deploy vb.net project without ms sql server

hi
i have a vb.net project, i used ms sql server 2014, created a db in it then connected to visual studio 2013
connectionstring is:
(conn = "Data Source=.\sqlexpress;Initial Catalog=sdb;Integrated Security=True")
it is not .mdf nor sdf i read in many pages that i may have to install ms sql server on the target machine or use MSI through installshield and what have you, but nothing is clear to me, now i have to deploy the project and i can make a setup file (exe) and normally install ms sql server on other machines, im sure it will work but that is not what i seek, about five users will be using this application, nothing shared over a network i just wanna put the thing in a cd and hand it to whoever needs that app. but they will not know (let alone not need to know) how to install sql server i want it to just do the whole thing on its own, even if it has to install sql server but without giving the user headaches.

my question is taht is there a way to do this without installing the whole sql server (it just does not seem right) and by the way this mdf db thing just does not work for me, it always gives me errors (error while trying to attach to an auto-named database, it may be already existing bla bla..) i did post questions about the latter issue but nothing.

any help or tips please,
thanks
ahashashAsked:
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AndyAinscowFreelance programmer / ConsultantCommented:
>>i used ms sql server 2014, created a db in it

As far as I understand it you will need to install sql server express on the end user system.  The simplest is to wrap everything in an installation package.


ps.  If you had used for instance Microsoft Access database then the whole lot would be much simpler and very likely  good enough for your requirements with so few users.
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ahashashAuthor Commented:
Agreed, you r right, i did though tried ms access, (it is a very simple project) but i just felt that sql server is just really robust and thought it would be great
second reason (main reason actually)

i really have hard time with this connection string thing with ms access....
because of my lack of knowledge, i find it hard to understand (even if i do a lot of reading really) this ODBC vs JBDC vs Jet 12.0 vs OLEDB stuff, they all work as if they r all the same thing, and each and every one has like hundreds of connection strings, the problem is not here, my real problem is that when i tried (connectionstring.com) i can remember the site name but it has all the connection string u might need great website, i tried many many connection strings and i always get this (Active jet 12.0 is not installed on the machine)

i have ms access engine and redistributable 2010, and my office is the latest i have windows 8.
if i try to use system ODBC to connect to access DB i can only work with the x32 one but when i open the x64 version i place and connect the DB but when i run it form visual studio i get an error that i need x 32, it is basically like a catch-22 or a vicious circle thing...

please advice it would be amazing if i can just get a tip, or an eye opener..

many thanks
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AndyAinscowFreelance programmer / ConsultantCommented:
Agreed SQL Server is 'more robust'.  Unfortunately the setup at the client end is a lot more complex in that you need to distribute the SQL Server express as well.
A commercial installer software should be able to wrap your app and the necessary components.
Alternatively you can write a small stub yourself that can call the SQL express server installation package with the command line options you require.
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