I'm working an creating a program that will keep data in a database. The database will be local so I won't be using SQL server. The reasonable alternative is in using a Microsoft Access database. But, I am curious if there are any other alternate database solutions I can use that might even be freeware or opensource. For Visual Basic .NET; do people use any other database besides MS Access? If so, what would be a good backend database solution that I can keep records in, and even run SQL queries against.
Eventually, I would like to create an install package for the computers I need to install this program onto so whatever database solution I use must be easily portable, etc.
I'd appreciate the feedback.
PS: My licensed copy of VB.NET 2003 is the standard version in case that matters. I noticed it won't let me connect to a SQL server accross the network, but connecting to local databases should be fine.