications in Visual Basic 6.0 or Visual C++ 6.0, Rizzo said.

SQL Server Windows CE Edition 2.0, which requires 1.1Mbytes of memory, will be available in a beta version later this month, Rudder said.

In addition to the Windows CE version of the software, Microsoft also announced a software services development platform for SQL Server 2000 that can be used to build notification applications designed to send messages to users, according to Microsoft.

"This allows you to implement the delivery [of a notice] according to how the customer wants to be contacted," Rudder said.

SQL Server 2000 Notification Services was made available in its beta version yesterday (10 April).

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