Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Convert SQL Server Compact database (*.sdf) to SQLite3 (*.db)

To do this, you will need:

  • Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 (2010 would probably work too. However, it won't work with 2015 as Microsoft dropped the support for SQL Server Compact databases)

In Visual Studio:

  • Open your project (or create one) with Visual Studio.
  • On the left-side panel, open Data Sources and click on Add New Data Source -> DataBase -> DataSet
  • If your database is based on SQL Server Compact 3.5 or older:

Click on New Connection:

Make sure SQL Server Compact 4.0 is selected.
Click on Create and name a new database. Validate with OK.
Back to the wizard, click now on New Connection and Browse. Pick your database file.

  • If your database is based on SQL Server Compact 4.0:

Click on New Connection then Browse and pick your database file.

You should now see your database in the Server Explorer (left panel).

After rebooting your Visual Studio, you should now see a new icon in the Server Explorer :

  • Click on the new blue icon.

Right click on your database (the original) and select the following entry:

Follow the instructions.

The internal scripts will generate a *.sql output with all of the instructions required to create the database back.

With SQLite3 tools:

  • Install the sqlite3 tools from here.
  • Open a command line (ensure that the location of the sqlite tools is in the path).
  • Finally type:

sqlite3.exe DB.db ".read db.sql"
(replace db.sql with the name of your generated sql file)


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