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Tip of the Month (February 2001)

Putting Tables on the Storage Card

Q: I would like to store my data on a storage card instead of main memory. Can I store the database tables on a compact flash storage card?

A: Yes. You can do this using Pocket Access databases (.CDB files) or SQL Server CE databases (.SDF files). Note: Even though some devices (for example, the Pocket PC's) don't have the Microsoft Pocket Access application, you can still do this.

If you want to use a Pocket Access database, create an Access database (an .MDB file) on your desktop machine. Using Access on the desktop, create the tables and columns you want in that database. Then, using ActiveSync / Mobile Devices, drag the .MDB file to the handheld (onto the Storage Card). As it is being copied to the handheld, it will be converted to a Pocket Access database (a .CDB file).

If you want to use a SQL Server CE database, use SQL Server CE to create the .SDF file and create the tables and columns you want in that database. Be sure to put the .SDF file on the Storage Card).

Now that you have a database (.CDB or .SDF file) on your handheld, you can use Visual CE to create forms over the tables in that database.

Run Visual CE and select FILE | NEW FORM. When asked if the database is in the "Windows CE Store" or "Database Volume", select "Database Volume". Navigate over to the database on the storage card, select the .CDB or .SDF file, select the table, and build your form.

Note: in order to use .SDF files with Visual CE, you must have SYWARE's sqlceEnable installed on the handheld.