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SQL Server Compact Toolbox 3.6 – Visual Guide of New Features

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After more than 210.000 downloads, version 3.6 (skipping version 3.5 to avoid confusion) of my SQL Server Compact Toolbox extension for Visual Studio 2013, 2012 and 2010 is now available for download. This blog post is a visual guide to the new features included in this release, many suggested by users of the tool via the CodePlex issue tracker

Table Builder

In order to improve the experience for Toolbox users, I have now started adding features to the Toolbox found in the Server Explorer tooling, starting with a Table Builder. This is due to the fact, that Server Explorer support in VS 2012 and VS 2013 is limited (in 2012 SQL Compact 4.0 only, and in VS 2013 none, where as Server Explorer in VS 2010 supports both 3.5 and 4.0).

To use the Table Builder, right click a database, and select Build Table:

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Then specify the columns to be built, and click Script!

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A CREATE TABLE script will then be displayed in the SQL editor. In the current version, it is not possible to modify an existing table, maybe next time?

If you have both VS 2012 and VS 2013, feel free to contact me for a way to re-enable Server Explorer support for SQL Server Compact 4.0 in VS 2013.

Report Viewer

You can now view the data in any table via the Microsoft Report Viewer, which also enables you to export data in Excel, Word and PDF format.

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Right click any table, and select View Data as Report

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You can right click the report (or use the Toolbar) to Print/Export the table data.

This featured is based on this Stackoverflow reply: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/267091/best-way-to-view-a-table-with-lots-of-columns

Generate Entity Framework 6 Entity Data Model (EDMX) in Visual Studio 2013

This feature is very similar to the existing feature for Visual Studio 2010, allowing you to do Database First development with SQL Server Compact and Entity Framework 6. The new implementation for Visual Studio 2013 takes advantage of assets from the version 6 Entity Framework designer, this includes using the included .tt files to code generate a DbContext and related POCO classes rather than a legacy ObjectContext. To use this feature, first install the EntityFramework.SqlServerCompact NuGet package in your project, and the simply right click the database you would like to generate the model for:

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Then you will be presented with a very basic “Entity Data Model” dialog, which allows you to select which tables to include in the model, and to specify other relevant options:

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Clicking OK will generate an EDMX file and releated .tt files etc, in the project based on the Entity Framework 6 designer way of doing this. (Currently this feature is not available in the Toolbox version on the VS Gallery, but you can try it out by downloading from here)

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Other improvements and bug fixes

Scripting: Improved parsing of SELECT statements
Scripting; Proper scripting of float and real values
Scripting: Fixed some schema diff scripts bugs
UI: Improved display of database size and space available
Integration: Improved VS 2013 RTM support

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Published at DZone with permission of Erik Ejlskov Jensen, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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