System.MissingMethodException error in System.Data.SqlServerCe

After getting the new development machine up and running for the most part, I started once again to work on the web and client projects that we are going balls to the wall to get finished.

And of course, a roadblock was hit. On the Windows Mobile client, I got through most of the requisite re-referencing and compile errors that inevitably pop up when doing something like this. This client uses the Microsoft Synchronization Services to sync it’s local SQL Server Compact Edition database to our central SQL Server database.

When trying to create a new ServerSyncProviderProxy, the following error is being thrown:

System.MissingMethodException: File or assembly name 'System.Data.SqlServerCe,
Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=3BE235DF1C8D2AD3', or one of
its dependencies, was not found.

After much headbanging, trial and error on both the 5.0 and 6.0 emulator and on an actual device, Google and Server Overflow searching, and staring at the code, we finally figured out what the problem was. As it turns out, I must have installed the SQL Server Compact Edition Service Pack 1 on my previous machine, and those references were saved and somehow survived in the project. On my new machine, there was a version of SQL Server Compact Edition that was installed by some component (Visual Studio 2008, Windows Mobile SDK, etc.), so to me everything looked OK. However, after installing the SQL Server Compact Edition SP1 on the computer, the error magically went away on the emulator.

As an aside, I tried to put the code on the handheld that it had not worked on previously, and it still did not work. After inspecting the error output, which was different, I found that I needed to redeploy the new SQL Server Compact Edition SP1 Windows Mobile sqlce.ppc.wce5.armv4i.CAB file on the device, unpack it (which overwrote the previous SQL Server CE files on the device), and then all was well.


  1. Ade says:

    I’m having similar error on my PDA.
    I’m try to apply a hostname configurator for an application i have on my PDA and it says
    “File or assembly name ‘System.Data.SqlServerCe, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=3BE235DF1C8D2AD3’, or one of its dependencies, was not found”.
    I don’t know how to fix this.
    Can i get help please?

  2. BP says:

    About the only thing I can suggest is to make sure that your SQLServerCompact 3.5 Core component is not installed on a memory card, because that can cause problems.

  3. Sri says:

    I am facing the similar issue and found that its the compatibility issue between sql server ce 3.5 and visual studio 2008. The below link seems helpful.

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