I’m a VB.NET programmer with some questions about SQL Server LocalDB. I switched careers about 15 years ago and stopped programming for about a decade. Then about 5 years ago I resumed programming. Until recently I’ve been developing small projects with Visual Studio 2010/2015 and Access. Then last month I installed SQL Server 2016 Express and upsized a very small Access project as a test. That went well, although the client-server design was overkill. Now I’d like to upsize a much larger Access project. SQL Server’s LocalDB approach looks promising because for the foreseeable future this project will continue as a stand-alone system. If I can figure out how to deploy a LocalDB project, I’ll probably port all my apps to SQL Server and stop using Access.
One caveat: I’d rather not incorporate the database into the VS project. I’ve always set up and deployed my Access database files (.ACCDB/.MDB) separately from their corresponding VS applications. I’d like to continue using that approach with SQL Server LocalDB if possible. With that in mind, here are my questions:
- Is deployment of a LocalDB database conceptually similar to deployment of an Access database insofar as copying a database file(s) to a PC, deploying the app alongside it, and connecting? Can I simply connect to the SQL Server .MDF as I would connect to an Access .ACCDB/.MDB? (I realize the connections strings are different.)
- Which SQL Server data file(s) must I deploy for a LocalDB installation?
- Must I install/register any supporting DLLs on the target PC?