private Deploy of SQL CE 3.1

Discussion in 'microsoft.public.sqlserver.ce' started by space_cowboy, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest


    Since there is no catalog item in "platform builder for windows ce 5.0" for
    sql compact 3.1, I would like to just copy the necessary DLL's to my
    application folder and run from there. I would also like to stay away from
    installing the provided cabs. My question is will it be enough to copy the 8
    dll's to my application directory? Or are there more things being done by the
    cab (like registry mods) that I should be cautious about. In a basic test my
    installation works. That is, my application can create a conn and do updates,
    and get values to an SDF. Am I missing something by doing it this way instead
    of using cabs?

    Te eight dll' are of file version 3.0.5300.0
    space_cowboy, Jun 17, 2009
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  2. space_cowboy,

    Yes all you have to do is copy the DLLs, and your app may not even need all
    8 of them. I privately deploy my SqlCe DLLs with my apps, but I use a single
    cab containing my app along with the SqlCe DLLs to do it as I find that more
    convenient than deploying a bunch of separate files.
    Ginny Caughey MVP, Jun 17, 2009
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  3. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest


    Thanks for your reply.
    I guess what I am concerned about is that the cabs were registering some of
    the unmanaged dlls, without which some of the cocreate calls from within the
    unmanaged dlls could fail. This I can not verify, because the source for SQL
    dll's unlike the OS code is unavailable.
    space_cowboy, Jun 17, 2009
  4. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest

    I also found that in Platform builder when I removed "sql mobile" and "sql
    mobile .net 2.0 data provider" catalog items, that took away at least on
    dependent catalog item that was needed for the privately deployed 3.1 dll's
    to work properly. in particular "cocreateguid functionality for ole32."
    Without this catalog item, the privately deployed dlls, in particular kept throwing "cant pinvoke sqlceme30.dll
    exception". Are there any other depedencies that you are aware of in my image
    as far as sqlserver that my architecture is not barfing on now, but may later.
    space_cowboy, Jun 17, 2009
  5. I haven't worked with Platform Builder, so I don't really know. But I have a
    lot of experience with trial and error in general. ;-) If what you're
    attempting to do isn't documented somewhere and somebody else hasn't done
    Ginny Caughey MVP, Jun 17, 2009
  6. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest

    Thanks Ginny,

    I am not meaning to put you on the spot. I shipped out my CE products with
    3.0 dll's, and my desktop App that manipulates the sdfs consumed by the CE
    device uses 3.1 dlls. All was fine as long as my desktop app was running on
    XP. Well recently the desktop app started moving to newer OS's (vista and 7)
    by the users. Once the files were modified by the newer os's and copied to
    the CE device, they are somewhat perceived as corrupted by the CE device.
    Currently I have a support case going with MS where they are trying to
    address the issue, but putting 3.1 engine(dll's) on the device appears to fix
    the inter-op or cross-platform issues.
    I am not ready to make the 3.5 jump (wihtout being asked questions to death
    by the users about error messages.) So putting the 3.1 engine on the device
    seems to be the least intrusive option. Still not sure if my architecture was
    flawed to begin with (mixing the 2 revs of dlls across the desktop .net app
    and the CE device .net app.) Experience is definitely showing this to be the
    case. But I wish there was more concrete docs to have veered me off this
    course right off the bat. Maybe someone else can answer the platform builder

    I noticed that if one follows the private-deploy doc for the desktop as
    described in
    it not only copies the DLL's to the install dir, but also makes reg entries
    for the various unamanged dlls, which just copying the files as you have
    suggested will of course not do. Any idea if there is any value to those reg
    space_cowboy, Jun 17, 2009
  7. I don't actually know why the registry entries are there. I also privately
    deploy SqlCe DLLs for a couple of desktop apps that use SqlCe and never had
    any issues, and I have customers running a mix of Xp and Vista as well as
    various server versions. (One app runs on servers.)

    One thing that has simplified life for me is always using the most current
    version of SqlCe on desktop and device, so I don't think you should dismiss
    that approach unless you've tested it yourself. Hopefully your users won't
    be seeing a lot of error messages, and you can programmatically upgrade a
    database to 3.5 if you need to. Besides, the newest versions always have the
    most bug fixes. I thought it was a great idea when Windows Mobile first
    started including SqlCe in ROM, but now I find the version I want to use for
    my app is always a newer one than whatever is in ROM, no matter how recent
    the devices are.

    Sorry I can't help with Platform Builder.
    Ginny Caughey MVP, Jun 17, 2009
  8. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest

    I will post the final ourcome of this adventure once I get to the bottom of
    it with MS.
    space_cowboy, Jun 18, 2009
  9. Hey space_cowboy,

    Did you read this blog post:

    Basically SQL CE interop between desktop and device started only with
    version v3.1 and *not* v3.0.

    Windows XP and Windows CE give same Sort Key (or have same NLS Version)
    so indexes are valid across platforms. With Windows Vista (don't know about
    Win 7), index data is not valid any more across platform and there is a
    need to rebuild the indexes. Now this index rebuilding is available only
    from v3.1 onwards.

    Laxmi Narsimha Rao Oruganti [MSFT], Jun 18, 2009
  10. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest

    Hi Laxmi,

    I have read that blog of yours many a times , and thank you for that.
    I cant help grinding my teeth reading the article, especially when I see the
    date on the post. I started developing my design of 3.1 on the deskop ad 3.0
    on the device in 2007 with product launch in 08. I wish and here was nothing
    at the ime indicating that there was a known inter-op problem, and soon I had
    a bunch of these SDF's running around with people carrying the problem with
    them. All I remember, and I apologize for the steaming, is MS's sales pitch
    of "your data anywhere, anytime" when 3.1 came out.
    space_cowboy, Jun 18, 2009
  11. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest


    I know you have addressed the "cant pinkvoke sqlceme30.dll" issue pretty
    in-depth. Thank you again. When I removed the "sql mobile and sql mobile .net
    data provider" catalog items in my platform builder, built a new CE image
    with no SQL componnets in it, and tried just coying the 3.1 dll's to the
    application directory, I was getting those pinvoke errors on sqlceme30.dll
    from,sqlsrvercer.dll. This message was popping up eventhough the
    dll sqlceme30.dll was sitting right there in the app directory. I found out
    that this message went away and everything was working fine once I added the
    "cocreateguid functionality for ole32" catalog item which was taken away
    once I removed the 3.0 catalog components, because it is one of the
    dependencies. I had the COM catalog item, but not that other one. I had the
    full blown COM catalog item, but not that paricular associated item. Are you
    aware of any other core depndencies that the 3.1 dll's have? Or if I am
    opening the connection to the db and reading/writing to it successfully, I
    can ASSume that I have all the necessary catalog items?
    space_cowboy, Jun 18, 2009
  12. Thanks for the reply. As far as I am aware, COM and OLE are the main
    dependencies for device platform. For desktop, you need to be careful about
    x64 story and ErikEJ blog post (which the blog post points to).

    Laxmi Narsimha Rao Oruganti [MSFT], Jun 29, 2009
  13. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest


    I came up with an idea today that would possible address my inter-op issues
    between 3.0 drivers in the device(ce 5.0) and 3.1 driver on the
    desktop(vista/xp/7). The SDF has always been kept at 3.1 (3.0.3600.0 build)
    because we were never previously doing anything to change the DB on the
    device(no compacting/repairing). The desktop always does compacting. All my
    tests so far pose this as a favorable solution. I want to know if you see any
    flaws in this solution. Since I have many desktop apps and devices out there
    in the field, I am trying to not have to upgrade neither the desktop nor the
    device to 3.1 or 3.5 drivers . I would like to leave the architecture as is.
    So my plan is to just programmatically compact the DB's in 3.0 device when
    they first come from the desktop, and this will rebuild the indexes, which is
    where most of my probs were coming from (the device perceiving the Vista DB's
    to be corrupt).

    2nd question is do you know if Repair operation does index-rebuilding just
    like Compact operation? It appeared so from my testing, but I wasnt sure. The
    thing I like about possibly doing repair is that it will not change the DB
    itself into a 3.0 db.

    space_cowboy, Jul 2, 2009
  14. Hey space_cowboy,

    As you rightly figured out that we do rebuild indexes during full
    compaction (of course, we do other activities as well). But this
    rebuiliding is what we do in v3.1 on NLS version mismatch. So, I think it
    a good and right idea to have the database compacted before using on the
    platform where the database is copied to.

    I did not understand that VistaDB part though!. I guess you are using
    both Vista DB and SQL CE for different needs. This forum is just for SQL
    Server Compact (or SQL CE) and hence I can not
    answer anything related to Vista DB.

    Repair operation does the similar set of operations on the destination
    database as that of Compact operation. However, since Repair is generally
    called when database is corrupt, it would be doing
    many checks on source database as it would be doubting almost all :(.
    Theoritically, Repair would be slower when compared to Compact. Be aware of
    that fact, and chose. If you are sure that you
    can live with that small perf gap, then I think you are good to go.

    Laxmi Narsimha Rao Oruganti [MSFT], Jul 6, 2009
  15. space_cowboy

    space_cowboy Guest


    Thank you for your response.
    When I said "Vista DB", I meant SQLCE SDF file that was openend in Vista,
    and so had its indexes rebuilt in Vista with 3.1 drivers, and my problem was
    that when this SDF came to my CE 5.0 device with 3.0 drivers, since
    rebuilding was not getting done, I was running into all kinds of exceptions
    in the device.
    space_cowboy, Jul 7, 2009
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