ms sql mdf database file attached vs created on sql server

 Hi all

I have a question concerning sql database mdf files. In the old days I would user a ms access database. This file would be stored with the actual web files and would utilise a dsn connection. 

I have noted when designing with vwd 2005 express it allows you to use 2 methods of creating a mdf database. You can either create it as an attachment mdf or you can create it directly using sql manager.

My question is, if you create the mdf database as an attachement file can you store it in the same manner as if you where using a ms access database, meaning can you store it with the web site's files so it uses the file storage allocated size and then create a connection similar to a dsn (but for sql) to the isp's sql engine or does it have to be uploaded to the isp' s sql server.

The reason for this question is some of my customers do not want to pay the extra cost to have an sql allocation, however I do not want to go back to using old asp methods to create advanced sites as I prefer using stored procedures.

Any help will be appreciated 

5/27/2007 7:55:37 AM 380 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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you can attach your .mdf file (SQL Server Express) to a database (Attaching a .mdf file when you don't have the .ldf file available). However I think the hosting company will charge your customers for attaching it. To my knowledge you don't have a replacement available like DSN.

Grz, Kris.

Read my blog. Handy Firefox plugins for web developers.

Workaround for non working Mark as answer buttons.
5/27/2007 8:01:17 AM

Hi there,

My first website I did using Visual Studio I used an sql express database. Most hosting companys only use SQL server so you'll have to do some changes to your express database to get it hosted. So it doesnt really matter which way you design your database.

The hosting company will usually place your database on a separate secure server where you'll be able to access through SQL Server Manager once you have a static IP address. I'm not sure which hosting company you use but I live in Ireland and the best company here for windows hosting is

I use the standard windows hosting which allows you have up to 16 websites and 16 SQL server databases. An excellent company.

I recommend if you are going to use this a lot, upgrade your package to Visual Studio pro and this includes SQL Server Developer edition which allows you to create a SQL Server 2005 database which makes it easier when you go to publish your application.

Hope this is some use to you.


5/27/2007 9:34:39 AM

 Hi Kris

So what you are saying is you can attach a database to an sql server without having to import it directly. Which means the database can run externally from the sql server. My hosting company I think offers it for free if you are attaching and they have a control panel which makes it user friendly to do this by yourself. I will contact them again to verify.


5/27/2007 2:08:50 PM


about 1,5 years ago I tried out a free hosting for ASP.NET 2.0 where you could upload a .mdf file to and in their admin pages they provided such an attach procedure. Unfortunately I don't remember their name.

Grz, Kris.

Read my blog. Handy Firefox plugins for web developers.

Workaround for non working Mark as answer buttons.
5/27/2007 3:18:25 PM

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