A tiny database duo are promising what mighty Microsoft won't deliver with the first Windows Phone 7 - an on-phone database for non-Microsoft applications.
McObject will support its object-oriented Perst .NET open-source database on Windows Phone 7 after Perst was ported and offered as a product by enterprising consultant APPA Mundi.
The presence of a local database on Windows Phone 7 means applications written by anyone other than Microsoft now have access to local storage, search and retrieval.
While Windows Phone 7 will ship from Microsoft in October with SQL Server Compact Edition, it will only be for use by applications built by Microsoft rather than third parties, as APIs for Microsoft's miniature database will not be exposed to outsiders.
It's among a number of limitations Microsoft's placed on Windows Phone 7 version 1.0 so it can deliver something that's stable and risk free, and that provides touch-screen parity with Apple and Android to help stop the erosion of Windows mobile's market share.
Windows Phone 7 also won't let applications talk to each other or run in the background either.
Mundi's work has caught Microsoft's eye. The company's director of Windows Phone 7 "experience" Brandon Watson called the development "epic" saying: "We are going to be following up with them."
Mundi principal and Microsoft device application Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Andy Wigley, who ported Perst, said the move would be "really appealing for anyone who wants to persist even a moderate amount of data."
The work targets business applications that need local data storage, search and retrieval more than the consumer market and web apps like Facebook and Twitter Microsoft's clearly prioritized to catch Apple. Perst is also available for Java 2 Micro Edition with Perst Lite released in 2006 for RIM's BlackBerry - strong among business types. A version of Perst is also available for Google's Android.
Perst .NET is built using C# and works with desktop versions of Microsoft's Silverlight. the .NET Compact Framework and the full .NET Framework. Applications on Windows Phone 7 are written to a superset of Silverlight 3.0 and parts of Silverlight 4.0 - you can see what's supported here.
Wigley is now porting McObject's customer relationship application for desktop Silverlight to Windows Phone 7.