How to convert SQL Server CE to SQL Server Express

Full Convert is designed for ease of use and reliability to make sure you get your job done as quickly and as simply as possible.

Source database is known as SQL Server Compact Edition, SQL Compact, SQL CE, SQLCE (related files: sdf).

Target database is known as Microsoft SQL Server Express, Microsoft SQLExpress, SQL Express, SQLExpress (related files: mdf, ldf, bak).

Making migration easy for you

Full Convert is a fully self-tuning software. Your migration will work as expected without you needing to adjust anything.

Data types are different in SQL Server Express compared to the source SQL Server CE. We automatically adjust them as we copy the tables so you don't have to worry about it. You can adjust the mapping rules if you wish to change the following defaults:

  • binary varbinary(max) (if precision > 8000)
  • datetime datetime2 (if version at least 10)
  • image varbinary(max)
  • nchar nvarchar(max) (if precision > 4000)
  • ntext nvarchar(max)
  • nvarchar nvarchar(max) (if precision > 4000)
  • real float
  • varbinary varbinary(max) (if precision > 8000)

Full Convert migration in 4 easy steps

1.
SQL Server CE connection

Connection to SQL Server CE

We will choose SQL Server Compact Edition from the list of available source database engines. Connecting to SQL CE database is straightforward - we need to type-in or navigate to the database file (SQLCE databases are stored in SDF files) and specify our password, if the database is protected.

2.

Connection to SQL Server Express

We will choose SQL Server from the list of available source database engines. Depending on your SQL Server setup, you will need to connect using Windows or SQL Server authentication.

For SQL Express, we need to specify the server\instance name, like this: servername\SQLEXPRESS

We have Windows authentication here, so all we need to do is select our desired database from the drop-down list.

SQL Server Express connection
3.

Start the conversion

All source tables are selected for conversion by default. In case you only need some tables, simply deselect the ones you don't need - or deselect all, then select just the tables you do need. Click the Copy your database button to get started.

4.

Conversion

Conversion is highly-optimized to run as fast as possible, yet provides top-notch reliability. Huge tables are converted in small chunks at a time, preserving memory and ensuring that your computer stays fast and responsive.

Data copying from source to target
Target database browser

Data is now in the target database

Use our built-in database browser to examine the copied data. Of course, you can also examine the conversion in detail and see in-depth information for each table.

Ready to dive in?
Run Full Convert today.

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