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Working with DACPACs

Chad Callihan has a two-parter. First up is the process of creating a DACPAC:

DAC is the abbreviation for data-tier application and is an item containing the objects of a database. When put together into a versioned file to be used for deploying in SQL Server, that package is called a DACPAC. You can point a DACPAC at an existing database to deploy changes or use a DACPAC to create a brand new database with tables, procedures, and the rest of the database objects built in.

And once you have a DACPAC, you of course need something to do with it:

What if we want to use our DACPAC to create a new database using SSMS? Our first step will be to right click on Databases and select Deploy Data-tier Application.

As a concept, DACPACs are really great: I can package together tables, database code, and reference data in one bundle and import it into a variety of products (e.g., database projects, other SQL Server instances, Azure SQL Database). The problem is that once they get beyond a certain size, DACPACs are rather unwieldy and failure-prone to create and to extract.

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