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Inexpensive, lightweight, embeddable, multi-user SQL db?

Hey you db experts,
I'm working on a desktop software product that needs a back end db with all the good stuff, like:
* easy to embed
* invisible installation with "host" software
* small footprint
* SQL compliance
* zero or low cost
* can be hit by multiple users on a network
* no db admin/mtce required for regular usage
* easy backup ( ...KISS...as in copying the database file...)
* ideally, no constraint on database size

So far, we've ruled out MS Express and Compact editions...and we're narrowing down the field.
Any insight from your experiences ( good or bad ) would be helpful...
Thanks!
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bohiggy
Asked:
bohiggy
4 Solutions
 
utter77Commented:
if you have ruled out MSSQL Express and you want zero or low cost you only have Access, MySQL or Oracle XE left.. Oracle XE also have a constraint in size..
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Bill BachPresidentCommented:
Pervasive PSQL Summit v10 may qualify:
* easy to embed: Many companies have done this over the years, such as Sage with their accounting applications like PeachTree.
* invisible installation with "host" software: Takes some extra work, but yes, you can use a silent installer and build it into your own app.  Again, Sage has done this.
* small footprint: Needs only as much memory as you want to configure for things like cache.
* SQL compliance: ANSI Compliant SQL, with a lot of Microsoft-specific features, too.
* zero or low cost: $49 per seat for single-user engines.
* can be hit by multiple users on a network: Needs additional "user count increase" licenses at $49 each, but works great in multi-user scenariosa up to 5 concurrent users.  Sites with 6+ users need a server engine, which starts at $710 for 6-User, $1010 for 10-User, and up from there.  
* no db admin/mtce required for regular usage: Designed as a "zero-DBA" solution, with no admin requirements.
* easy backup ( ...KISS...as in copying the database file...): Tables are stored as independent files.  Backups with nobody in the system is as easy as copying the files.  On-line "snapshot" backups also possible with a few extra commands.
* ideally, no constraint on database size: Maximum single table size supported (with 16K pages) is 256GB.  Since each table is stored separately, you should have no theoretical limit on total database size of all tables, since you can always create a new table.
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AltwiesCommented:
It really depends on what types of queries you need to do. If an ISAM DB is all you need, take a look at "VsamEx". It's Royalty free, fast, self-contained & is only ~200k in size. There is only a one time developers cost that is inexpensive.
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twinsoftCommented:
Hi, take a look at Firebird...

* easy to embed
You can use it with almost any programming language, Delphi, .NET, PHP

* invisible installation with "host" software
You can call the installer with silent parameter from your app's installer

* small footprint
Yes, very light and powerfull

* SQL compliance
SQL 99 compliance with before/after triggers, stored procedures, pl/sql

* zero or low cost
No cost, Open Source

* can be hit by multiple users on a network
Yes, supports multiple users only a dll is required in each client PC

* no db admin/mtce required for regular usage
Yes, it is administration free. Only a backup/restore might be needed from time to time...

* easy backup ( ...KISS...as in copying the database file...)
DB is stored in one file, can be easily copied. Also has the ability to take hot live backups (preffered method)

* ideally, no constraint on database size
It depends on the file system, in NTFS the file size limit is 16GB, but the DB can be splitted in many files...

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