I am writing a C# application in Visual Studio 2005 and I need to read, but NOT write, data inside an Azure database and I would like to install as few applications on my computer as possible. It would also be nice if I could simply spend a couple of minutes copying the whole database file to my computer upon startup and from then on access the data completely locally. There is no requirement that I should access the data I want through SQL-queries, if it's feasible to iterate through the database file with while-loops, if-statements, etc that would be perfectly fine with me. Is this feasible or what's the minimum I can get away with?
What you are asking for makes no sense, relational databases are not simplistic text files and are generally made up of multiple tables with defined relationships which you will need to understand. You cannot scroll through the records without a client (this may be something like Excel/Access/MSSQL) but it is still a client application.
If there is a specific VIEW that has been created for you then you need to query the database to get all the records, these can be queried into a text file which you could scroll through.
You still need something to query the database. Do check the size of the download before progressing along this path
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There is only one table in the database. If it's not feasible to get the data by using a home-made function (or method), what is the minimum database client I need to install? Are there any lightweight (perhaps even open source?) clients available or do I need to install several Gbytes of SQL Server/Oracle/something else?
You could write a simple windows service or client which would connect and download the table. It would be very small.
So, you're basically saying I don't need a database client to get the table? What format will the table then be in when I get it locally on my computer? Will the format be something simple like tab/comma separated or XML or something so complicated (perhaps even encrypted) that I practically would need a database client to make sense out of the table?
This has nothing to do with Azure. If you want to access a database then, as I already suggested, you need to know what type of database (i.e. which product is used to manage it). And the quickest way to find that answer is to talk to the people who own it.
No, I have access. Since this software will be run on other computers than my own, I'd like to keep 3rd party software installations/dependencies to a minimum. Ideally, all you'd have to do to run my application is to double-click an .exe-file (ideally, you should also be able to run it from a USB-stick), I don't want anybody to have to do anything more. That's why I don't use installers and instead embed all my dll:s and icons/pictures into my .exe-file, I don't like to give installation support, especially not on something I didn't write myself.
Well at the risk of repeating myself yet again: go and talk to the owners of the database to find out what client software you need to install, and what the schema structure is. They are the only people who can provide this information.
I am writing a C# application in Visual Studio 2005 and I
2005 is rather old and I suspect that might be a problem.
But maybe you meant 2015.
For a database application you need
1. Access permission to the database. This includes a connection path and user permissions. This is information not code.
2. A connection library for the database. This a library.
3. Probably a framework that will use the connection library.
4. Then you use 3 to get data from the database where you have provided 1 to 2.
There is no requirement that I should access the data I want through SQL-queri
That is unlikely unless the database is a No-SQL database.
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