VistaDB 5
Gibraltar VistaDB > Introduction - Why VistaDB?
Introduction - Why VistaDB?

The SQL Server Capabilities You Need

VistaDB delivers an unprecedented level of compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server in an assembly built entirely in .NET.  You get the SQL Server features you really want for your application in a small, extraordinarily portable database - no installation required!

  • TSQL-Compatible Queries: Use the same syntax you're used from SQL Server, reusing code and patterns you've proven right from SQL Server
  • Stored Procedures, User-Defined Functions, and even CLR Stored Procs: VistaDB is the only database that lets you bring over SQL Server stored procedures and functions
  • Transactions: Multi-table transaction support like you're used to from SQL Server

Without Any of the Deployment Headaches

VistaDB is a single assembly you just copy along with your .NET application - no installation required, no administrator access, no complications!

  • One Assembly for All Deployments: No matter if you're deploying to 32 or 64-bit systems, .NET or Mono, Windows or ARM - it's the same file.
  • Just Copy and Run: VistaDB is an embedded database engine you just copy along with your application binaries; no modifications necessary to the host computer.
  • Databases are Just A File: There's no complicated API or script language for creating new databases or assigning permissions; just copy your database file when you need to move the data! 
  • No Redistribution Costs - Runtime Royalty Free: With your license you can ship as many copies of the VistaDB engine, running as many databases, as you want for no additional cost. 
  • No Built-In Limits: Run across multiple CPUs, store Terabytes of data, all from the standard VistaDB engine.  No worry that you need to move up from Express to Standard to Enterprise.
  • Outstanding Encryption Built In: No need to worry about unauthorized access to your data, the entire VistaDB database can be easily encrypted with AES128 encryption!

Deep SQL Server Compatibility

Our mission with VistaDB is to satisfy all the reasons developers like to use SQL Server in a way that removes all of the deployment challenges and expenses that come along with SQL Server.  That means:

  • Support the same Development Tools as SQL Server: Entity Framework, Typed Datasets, Direct ADO.NET calls - everything you're used to with SQL Server.  With minor tweaks you can share all the same code between SQL Server and VistaDB.
  • Relational Database with Constraints: Full foreign-key support, indexes, and constraints just like SQL Server to ensure everything in the database meets your data integrity goals
  • Common Data Types: VistaDB data types map directly to SQL Server types - from VarBinary(Max) to DateTimeOffset, even types not natively supported by .NET (like Date and Time).  You can have comfort knowing your data models will work the same way in SQL Server and VistaDB.
  • Stored Procedures: Elaborate database logic can be embedded in a stored procedure using the same syntax as SQL Server, right down to transactions, loops, and error handling!
  • User-Defined Functions: Create scalar value and table value functions and call them from within the database or incorporate them into your application queries.
  • Commercial-grade Support: The VistaDB engine is backed by Gibraltar Software with a range of support options from peer support through guaranteed response-time plans.

Visual Studio Integration

VistaDB is fully integrated with Visual Studio including:

  • Server Explorer Schema Management: Create and modify your entire VistaDB database right within Visual Studio, just like with SQL Server.  The familiar user experience and capabilities makes it easy to move back and forth between SQL Server and VistaDB.
  • DataSet Designer Support: Drag & Drop tables and views from your model right into the DataSet designer in Visual Studio.
  • Entity Framework Designer Support: Create your EF model right from a VistaDB database, keeping it up to date as you evolve your application.

And a Management Studio

VistaDB has Data Builder - a complete, stand-alone management tool for database administration that'll make any SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) user feel right at home. 

Already Using Microsoft SQL Server?

Adding support for VistaDB is easy and lets you scale down for demo versions, single user, and small workgroups - all the cases where you want to eliminate any IT complexity for your application.  We've made it easy with:

  • SQL Server Database Migration: VistaDB includes a Data Migration Wizard that can be pointed at a SQL Server Database and move the schema and data into a VistaDB database.  You can be up and running in minutes with a copy of your latest database.
  • Common API: You can convert your ADO.NET code that was written just for SQL Server to work with both easily by using the VistaDB matching types or factory objects.
  • Follow Our Step-by-Step Guide: Many successful applications work with both SQL Server and VistaDB, you can to by following our migration guide.
See Also