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Posted 26 Jun 2008

Version control for SQL databases with SQL -> XML

, 26 Jun 2008
Demonstrates SQL Management Objects, LINQ to XML, and more.
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Xml.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Common;
using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo;
using System.Collections.Specialized;
using System.IO;

namespace DatabaseExport
    /// <summary>
    /// Exports a script definition of the specified database to an XML file for use in version management
    /// or for making comparisons between databases in different environments.
    /// NOTE: Does not attempt to persist ALL database settings yet ... just does fields, indexes and foreign key constraints.
    /// Feel free to add other settings if you need them.
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>
    /// This can be used as a crude form of version control for your database files.
    /// Each time you make a change to your development databases, run this script
    /// then check-in the XML file to your version control system.  Voila, you have 
    /// a track record of when changes were made to database tables, indexes, 
    /// foreign key constraints etc.
    /// To compare your dev environment to your staging environment, simply run this script in each
    /// and then diff the two XML files that you get.
    /// Demonstrates these technologies:-
    ///    SQL Management Objects
    ///    Generics
    ///    Linq
    ///    Linq to XML
    /// </remarks>
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            if (args.Length < 2 || string.IsNullOrEmpty(args[0]) || string.IsNullOrEmpty(args[1]))
                Console.WriteLine(@"DatabaseExport <databasename> ""<connection string>"" [<output file>]");
                Console.WriteLine(@"e.g. DatabaseExport Exceptions "".;Integrated Security=True;Pooling=False;""");
                Console.WriteLine(@"The output file defaults to dump.xml in the current directory");

            string databaseName = args[0];
            string connectionString1 = args[1];
            string xmlpath = (args.Length < 3 || string.IsNullOrEmpty(args[2])) ? Path.Combine(Environment.CurrentDirectory, "dump.xml") : args[2];

            SqlConnection connection1 = new SqlConnection(connectionString1);
            Server server1 = new Server(new ServerConnection(connection1));

            if (!server1.Databases.Contains(databaseName))
                string databases = "[" + string.Join(",", server1.Databases.Cast<Database>().Select(d => d.Name).ToArray()) + "]";
                Console.WriteLine("Could not find database '" + databaseName + "' in " + databases);

            Database db1 = server1.Databases[databaseName];
            TableCollection tc1 = db1.Tables;

            Console.WriteLine("Exporting database " + databaseName + " which has " + tc1.Count + " tables to " + xmlpath);

            XElement databaseElement;
            XDocument root = new XDocument(new XDeclaration("1.0", "utf-8", "yes"),
                                            new XComment("Dump of database for " + server1.Name + ", database " + databaseName),
                                            databaseElement = new XElement("database",
                                                new XAttribute("version", "1.0"),
                                                new XAttribute("name", databaseName)

            foreach (Table table in tc1)
                Console.WriteLine("Exporting table " + table.Name);

                databaseElement.Add(new XElement("table",
                    new XAttribute("name", table.Name),
                    new XElement("body", new XAttribute("name", table.Name), EmitScript(table)),


        /// <summary>
        /// Convert a collection of SQL Management Objects into XElements
        /// </summary>
        private static IEnumerable<XElement> XElementsFromCollection<T>(SmoCollectionBase collection) where T : NamedSmoObject, IScriptable
            var query =
                from namedObject in collection.Cast<T>()
                orderby namedObject.Name
                select new XElement(typeof(T).Name.ToLower(), new XAttribute("name", namedObject.Name), EmitScript(namedObject));

            return query;

        /// <summary>
        /// Emits the script for a given IScriptable SQL Management Object into an XCData section
        /// </summary>
        public static XCData EmitScript(IScriptable dbObject)
            StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
            StringCollection script = dbObject.Script();
            foreach (string s in script)
                sb.AppendLine(s).Replace("\r", "");     // We want just \n's in there - you'll see why in part II
            return new XCData(sb.ToString());

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About the Author

United States United States
I have been writing code and managing teams of developers for more years than I care to remember.

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