I've been looking for days for a scalable, affordable database solution for my desktop applications. I've used Access and have been less than pleased with it's performance. SQLite has been good to me but now that I'm writing in .NET I need something with an ADO.NET provider, and the SQLite provider is an unusable beta.
Other choices I've found (but with their own limitations) :
Access (List your problems!)
Turbo DB (www.turbodb.com)
MSDE (Too damned big to distribute!)
In a perfect world I'd like something that is small (IE NOT MSDE), speaks SQL, can support multiple concurrent users, is under $1000, offers royalty free licenses per *developer* and uses a single-file database (for ease of distribution). So far the leader is CodeBase, but their Windows "SQL" product is in the form of an ODBC driver, and I'd like to avoid ODBC too if possible.
It's a tall order, I know, but there are millions of databases to choose from!
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