One of the things that has been annoying me for some time about Webparts is that silly dependency on SqlExpress/SqlServer. My webhosting at Jumba comes with MySQL or something and not SqlServer. So up until this point to get around the dependency on SqlServer I simply disabled all the calls from SqlBlogPersonalizationProvider and that did the trick, but I had to manually do all the layout stuff and couldn’t use the webparts properly. A while ago when Microsoft released the source code for the old AccessPersonalizationProvider from Beta 1 I thought I’d come back and address this issue.
Here’s what happened.
I plugged the Access providers into SUB, it all compiled started to run, then Bang! It all broke. Apparently I need an existing Access database with the correct schema and tables. I’m sure this wouldn’t have been very difficult to put together but I don’t have that much time anymore.
Fortunately I found this blog entry where Dion provides details on how to store the serialized byte array that the provider outputs as a Base64 string in the aspx page. I didn’t exactly want the page modifying itself so I simply modified it to store all the goodies in an Xml document in the App_Data folder.
Yey, so now I can use the Shared-Scope webpart features without SqlServer. Another advantage of this is my Xml document is around 5kb where I know the starting size for that SqlExpress db is 10mb. In future I would like to get a portable database solution working such as the Access one or even a Sqlite version.