SQL Server Compact Toolbox


SQL Server Compact 3.5 and 4.0 Toolbox add-in for Visual Studio. This add-in adds several features to help your SQL Server Compact development efforts: Scripting of tables and data, import from SQL Server and CSV files and much more.

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Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
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by Dennis Mlinaric | at 4:29 AM

Thanks Erik. Amazing work. Your ongoing support of SQL CE is very much appreciated and I regard your tools as being essential.

by VisualDragon | Thu 6:25 PM

If you're working with SQL CE then you need this tool. Actively supported and updated, this toolbox has all the features you could want or need.

by nekopczynski | Thu 12:57 PM

I recently took over a contract using SQL ce to replicate large data from SQL server. This add in and the bulk copy add in were real life savers. I was able to script around transferring {a million rows plus} data back and forth between the two. Excellent product and really easy to use. Thanks ErikEJ

by gepetkov | July 14 2014


by OldSkoolMadSkilz | June 24 2014

Excellent tool. Simplifies tasks that would take a LOT of time using other methods. Wish I has it years ago. Would have saved me countless hours of time.

by William Boatin | June 17 2014

I have found your posts and tools useful in getting my MSTest unit tests to use SQL Server CE, successfully.
Thank you!

by Jay Mc Bee | May 26 2014

Awesome toolset! We've used it to script our SQL CE database creation and restore, works like a breeze!!

by edikaufmann | May 13 2014

great tool. It made my SqlCe life much easier!
Just wonder: I'm using the 3.1.6 standalone version! How is this version
compared to the VS add-in ?
How do I know which standalone version is current (newest!)
again thanks for all your effort

by petevick | May 12 2014

Great tool - gets you out of the hole when MS abandoned SQL Server CE.
Not only that, the tools that Erik also provide really take the pain out SQL
Server CE development.

I have just been testing performance of large record sets, and using SqlCeCmd
I was able to export my SQL Server Database to a CE database with no problems.
Build a database, build a table, and then import 3 million rows from a SQL database.

Impressive software and just gets better.


ErikEJ May 12 2014
| Edit |

Thanks for the kind Words, Pete

by ChangedDaily | May 12 2014

Very useful toolbox, integration with Visual Studio is also good.
The toolbox does what I need - examine the structure of sdf files,
view and edit data. The scripting feature is also very useful.

by signitin | May 04 2014

The Best tool to integrate SQL Compact in Windows Phone, saves a lot of time and effort. Well maintained.

by M_Over | April 28 2014

Thanks for all the hard work! This is very valuable. By the way, what are you plans now that Microsoft is no longer supporting SQL Server CE?

ErikEJ April 28 2014
| Edit |

Well, I still support it - I am also considering adding more support for SQLite

by leenetuse | April 27 2014

by Sebastian Grollmus | April 09 2014

Great Tool! We use it for every day - it's a great help working with SQL Server Compact Toolbox.

by Javad alan | April 01 2014

A musthave for every programmer !! Thank u Erik. ;-)

by romagny | March 21 2014

Excellent ! Thanks

by Paul Rohorzka | March 13 2014

Feature rich and nicely integrated.

Besy feature: "Add SQL Server Compact connections from Solution" - very useful.

Thank you!

ErikEJ March 13 2014
| Edit |

Thanks, Paul, glad you like this new feature

by Cristian0 | February 28 2014

Must Have!

by VDohnal | February 11 2014

This tool is a must for SQL CE developer.

by ziic | January 13 2014


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  • Does SQL Server Toolbox replace sqlmetal.exe?
    2 Posts | Last post January 12, 2014
    • Hi Erik,  
      I'm currently using SQL Server Toolbox in the following environment:
      Toolbox - Version
      VS 2010 SP1 / .Net 4.0 
      SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2
      I am trying to modify an legacy database schema for a Windows Forms VB project which uses Linq to SQL.  The DBML file for the original database schema was developed from the database using sqlmetal.exe, with data associations added manually in the designer.
      Will SQL Server Toolbox automatically build the DBML file for my project or do I still need to use sqlmetal.exe?  Also, what about the table associations?
    • You should probably upgrade to Toolbox 3.7... but the Toolbox does not generate dbml, it generates code - DataContext and Table classes. If you require a dbml file, you must use sqlmetal, which Works fine with SqlCe 3.5
  • VS2013 Solution with multiple SDF files
    4 Posts | Last post January 10, 2014
    • I installed the SQL Server Compact Toolbox and can view SDF files in VS2013, but only if I open them individually. 
      In the past (VS2010) I would just open my VS2010 Solution (has about 20 projects and 30 .sdf files) and then over in the Server Explorer / Toolbox window all the .sdf files would load up for me. 
      How can I have all the .sdf files of a project open in SQL Server Compact Toolbox automatically when I open the solution in VS2013 ?
      Thanks for feedback
    • I have never seen that happen. The toolbox displays any connections defined in Server Explorer, but in VS 2013 Server Explorer does not support sqlce. Maybe a feature suggestion to Scan active solution for SQL CE files, and connect them all??
    • Thanks for the feedback. You are right, I think it was Server Explorer pulling in all the SDF's in VS2010 and then the toolkit just picked them up. But yeah, now that we are using VS2013 Server Explorer won't do that.
      So adding a feature to the toolkit that scans the active solution for SQL CE files and connects all of them would be great.
      Again, thanks for the quick response.
    • Phil: Suggestion logged here: https://sqlcetoolbox.codeplex.com/workitem/11508 - feel free to Vote!
  • Access to the database file is not allowed
    2 Posts | Last post December 28, 2013
    • Created a .sdf in VS2013 using migration and update database.   when I try to open with Toolbox (installed  3.5 32&64 and 4.0 64) I'm told access to the file is not allowed 80040E09 minor Err 25039.  The database file is not in use.
    • Is the file located on a local drive? Is it in use by another app?
  • create table based on Select *
    2 Posts | Last post December 26, 2013
    • How can I create a new table based on a select like follows Case1 + 2?
      PS: the select works fine.
      Is this Create .... and INTO ... supported (yet)?
      I use Toolbox 4.0
      - what would you suggest?
      thanks for your time and help
      case 1:
      CREATE TABLE Common_BodyPartRecord1 AS
      select *  from Common_BodyPartRecord i
      where not exists(select ii.Id 
      			from Common_BodyPartRecord ii
      			where ii.ContentItemRecord_id=i.ContentItemRecord_id and
      				ii.Id >i.Id 
      		)  and text not like ''
      Case 2:
      select * INTO Common_BodyPartRecordNEW   from Common_BodyPartRecord i
      where not exists(select ii.Id 
      			from Common_BodyPartRecord ii
      			where ii.ContentItemRecord_id=i.ContentItemRecord_id and
      				ii.Id >i.Id 
      		)  and text not like ''
    • ooops ... found it following works .. of course 
      hope nobody spent time!
      Insert into Common_BodyPartRecord1
      select * from Common_BodyPartRecord i
      where not exists(select ii.Id 
      			from Common_BodyPartRecord ii
      			where ii.ContentItemRecord_id=i.ContentItemRecord_id and
      				ii.Id >i.Id 
      		)  and text not like ''
  • VS 2013 and SQL Compact 4.0 help
    4 Posts | Last post December 22, 2013
    • I installed the "SQL Server Compact Toolbox" and still when I add the Northwind SDF file to a new project I do not see the "Data Source Configuration Wizard" pop-up, plus when I manually try to add the SDF file as a new data connection the list of available data providers does not include "SQL Compact" anywhere.
      Meanwhile, in VS 2013 "Extensions and Updates" I see the SQL Server Compact Toolbox is installed.  
      What can I do to resolve?
    • The toolbox does not enable those features. DataSet is not recommended to use with Sql Ce, use Linq 2 sql or Entity Framewok instead
    • Thanks Erik, do I have to add the connection via code instead...can you point me to some examples online that are specific to what the toolbox does and what it helps with? I found the toolbox by googling VS 2013 and SQL Compact tutorials and it took me here (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa983340(v=vs.110).aspx), but then when that wasn't working according to the documented steps I then found this site and your toolbox, thinking that was the missing link (no pun intended!)
    • Yes, or add the connection to the Toolbox, and then generate code. For features read the description here, or view the doementation on sqlcetoolbox.codeplex.com 
  • How to uninstall from VS 2013
    2 Posts | Last post December 04, 2013
    • Hello, I installed it and realized that i dont need it. Now, I want to uninstall but I dont find any way to do that. It is not showing up in Add/Remove programs. Please let me know how to uninstall. 
    • Sorry to hear you do not need it, may I ask why? To uninstall, go to Tools, Extensions in VS, locate it, and click the uninstall button.
  • In code: Need Project Name preceeding DataContextFileName?
    3 Posts | Last post December 01, 2013
    • Hi Erik,
      After creating a DataContext for Linq to SQL (sqlce 3.5, VS 2010, W7, toolbox, I find that I need to use the project name preceeding the datacontext name to instantiate the local datacontext like this:
      Dim DCLocal As New PSILibrary.PSLocalDataContext(SV.ConnectionStringLocal)
      ... where PSILibrary is a project that is subordinate to the main project in this solution.  The .sdf file and the PSLocalDataContext file are contained in the PSILibrary project.
      The first time I created the datacontext file I didn't need to do this.  But subsequent changes now require it.
      All seems to work well, but it doesn't seem correct to require that the project name has to preceed the PSLocalDataContext name.
      I did try 'Imports PSILibrary' but that made no difference.
      Is something wrong or is this correct?
    • Hi Dan, not being a VB Expert, but not sure why you are encountering this. Could you maybe share a bit more info at the Codeplex issue tracker here: http://sqlcetoolbox.codeplex.com ?
    • Hi Erik,
      Thanks for your reply.
      After a night's sleep I figured this out.  When the Toolbox creates the DataContext, a Namespace is automatically created for the entire DataContext - which is the same name as the Project!
      I removed that Namespace from the DataContext, and that solves the problem.
  • No 2008 support?
    6 Posts | Last post November 15, 2013
    • I was going to download, but it only offered to install into VS2010 and VS2013; I really need it only for VS2008.
    • Hi, there is standalone editions available here: http://sqletoolbox.codeplex.com - you can use those.
    • Thanks; for a minute there, I was afraid there was something rotten in Denmark.
    • That link becomes http://www.codeplex.com/site/pagenotfound
    • Typo - it is sqlcetoolbox.codeplex.com 
    • Eaux - should have noticed that.
  • Using Source Code
    2 Posts | Last post August 29, 2013
    • Please am quite new but how do I add and use the source code in a simple winform app am building cos I want to be able to script the SQLCE DB for backup and restore purposes...thanks
    • You can use my API as described here: http://erikej.blogspot.dk/2013/03/sql-server-compact-code-snippet-of-week.html
  • Using Source Code
    1 Posts | Last post August 29, 2013
    • Please am quite new but how do I add and use the source code in a simple winform app am building cos I want to be able to script the SQLCE DB for backup and restore purposes...thanks
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