In the midst of all the hype surrounding the release of SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (ok, so maybe I got a little too excited that MS have released the silly no-desktop licensing constraint on SQL Mobile) I must confess that I stopped looking around at alternative lightweight databases for application development. As part of trying to promote www.sqlserverce.org as a community of interest around SQL Server CE I setup a couple of Google Alerts to monitor posts around the product. This morning I received a number of email alerts, of which one particularly caught my eye.
The alert that got me really interested was about a relatively new product called VistaDB. Now don't be confused by the title as it appears to have nothing to do with Windows Vista (contrary to what the name implies). According to their product description "VistaDB 3 is the world's first fully managed and typesafe embedded SQL database engine designed specifically for Microsoft .NET Framework, Compact Framework and Mono."
I haven't had an opportunity to download and evaluate this database yet, but if half the functionality is available that they claim in the product comparison with SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition it could well be a good competitor in the space of application databases. Of course don't forget that data synchronisation is one of the largest problems with building occasionally connected applications and that in order for this database to succeed it needs to support one or more of RDA, Merge and/or MS Sync Services. The first two are unlikely but I can see that it wouldn't be too hard to build a client sync provider for VistaDB.
Update: I just came across a couple of interesting blogs:
- The VistaDB product blog, of which the announcement about v3 is here.
- Ken Cox has dropped his 2 cents worth, plus pointing out that Microsoft MVPs are being offered a free version.