Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Downloading SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 for Devices

A number of developers are still, in 2017, developing new solutions for Windows CE / Windows Mobile using Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2. Unfortunately, Microsoft has removed the official download of the SQL CE 3.5 SP2 package for devices, which contains the cab files for installing the SQL CE runtime on various processor flavors of Windows CE / Windows Mobile and also contains a cab file for installing a System.Data.SqlClient (ADO.NET provider for SQL Server), that allows you to access SQL Server directly from a Windows Mobile device.

In this blog post I will describe the steps required to get the Device MSI installed on your development PC. Luckily, it is still currently possible to request the latest updates/hotfixes of the 3.5 SP2 runtime – I have a comprehensive list here.

We can take advantage of the fact, that each “patch” is essentailly a full release of all applicable packages, and that build 8109 is a full re-release of all possible packages.

1: Navigate to the KB page for hotfix 8109:

2: Click the “Hotfix Download Available” link (blue button)

3: Accept the license agreemnt if prompted

4: Expand the list of hotfixes to show all 52 packages by clicking the link “Show hotfixes for all platforms and languages” (this text may be localized)

5: Select (put a checkmark next to) the file named: SSCEDeviceRuntime_ENU

6: Enter your email twice, and press the “Request hotfix” button (button text may be localized)

7: You will now receive an email with a link to the hotfix, download the linked file, named: 465553_ENU_ce_zip.exe

8: Double click the file, and extract it’s compressed contents:

9: Double click  SSCEDeviceRuntime-ENU.msi  to install the Devices SDK:


10: Complete the setup, the cab files are now present in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition\v3.5\Devices folder


Brad & Renee said...

Thanks so much for this post! Unfortunately, the 8109 hotfix page (ttps:// no longer provides the SSCEDeviceRuntime-enu.msi! It only provides the SSCERuntime-ENU.msi and one for Server Tools.

Do you know where I can get a copy of the SSCEDeviceRuntime-ENU.msi that is for version 3.5 SP2??

ErikEJ said...

Oh yes it does - Expand the list of hotfixes to show all 52 packages by clicking the link “Show hotfixes for all platforms and languages”

Brad & Renee said...

Ah, there it is! I tried that earlier and didn't see what I was looking for. I must have been on the wrong hotfix page. Thanks again!

Renan Merlino said...

Dear Erik, thank you for your post. It's being very useful. However, I got the "sql ce" files copied in my Motorola MC3190 barcode reader with a Windows CE 6.0, and it says that the .cab file is not a valid Windows CE Setup file, when executing. Any idea? I also would like to ask if you have where to download NET Framework for Windows CE? Thanks!

ErikEJ said...

Renan: Did you copy the correct cab file?

Verif said...

I think now Microsoft has restored the download for SQL CE 3.5 and 4.0

ErikEJ said...

Verif - that is for Desktop, not Devices