Since the release of SQL Server 2005 late last year the mobile devices community have been discussing the usage of the SQL Mobile product for application development. One of the main discussion points has been the usage of SQL Mobile on platforms other than Windows Mobile. Now you might say, “not support”, but in actual fact you would be partially wrong. Not only was SQL Mobile designed to work on the WinXP platform, it is actually supported on WinXP Tablet edition. Intuitively this makes some sense since a Tablet PC can be thought of (in particular when you consider the UMPC devices) as a large PDA and as such it would be convenient to have the same programming model for both devices.
So, why has this topic received so much attention, well despite the support for running SQL Mobile on Tablet PCs the licensing states that it cannot be run on the standard WinXP platform. This means that if one of your clients is using a laptop instead of a Tablet PC then they will not be able to run an application based on SQL Mobile. When you look at it in this light, the decision to support one, but not the other seems quite silly.
Anyhow, lets cut to the chase – Late last week it was announced that a “new” (in fact rebadged/relicensed would be more appropriate) product line would be added called SQL Server Everywhere Edition. This was followed up with a useful blog entry by Steve Lasker regarding the details of what this new product line would entail. Basically the up shot will be that you can build mobile applications that target SQL Mobile that will run on Windows Mobile and WinXP, allowing you to easily target PDAs, UMPC, Tablet PCs, Laptops and even Desktop PCs. Note the limitation (of course) around using SQL/e as the db for your web app!