SQL Server Compact Edition – Still an option for lightweight persistence?

Recently, I was looking for a lightweight database for a small, independent application. One requirement was an easy deployment without installation of additional software on the server. The first thing that came to my mind was SQL Server Compact Edition. Technically it fulfilled all requirements perfectly but than I stumbled across this Connect Article.

“SQL Server compact edition is in deprecation mode with no new releases planned near future”

Sadly this disqualifies SQL Server Compact Edition for the use in a productive application and the recommended SQL Server Express or LocalDB do not really replace it.

Now the big question is, what to use instead of SQL Server Compact Edition for the use case of a lightweight, easy to deploy database on a Windows Server?