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Microsoft Answers Call for Database Support in Windows Phone 7

Last fall, writing about the developer uproar surrounding the lack of database support in the Windows Phone 7 platform, I noted: "It's pretty obvious what mobile developers want. Is Microsoft listening?"

Well, the answer is: "Yes!"

Microsoft this week announced in a MIX11 keynote address that the next update of Windows Phone 7, called "Mango," will include the lightweight SQL Server Compact Edition. Previously, database options were limited to options such as storing data in XML files, isolated storage or third-party solutions. That caused much developer ire, such as this reader comment: "Why not implement SQL CE Compact? You cannot write real business application without database support."

Microsoft exec Joe Belfiore noted early in his keynote that Mango will add several new features "that you've been asking for."

That's for sure. In fact, when he got around to listing the features, he talked about new core support for things like TCP/IP sockets. But when he mentioned "we have a built-in SQL database that you can use," spontaneous audience applause broke out, causing him to have to pause and acknowledge the cheers. "Yes, thank you," he said, before he could continue on. There was yet more applause after he mentioned more improved data access, to information such as contacts and calendars "so you can more richly integrate your apps with the user's data."

Clearly, data is king in mobile app development, and Microsoft has answered the call to help developers build richer data-centric apps.

So much for the monolithic behemoth out of touch with customers and developers.

You can watch the keynote about Mango, due out later this year, here.

What do you think about the addition of SQL Server support to Windows Phone 7? Just what the developer ordered, or too little, too late? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 04/15/2011 at 1:15 PM


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