I have installed SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition.

I can use SQL Server Data Tools to add databases and tables and query tables etc.

Next, I used Visual Studio to try out a tutorial on creating a website with a database. The database type created was an SQL Server Compact Local Database.

This database doesn't turn up in the list of databases in SQL Server Data Tools. How do I view compact local databases? (I want to be able to view the data in the DB, add rows using a GUI, and run SQL queries within the tool.)

Or are they different products, in which case does Microsoft have an equivalent tool to SQL Server Data Tools for SQL Server Compact databases?


2 Answers 2


After OP's Edit to the question :

Try to use Visual Studio 2010 SP1 + VS Tools for SQL CE 4

-- or --

SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 supports for SQL Server Compact 3.5 database. (ATTENTION from SSMS version 2012 and newer, Sql Server Compact databases are no longer supported by SSMS; You must use SSMS 2008 R2 or OLDER)

Note : SQL Server Management Studio cannot open SQL Server Compact 4 files, only SQL Server Compact 3.5 files.

Click View >>Toolbars >>SQL Server Compact Edition Editor as shown.

enter image description here

Additionally, refer to SQL Compact 3rd party tools and

SQL Server Compact Toolbox on Codeplex - It is a Visual Studio add-in and standalone app , for managing all aspects of your SQL Server Compact database files.

  • Thanks @Kin, but this wasnt what I meant (I've made my question clearer). I can create db's and tables in visual studion ok. What I'm after is a way of viewing the data in tables, running queries interactively with a GUI, as you can do in SQL Server Data Tools. Aug 4, 2013 at 18:35
  • @spiderplant0 so you're looking for instructions on writing your own GUI to work with your data? Aug 4, 2013 at 18:46
  • No. I want a GUI interface to SQL Compact Local databases. E.g. like PhpMyadmin and HeidiSql for MySql, and MS SQL Server Tools for MsSQL. However I cant get MS SQL Server Tools to work with MS SQL Compact Local Databases. So I wanted to know how to get this to work, or if there is an alternative tool that I need to use. Aug 4, 2013 at 19:15
  • You will not be able to use SSMS 2012 as MS removed support for it: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc879339.aspx
    – user507
    Aug 4, 2013 at 23:08
  • Thanks @Kim, the option 'SQL Server Compact Edition' does not appear on my menu. I will try the other options though. Aug 5, 2013 at 9:51

SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 should work as shown above.

PLEASE NOTE Sql Server Management Studio 2012 and newer NO LONGER SUPPORTS managing Sql Server Compact files.

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