Sync Framework 2.1 includes all the great functionality of the 2.0 release, enhanced by several exciting new features and improvements. The most exciting of these lets you synchronize data stored in SQL Server or SQL Server Compact with SQL Azure in the cloud. Microsoft has added top customer requests like parameter-based filtering and the ability to remove synchronization scopes and templates from a database, and of course made many performance enhancements to make synchronization faster and easier. Read on for more detail or start downloading now!
SQL Azure Synchronization
With Sync Framework 2.1, you can leverage the Windows Azure Platform to extend the reach of your data to anyone that has an internet connection, without making a significant investment in the infrastructure that is typically required. Specifically, Sync Framework 2.1 lets you extend your existing on premises SQL Server database to the cloud and removes the need for customers and business partners to connect directly to your corporate network. After you configure your SQL Azure database for synchronization, users can take the data offline and store it in a client database, such as SQL Server Compact or SQL Server Express, so that your applications operate while disconnected and your customers can stay productive without the need for a reliable network connection. Changes made to data in the field can be synchronized back to the SQL Azure database and ultimately back to the on premises SQL Server database. Sync Framework 2.1 also includes features to interact well with the shared environment of Windows Azure and SQL Azure. These features include performance enhancements, the ability to define the maximum size of a transaction to avoid throttling, and automatic retries of a transaction if it is throttled by Windows Azure. All of this is accomplished by using the same classes you use to synchronize a SQL Server database, such as SqlSyncProvider and SqlSyncScopeProvisioning, so you can use your existing knowledge of Sync Framework to easily synchronize with SQL Azure.
What is Cloud Computing? Why should you use Azure? – Read and watch these Videos to understand more
Bulk Application of Changes
Sync Framework 2.1 takes advantage of the table-valued parameter feature of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Azure to apply multiple inserts, updates, and deletes by using a single stored procedure call, instead of requiring a stored procedure call to apply each change. This greatly increases performance of these operations and reduces the number of round trips between client and server during change application. Bulk procedures are created by default when a SQL Server 2008 or SQL Azure database is provisioned.
Sync Framework 2.1 enables you to create parameter-based filters that control what data is synchronized. Parameter-based filters are particularly useful when users want to filter data based on a field that can have many different values, such as user ID or region, or a combination of two or more fields. Parameter-based filters are created in two steps. First, filter and scope templates are defined. Then, a filtered scope is created that has specific values for the filter parameters. This two-step process has the following advantages:
- Easy to set up. A filter template is defined one time. Creating a filter template is the only action that requires permission to create stored procedures in the database server. This step is typically performed by a database administrator.
- Easy to subscribe. Clients specify parameter values to create and subscribe to filtered scopes on an as-needed basis. This step requires only permission to insert rows in synchronization tables in the database server. This step can be performed by a user.
- Easy to maintain. Even when several parameters are combined and lots of filtered scopes are created, maintenance is simple because a single, parameter-based procedure is used to enumerate changes.
Removing Scopes and Templates
Sync Framework 2.1 adds the SqlSyncScopeDeprovisioning and SqlCeSyncScopeDeprovisioning classes to enable you to easily remove synchronization elements from databases that have been provisioned for synchronization. By using these classes you can remove scopes, filter templates, and the associated metadata tables, triggers, and stored procedures from your databases.
SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 Compatibility
The Sync Framework 2.1 SqlCeSyncProvider database provider object uses SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2. Existing SQL Server Compact databases are automatically upgraded when Sync Framework connects to them. Among other new features, SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 makes available a change tracking API that provides the ability to configure, enable, and disable change tracking on a table, and to access the change tracking data for the table. SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP2 can be downloaded here.
For more information about Sync Framework 2.1, including feature comparisons, walkthroughs, how-to documents, and API reference, see the product documentation.
Stay in sync and Download Sync Framework 2.1 today and find out what synchronization can do for you!
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