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Is there interest in reinstating VistaDB support?

Nov 5, 2010 at 1:45 AM

Gibraltar Software recently acquired VistaDB.  While we have been users of VistaDB for a long time, we're still learning about the history of VistaDB and all the communities it is used in.

As we rework our licensing and make our roadmap to take VistaDB forward, it would help our planning to understand more about the relationship between VistaDB and Graffiti.  I would love to learn more about...

  1. The history of why VistaDB support was dropped as of Graffiti 1.3
  2. What exactly were the "licensing contraints" at a technical level that led to VistaDB support being dropped?
  3. What is the level of interest in having VistaDB support reinstated?

Thanks,
Jay Cincotta
jay.cincotta@gibraltarsoftware.com
Co-Founder, Gibraltar Software

Coordinator
Nov 16, 2010 at 5:20 AM

Jay,

I'm sure there's interest, but I wouldn't be able to say how much. I personally try to push for SQL server in just about every instance I have built, but I WAS using VistaDB when I still ran my site in 1.2.

I wish I could answer your other two questions, but those were internal decisions made by Telligent; and I'm pretty sure that was before it was officially open-sourced. I know that I never saw an official explanation anywhere. I'll send a quick email to Scott W. at Telligent to see if he can jump on here quick to answer your questions; I know he was involved in the 1.3 version and the move to open source as well. If he can't answer the questions, he may be able to find someone who can for us.

Coordinator
Nov 17, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Here's what I got back from Scott:

two biggest reasons were licensing and performance. If you want xcopy today, why not use SQL CE?

Again, I'm not sure what the licensing issue was, but if you guys are opening it up more than it had been, I don't see that one as an issue. As for performance, I would have to agree - my larger sites did not perform well with VistaDB, which is pretty much why I went to recommending SQL server almost exclusively. I actually remember a blog post about that a while back by someone.

I have never used SQL CE for anything so I can't really comment on that part of his response.

Nov 18, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Yes, compared to native code databases like SQL Server we aren’t as fast, however VistaDB has made performance advancements over the past year and we have plans for a number of additional enhancements we will be implementing over the next year that will significantly improve real world performance for these systems.

As SQL CE, VistaDB includes a much richer set of features and is easier to deploy because it is 100% managed code designed for .NET.  These and other advantages are detailed on our website:  http://www.vistadb.net/compare/sql-ce.aspx

We will post back again when we have released VistaDB 4.2 with our new licensing system.

 

Coordinator
Nov 18, 2010 at 12:48 PM

I certainly have no desire to even start to attempt to compare or debate VistaDB vs. SQL CE, but many of the "cons" for SQL CE listed on the compare page provided are thrown out the water with SQL CE 4.0. Quite frankly, it seems Microsoft has made the appropriate adjustments to (well, at least attempt to) replace the need for a third-party such as VistaDB. (See: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2010/06/30/new-embedded-database-support-with-asp-net.aspx)

Again, I am no expert in either, so I am not going to debate the "nitty-gritty" nor am I aware of any performance comparisons of the two. I know I used VistaDB on a couple of smaller Graffiti 1.2 deployments and was always very happy with it.

With that said, the open source project doesn't even have the code to the VistaDB provider so it would take a tone of work to get it re-integrated. As we move forward, SQL CE 4.0 is (at least supposed to) take very little, if any, effort to support vs. the existing SQL Provider. Also, with SQL CE there is no 'licensing system' to even have to consider.

These are just my personal thoughts on the matter. Certainly not any type of decision as to the direction of this project.

Coordinator
Nov 18, 2010 at 1:52 PM
Edited Nov 18, 2010 at 1:53 PM

I have no personal stake in either one, but I'm all for having providers for any and all data back-ends that people want to have. If a provider for Graffiti is built for VistaDB, SQL CE, Oracle or even flat text files I'd love to see them included in the project (okay, maybe not the last one).

Coordinator
Nov 18, 2010 at 2:11 PM
charlesboyung wrote:

I have no personal stake in either one, but I'm all for having providers for any and all data back-ends that people want to have. If a provider for Graffiti is built for VistaDB, SQL CE, Oracle or even flat text files I'd love to see them included in the project (okay, maybe not the last one).

Totally agree. Re-introducing a VistaDB provider would make a lot of people happy to be able to upgrade to the open source project I am sure.

Coordinator
Nov 18, 2010 at 7:55 PM

I've had my share of issues with VistaDB, but it would be nice to keep it going if that would make upgrading from 1.2 any easier.

What would it take? If permitted by Gibraltar Software, could Kevin or someone just add the code back in that was stripped out?

Nov 18, 2010 at 11:02 PM
madkidd wrote:

...many of the "cons" for SQL CE listed on the compare page provided are thrown out the water with SQL CE 4.0. Quite frankly, it seems Microsoft has made the appropriate adjustments to (well, at least attempt to) replace the need for a third-party such as VistaDB.

 The VistaDB comparison with SQL CE will be updated when SQL CE 4.0 is released (it's still in CTP).  But it appears that many of the VistaDB advantages will still hold true:

  • A single assembly supporting both 32- and 64-bit
  • Support for T-SQL Stored Procedures and CLR Procs
  • A Management tool supporting schema changes, data queries and other maintenance & support operations
  • Built-in, vendor-supported ASP.NET membership provider