Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sample Database for "What Every Developer Should Know About SQL Server Performance"

To download the sample database for 'What Every Developer Should Know About SQL Server Performance", use the link below that corresponds to your version of SQL Server.

Once you have the file downloaded, unzip the file.  Then, in SQL Server Management Studio, right click on the databases folder and select "Restore Database".  In the dialog box, choose "Device" and locate the "Students.bak" file you just unzipped.  Follow the prompts and the database will be restored to your system.

Using bcp to Import Data Instead

If you have trouble with the backup file, or just prefer to import your data directly, I've put together a zip file of the raw data exported out using the SQL Server bcp utility.  In this file, I have a readme.txt file that tells the exact steps to bring the data in, but basically, you will do the following:

  1. Go into Management Studio and create a new database called Students.
  2. Run the included Students-Schema.sql file in Management Studio to create all of the schema objects (tables)
  3. At a command prompt, run a series of bcp commands to bring the data into SQL Server.  In the file, there is a list of all the commands you need to run in the correct order.  
The link to the bcp file is here: Students Data as bcp Export

Either way, the result is to same, the data will get into your database and give you an opportunity to play around.


  1. Hi -

    No bak file for sql server 2008.
    Can you please look into it.


  2. Hi,
    When restoring database on sql server 2008, getting the error "Specified cast is not valid. (SqlManagerUI)"

    Any help appreciated..


  3. Thank you for making this available. However, When I try to restore it to 2008 R2, I get the error message "Object cannot be cast from DBNull to other types. (mscorlib)".

    Would appreciate any guidance.


  4. I just noticed that all the links point to the same file, which is the 2014 version. I'm sure once those links are fixed it will work fine.

  5. Hello all,
    I've updated the links for SQL 2012 and 2008 so they point to the correct backup files now. Make sure to grab the appropriate file for the version of SQL you have otherwise you will run into problems during the restore process.


  6. After clicking on the SQL Server 2012 link above, I am told that the security certificate for the website is being used by another website, and I am not allowed to continue. Is there another way to get the sample db?

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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