Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition Community Technology Preview (CTP) is the latest version of SQL Server 2005. Aimed at Windows Mobile PDAs and smartphones and Windows-based portable computers, this free version of SQL Server provides some of the relational database features included in SQL Server 2005 editions but has an amazingly compact footprint. Here's what you need to know about SQL Server Everywhere.

What It Is
The successor to SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, SQL Server Everywhere is a highly portable client-side relational database solution designed to be embedded in applications developed for portable devices and notebook computers, especially applications that might need to synchronize the database with a SQL Server 2005 server. As a member of the SQL Server 2005 family, SQL Server Everywhere supports technologies such as ADO.NET and T-SQL and lets you use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) tools to remotely manage your database.

In contrast to SQL Server 2005, however, SQL Server Everywhere is small in almost every measurable way, occupying just 2MB of disk space and needing only 5MB of RAM. You can download a free version of SQL Server Everywhere from the Microsoft download site, and software developers can embed it with their own products without having to purchase a license. You can install it on Windows Mobile PDAs and smartphones as well as on Windows XP (and eventually Windows Vista) clients and Windows Server 2003 servers.

What It Isn't
Given the small size, it should come as no surprise that SQL Server Everywhere is lacking in some key areas, though its limitations shouldn't disappoint the markets Microsoft is trying to reach. SQL Server Everywhere databases can't exceed 4GB of disk space, for example, because of its 32-bit architecture, and it lacks many SQL Server 2005 features, such as stored procedures and support for using C# and Visual Basic (VB) to create database objects. SQL Server Everywhere doesn't aspire to be a full-featured database server, but rather a compact and lightweight data store for local dynamic applications.

Recommendations
Microsoft intends to ship the final version of SQL Server Everywhere by the end of the year. If you support mobile workers who could benefit from this product, I recommend moving the appropriate dynamic applications to SQL Server Everywhere and assessing whether the product's portability offsets its limitations. You can download the SQL Server Everywhere CTP at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId= 85E0C3CE-3FA1-453A-8CE9-AF6CA20946C3.