I'd like to know what Microsoft components need to be installed for this new LocalDB to run on a users machine.

Now in CTP3: SQL Server Express LocalDB LocalDB is a new lightweight deployment option for SQL Server Express Edition with fewer prerequisites that installs very quickly. This makes it ideal for developers who need an embedded SQL Server database for desktop applications or tools. LocalDB has all of the same programmability features as SQL Express, but runs in-process with applications and not as a service. It is available as part of the SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 download.

The above is from Microsoft's website New in CPT3

This sounds like the perfect SQL database for small one-user desktop applications. I'm trying to find out what I need to include in an install. I want to use this as an embedded database but I don't know if I need to install any Microsoft components or make sure that any other Microsoft components have previously been installed.

Does anyone know what Microsoft components need to be installed in order for this new LocalDB to run? Is there an installer out there that will automatically detect the presence of the necessary components an install them?

  • 2
    Being new, does Delphi have an out of the box db component that would even connect to it? You might have to write your own interface. You can also look at SQLite, another (extremely popular and free) embedded dbms. There's a number of Delphi interfaces available for it. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 18:28
  • Have you seen programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/92564/… ?
    – MSalters
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 11:34

3 Answers 3


From msdn.com :

LocalDB uses the same sqlservr.exe as the regular SQL Express and other editions of SQL Server. The application is using the same client-side providers (ADO.NET, ODBC, PDO and others) to connect to it

LocalDB is installed once on a machine (per major SQL Server version)

The application is just connecting to "Data Source=(localdb)\v11.0" and LocalDB process is started as a child process of the application

But it's not the most lightweight embedded DB, that's SQL Server Compact:

Execution mode: SQL Server Compact is an in-proc DLL, while LocalDB runs as a separate process. Disk usage: all SQL Server Compact binaries amount to some 4MBs, while LocalDB installation takes 140MBs.

  • No I don't. I was hoping to find out which component(s) need to be installed on the users machine to make LocalDB work. This did not anwer the question. It's a shame that PSE will award a bounty to this answer just because it has the most votes. Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 13:42
  • That's not a stable list, apparently: "Our ultimate goal is to offer LocalDB in a separate, simplified and smaller installer. We will keep you posted on our progress here." (from the linked page). CTP is after all a Technology Preview; not everything is in it's finished form yet.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 8:01

I have found the answer I was looking for with regard to deploying the new LocalDB.

Note that because the activation logic lives in the client-side provider, you need to install the latest one - SQL Server Native Client "Denali" (for ODBC and OLE DB) or the next .NET Framework (for ADO.NET). We are also shipping a QFE for .NET Framework 4 that adds the support for LocalDB to it (I'll put the link to it here once it's available).

Reference Link

I will email the author of this blog for any other specifics I may need.

  • Thanks @Gunny, I was searching for the exact question at stackoverflow. If you wish to aswer there, here is the link
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 17:59

To restate MSalters point, SQL Compact may be the best option for your needs. There are several reasons:

  • SQL Server Compact does not require any client-side installation or updates; updates are issued by shipping a newer copy of an assembly and do not require elevated permissions
  • SQL Server Compact allows a single process to connect at a time. This makes it ideal as a database for a single application.
  • SQL Server Compact is the smallest of the SQL Server family

There are downsides, however:

  • Limited functionality compared to other flavors of SQL Server
  • Only one process can connect to a database at a time

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.