SqlPackage.exe is a command-line utility that automates the following database development tasks by exposing some of the public Data-Tier Application Framework (DacFx) APIs:

  • Version: Returns the build number of the SqlPackage application. Added in version 18.6.

  • Extract: Creates a data-tier application (.dacpac) file containing the schema or schema and user data from a connected SQL database.

  • Publish: Incrementally updates a database schema to match the schema of a source .dacpac file. If the database does not exist on the server, the publish operation creates it. Otherwise, an existing database is updated.

  • Export: Exports a connected SQL database - including database schema and user data - to a BACPAC file (.bacpac).

  • Import: Imports the schema and table data from a BACPAC file into a new user database.

  • DeployReport: Creates an XML report of the changes that would be made by a publish action.

  • DriftReport: Creates an XML report of the changes that have been made to a registered database since it was last registered.

  • Script: Creates a Transact-SQL incremental update script that updates the schema of a target to match the schema of a source.

The SqlPackage.exe command line tool allows you to specify these actions along with action-specific parameters and properties.

Download the latest version. For details about the latest release, see the release notes.

Command-Line Syntax

SqlPackage.exe initiates the actions specified using the parameters, properties, and SQLCMD variables specified on the command line.

SqlPackage {parameters} {properties} {SQLCMD variables}

Exit codes

SqlPackage commands return the following exit codes:

  • 0 = success
  • non-zero = failure

Usage example

Further examples are available on the individual action pages.

Creating a .dacpac file of the current database schema:

sqlpackage.exe /TargetFile:"C:\sqlpackageoutput\output_current_version.dacpac" /Action:Extract /SourceServerName:"." /SourceDatabaseName:"Contoso.Database"


Some parameters are shared between the SqlPackage actions. Below is a table summarizing the parameters, for more information click into the specific action pages.

Parameter Short Form Extract Publish Export Import DeployReport DriftReport Script
/AccessToken: /at x x x x x x x
/ClientId: /cid x
/DeployScriptPath: /dsp x x
/DeployReportPath: /drp x x
/Diagnostics: /d x x x x x x x
/DiagnosticsFile: /df x x x x x x x
/MaxParallelism: /mp x x x x x x x
/OutputPath: /op x x x
/OverwriteFiles: /of x x x x x x
/Profile: /pr x x x
/Properties: /p x x x x x x
/Quiet: /q x x x x x x x
/Secret: /secr x
/SourceConnectionString: /scs x x x x x
/SourceDatabaseName: /sdn x x x x x
/SourceEncryptConnection: /sec x x x x x
/SourceFile: /sf x x x x
/SourcePassword: /sp x x x x x
/SourceServerName: /ssn x x x x x
/SourceTimeout: /st x x x x x
/SourceTrustServerCertificate: /stsc x x x x x
/SourceUser: /su x x x x x
/TargetConnectionString: /tcs x x x x
/TargetDatabaseName: /tdn x x x x x
/TargetEncryptConnection: /tec x x x x x
/TargetFile: /tf x x x x
/TargetPassword: /tp x x x x x
/TargetServerName: /tsn x x x x x
/TargetTimeout: /tt x x x x x
/TargetTrustServerCertificate: /ttsc x x x x x
/TargetUser: /tu x x x x x
/TenantId: /tid x x x x x x x
/UniversalAuthentication: /ua x x x x x x x
/Variables: /v x x


SqlPackage actions support a large number of properties to modify the default behavior of an action. For more information click into the specific action pages.

Utility commands


Displays the sqlpackage version as a build number. Can be used in interactive prompts as well as in automated pipelines.

sqlpackage.exe /Version


You can display SqlPackage usage information by using /? or /help:True.

sqlpackage.exe /?

For parameter and property information specific to a particular action, use the help parameter in addition to that action's parameter.

sqlpackage.exe /Action:Publish /?

Environment variables

Connection pooling

Connection pooling can be enabled for all connections made by SqlPackage by setting the CONNECTION_POOLING_ENABLED environment variable to True. This setting is recommended for operations with Azure Active Directory username/password connections to avoid MSAL throttling.

Temporary files

During SqlPackage operations the table data is written to temporary files before compression or after decompression. For large databases these temporary files can take up a significant amount of disk space but their location can be specified. The export and extract operations include an optional property to specify /p:TempDirectoryForTableData to override the SqlPackage's default value.

The default value is established by GetTempPath within SqlPackage.

For Windows, the following environment variables are checked in the following order and the first path that exists is used:

  1. The path specified by the TMP environment variable.
  2. The path specified by the TEMP environment variable.
  3. The path specified by the USERPROFILE environment variable.
  4. The Windows directory.

For Linux and macOS, if the path is not specified in the TMPDIR environment variable, the default path /tmp/ is used.

SqlPackage and database users

Contained database users are included in SqlPackage operations. However, the password portion of the definition is set to a randomly generated string by SqlPackage, the existing value is not transferred. It is recommended that the new user's password is reset to a secure value following the import of a .bacpac or the deployment of a .dacpac. In an automated environment the password values can be retrieved from a secure keystore, such as Azure Key Vault, in a step following SqlPackage.


The DacFx library and the SqlPackage CLI tool have adopted the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle Policy. All security updates, fixes, and new features will be released only in the latest point version of the major version. Maintaining your DacFx or SqlPackage installations to the current version helps ensure that you will receive all applicable bug fixes in a timely manner.

Supported SQL offerings

SqlPackage and DacFx supports all supported SQL versions at time of the SqlPackage/DacFx release. For example, a SqlPackage release on January 14th 2022 supports all supported versions of SQL in January 14th 2022. For more on SQL support policies, see the SQL support policy.

Next steps