Saturday, January 21, 2006


One of the key features of our products is the ability to support multiple deployment scenarios without recompilation. Scenarios ranging from desktop single user to few user workgroup to client-server to web-based n-tier with the option of NLB. This is all done with configuration files. All of our deployments up to now have been web-based n-tier against SQL-Server 2005. So yesterday the owner of the company asks me to load a single user demo system on his laptop. No problem, this should be fun and a good test of SQL-Express.

I didn't realize how easy this was going to be. First thing was to load SQL-Server Express edition on his machine (which also loads .NET Fx 2.0). Since he wanted some demo data, I needed to grab the database on our test DB server. I fired up SSMS, connected to the the test server, detached the database, took a copy the physical Mdf file, then reattached the database. I placed the copy of the database file in the same folder with all our application files and then changed the application connection string to:
Data Source=.\SQLEXPRESS;AttachDbFilename=C:\MyAppFolder\DBNAME_Data.mdf;Integrated Security=True;User Instance=True
This sets up a single user file-based connection string. That's it! You don't have to perform an attach or run any sql scripts if you just want single user file-based access. Wow. I love it! This is a REALLY REALLY REALLY nice feature of SQL-Server. This same database file can be attached to a SQL-Server 2005 database server as the scalabiltiy needs of our customers change. Added with our own application deployment options, our product provides solutions for a very broad customer base. Good job Microsoft!

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