How do I open my SQL CE database?


connect-to-ceAdmin Arsenal 1.x uses Microsoft SQL Compact Edition as the database platform. Using Collections and Reports within Admin Arsenal serves the purposes for most administrators. Custom reports via Access gives even greater visibility into the Database.

What if you want to really look under the covers and see whats going on? Well, if you are feeling pretty frisky in this regard then go grab an SQL editor program. The program you use needs to be able to open a SQL Compact data file. I am using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Mine comes with SQL Server 2008, but you can get the same tool for free by downloading SQL Express 2005 or 2008.

When I start up the Studio I am presented with a dialog box requesting info on the database I wish to open. First thing I need to do is change the Database Type field to SQL Server Compact Edition. (the default Database Type is Database Engine). Next, browse for your CE file. The default DB name of the Admin Arsenal database is MAIN.SDF.


At this point you are on your own. You can run queries, perform the necessary JOINS and basically do what DBA’s do on a daily basis.

***NOTE*** Admin Arsenal is moving its Database platform to PostgreSQL. (see Adam’s blog post about the upcoming move)