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SQL Server to SQL Server Compact Edition Database Copy Utility

, 26 Jun 2008 BSD
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Create and manage your mobile database using SQL Management Studio and export them to SQL Compact Edition databases


Please download the latest version of this tool from I have updated this utility based on some feedback from users.

I added the ability to select the schema you wish to copy. For most databases, this will simply be "dbo".

I fixed a bug where the application did not recognize a valid version of "System.Data.SqlServerCe.dll".


This utility will copy the schema and data from a normal SQL Server 2000/2005 database and export it to a SQL Server Compact Edition database. The tool supports version 3.1 or 3.5 of SQL Server Compact Edition.


I was working on a mobile application and needed an easy way to manage the table relationships and indexes without having to resort to scripting. I was familiar with using SQL Server Management Studio so I decided that I would write a utility that converted a normal SQL Server database to a mobile database. This way, I could continue using the tool I normally use to create and maintain my databases.

Using the Code

Feel free to take a look at the code and offer your most gracious comments. The application uses a wizard to walk you through converting a database. I have also included a normal WINFORM that also does the conversion, but I stopped development on this in lieu of the wizard, so the form is incomplete. I will be maintaining this code and writing more about it on my blog at You can find the original post here.

Points of Interest

This utility will copy Indexes, Primary Keys, Foreign Keys, Table structure and data. SQL Server Compact Edition does not have support for Views, Triggers nor Stored Procedures, therefore this utility does not copy these.


  • 1.0 Initial release


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The BSD License


About the Author

Software Developer (Senior) Gologic Tech LLC.
United States United States
I work as an independent software architect and senior developer. I have worked on many large enterprise projects as well as small single user applications.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionImport or Convert a mdf file to sdf PinmemberHassanFad29-Jan-15 1:30 
Question.Exe PinmemberMember 1028672113-May-14 3:09 
SuggestionNVarCharMAX support PinprofessionalMassood Khaari6-Nov-13 0:23 
Questionprovide .exe file for this project also PinmemberMember 942577126-Jul-13 9:11 
GeneralGreat tool - after some manual changes :-) Pinmemberdolbysys18-Feb-13 22:16 
GeneralRe: Great tool - after some manual changes :-) Pinmemberpmiossec27-Feb-13 13:45 
GeneralRe: Great tool - after some manual changes :-) Pinmemberronan_mc25-Apr-13 14:07 
GeneralRe: Great tool - after some manual changes :-) Pinmemberpmiossec28-Apr-13 2:43 
Questiongeht nicht! PinmemberMember 250914025-Jan-13 5:56 
AnswerRe: geht nicht! Pinmemberdolbysys18-Feb-13 22:20 
QuestionMdf----_> sdf and sdf ----> mdf Pinmembercjgallardo9629-Oct-12 4:03 
Questionasm.GetType("System.Data.SqlServerCe.SqlCeEngine"); returns null Pinmemberbradut15-Oct-12 12:25 
AnswerRe: asm.GetType("System.Data.SqlServerCe.SqlCeEngine"); returns null PinmemberJeff Wharton2-Jan-13 19:01 
QuestionMy vote of 5 PinmemberSPI24-Aug-12 8:20 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberBig D27-Apr-12 10:40 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermanoj kumar choubey17-Apr-12 3:21 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberfootnote9-Sep-11 9:28 
QuestionIs there anyone able to make it work with SQL Server 2008 R2? PinmemberEhsan.thabit21-Jun-11 9:14 
GeneralSupport for Compact edition v3.5 sp2 Pinmemberjcgk_7713-Apr-11 3:32 
GeneralRe: Support for Compact edition v3.5 sp2 PinmemberMember 849633121-Mar-12 10:40 
QuestionJohnny Can't Code? PinmemberMember 78058094-Apr-11 6:43 
Generalgetting error just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box Pinmemberpsnlakshmi30-Oct-10 2:40 
GeneralBad Image Format Exception Pinmemberi_lonsdale@hotmail.com15-Oct-10 23:43 
Generalproblem with varbinary Pinmemberpgarbo17-Aug-10 6:05 
GeneralThanks PinmemberUros Calakovic8-Aug-10 3:00 
QuestionException where Copying Database PinmemberEdgarVegaD14-Jan-10 5:36 
AnswerRe: Exception where Copying Database PinmemberEdgarVegaD14-Jan-10 9:14 
Well, I decided not to write a used ID and now it says:
"You do not have permissions to save the file to C:\. Please select a different destination path and try again"
and this happens with any paths a try.
AnswerRe: Exception where Copying Database Pinmemberdille421-May-10 4:34 
GeneralGETUTCDATE() & Multi-Column Key's Pinmembermichael@merlot.com21-Nov-09 5:41 
GeneralFor SQL Server CE 3.5 SP1 Pinmemberkshakir23-Jul-09 11:08 
QuestionSql 2008 support? Pinmemberkhanricksteele29-Apr-09 8:26 
QuestionUnknown datatype PinmemberMember 187125319-Mar-09 0:38 
AnswerRe: Unknown datatype PinmemberMember 265157316-Jun-09 7:32 
GeneralPrimery Keys are not correct after import to SQL Compact Pinmembervoellinger26-Jan-09 1:51 
GeneralOut of memory error Pinmembercess30-Nov-08 10:36 
Generalthere is problem with NVARCHAR(MAX) PinmemberTajniak520-Nov-08 6:51 
Generaliv been messing with this for a while until i found this.TNX!!!!! Pinmemberzivzuv18-Nov-08 21:37 
GeneralThis thing rocks! Pinmembersholliday5-Aug-08 11:32 
GeneralGreat work!!! only one thing and an Idea for future work Pinmembermape108223-Jul-08 7:19 
GeneralRe: Great work!!! only one thing and an Idea for future work PinmemberFrancois YACOB16-Jun-09 7:43 
GeneralType Conversion errors Pinmembergratajik15-Jul-08 14:25 
GeneralON DELETE ... ON UPDATE ... PinmemberHoang Cuong12-Jul-08 23:21 
Generaldata transfer PinmemberShaikh Sahrif28-Jun-08 20:18 
GeneralBrilliant PinmemberJohnny J.26-Jun-08 21:44 
GeneralError after conversion.. Opening converted file with SQL Management Studio PinmembermGxAlander5-Jun-08 18:46 
GeneralRe: Error after conversion.. Opening converted file with SQL Management Studio Pinmemberjohnnycantcode12-Jun-08 10:34 
GeneralNot working with SQL2000 Pinmemberoldieman2-Jun-08 23:28 
GeneralVisual Studio Pinmembergnassar2-Jun-08 3:26 
GeneralRe: Visual Studio Pinmemberjohnnycantcode12-Jun-08 10:35 
GeneralSchema Setting + SqlCe Version PinmemberCharl Victor13-May-08 0:27 

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