.SDF File Extension

A .SDF file is a Standard Database Format, created by Microsoft.

Open with Microsoft SQL Server 2019. Available for Windows.

What is a .SDF file?

An SDF file is a type of database file known as Standard Database Format. It is specifically created using Microsoft's SQL Server Compact (SQL CE) technology. This format is particularly useful for storing the entire database in a compact form, making it ideal for use in applications on both mobile devices and desktop computers. The size of an SDF database can be as large as 4GB.

The SQL Server Compact format was developed by Microsoft and is designed to support small to medium-sized applications. It is a lightweight version of Microsoft's more comprehensive SQL Server database system.

To access or manage the data stored in an SDF file, you can use several software programs developed by Microsoft and other vendors. Some of the main programs capable of opening SDF files include: 1. **Microsoft SQL Server 2019**: This is a full-featured database management system that can handle SDF files among many other database formats. 2. **Microsoft Visual Studio 2022+**: A popular integrated development environment (IDE) that supports various programming languages and database formats, including SDF. To open an SDF file in Visual Studio, you would typically go to the "View" menu, then "Server Explorer", followed by "Data Connections", and finally "Add Connection...". Here, you would change the data source to "Microsoft SQL Server Compact", browse to your SDF file, and open it. 3. **LINQPad**: This is a software tool that allows for querying SQL databases in a more straightforward manner. To open an SDF file in LINQPad, click on "Add connection" in the top-left pane, select "Build data context automatically", choose "LINQ to SQL", and click "Next >". Then, in the Provider section, select "SQL CE 4.0 (auto-install)", and in the Database section, click "Attach database file", browse to your SDF file, and select it.

It's important to note that SDF files are typically used by database architects or developers. These files are not commonly encountered in general software use outside of professional or development environments. If you are working with databases in a development context, knowing how to access and manipulate SDF files can be very useful.


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