Invalid object name ‘’ using MVC3 and SQL Server

When working through the Movies tutorial on the ASP.NET website, I decided that it’d be fun to try to switch the data provider from SQL Compact to the full version of SQL Server 2008. In preparation for the move, I created a new (blank) database and gave the appropriate permissions to my test account. However, after altering my connection string to accommodate SQL Server 2008, I received the following message:

Invalid object name ‘dbo.Movies’.

At first, I thought that my connection string was off, but it turns out that for Entity Framework to automagically create database tables and relationships, the database must not already exist. As such, simply deleting the blank database completely fixed the problem. This, of course, means that your SQL Server user must have db create privileges, which is something that I don’t grant my test account. To get around this, use more powerful credentials for the initial connection that creates the database. Afterwards, you can switch to a more restricted login.