VistaDB 6 Compatibility Changes

For more information on what’s new in VistaDB 6 see What’s Coming in VistaDB 6

Minimum .NET Framework Version

From the beginning of planning version 6 we knew we wanted to move the .NET Framework target for VistaDB 6 up from 2.0 SP1 (the version targeted since VistaDB 3) to at least 4. Our main drivers for moving the target are:

  1. Concurrent Collections: .NET 4 introduced a number of collection classes that are faster than those available before, particularly when accessed by multiple threads at the same time.
  2. Async Support: Database operations should be executed using async/await in most scenarios to ensure responsive applications and good scalability. This requires a minimum of .NET 4.5 to do correctly.

After reviewing what other third-party libraries are doing as well as our own API needs we’ve settled on .NET 4.5.2 as the minimum framework for VistaDB 6. This version provides all of the items we’re looking for and is still supported (unlike any older version of the framework).

If your application is still targeting an older version of .NET we recommend you look seriously at upgrading at least to 4.5.2. Even better - see if you can go to 4.7. Our own internal experience has been very good with these upgrades and there are a number of language features you can then take advantage of as well.

Stuck on .NET 4 or 2?

If you just can’t upgrade, we will continue to support VistaDB 5 for a longer period than normal. Typically, we only ship defect fixes in new versions but in this case if a critical issue is found in VistaDB 5 we will ship a fix up to one year after we release VistaDB 6. If you have a Premiere Support contract we can provide fixes for an indefinite period beyond that.

File Format Compatibility

Like when VistaDB 5 shipped we are updating the file format for the VistaDB engine. It will continue to be able to read databases back as far as VistaDB 3 (if opened in read-only, exclusive mode) but to write to the database it will need to be upgraded to the new VistaDB 6 file format.

The file format changes we made were designed to improve concurrency in network scenarios, enable the new in-process lock modes, and improve deserialization performance. Once converted your file may be slightly larger than it was before.

To upgrade an existing database to the latest file format it just needs to be packed. You can use the API to pack the database or Data Builder.

Visual Studio Compatibility

For VistaDB 6 we are keeping the same compatibility as VistaDB 5.6 - Visual Studio 2013, 2015, and 2017 are supported. Once Visual Studio 2019 (currently in preview) ships and we add support we will drop support for Visual Studio 2013, keeping our historical approach of supporting the three latest versions.

Of course, just because the VistaDB extension isn’t compatible with Visual Studio doesn’t mean you can’t develop with VistaDB - it just means that there will be no designer support. This primarily affects ADO.NET DataSet designers and the EF 6 Database-First Designer.

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