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Hirusha Viraj
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AdventureWorks 2019: How to Install and Configure the Sample Database for SQL Server

How to Download and Install AdventureWorks Database in SQL Server 2019

AdventureWorks is a sample database that showcases database design using current features, tools, and design techniques in SQL Server. It is one of the most popular and widely used sample databases for learning and testing SQL Server development and business intelligence solutions. In this article, you will learn how to download, install, and use AdventureWorks sample databases in SQL Server 2019.

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What is AdventureWorks and why it is useful

AdventureWorks is a fictitious company that sells bicycles and bicycle accessories. The AdventureWorks database contains data about its products, sales, customers, employees, vendors, and other aspects of its business operations. The database is designed to demonstrate best practices for data modeling, data integrity, performance optimization, security, and scalability in SQL Server.

AdventureWorks sample databases are useful for various purposes, such as:

  • Learning SQL Server features and capabilities

  • Practicing SQL queries and commands

  • Developing and testing applications that use SQL Server as a backend

  • Creating and deploying business intelligence solutions using SQL Server Analysis Services, Reporting Services, Integration Services, and Power BI

  • Exploring real-world scenarios and use cases for SQL Server solutions

What are the different versions and types of AdventureWorks databases

There are different versions and types of AdventureWorks sample databases available for download from Microsoft. The versions are based on the SQL Server release year, such as 2019, 2017, 2016, etc. The types are based on the workload scenario, such as OLTP (online transaction processing), DW (data warehouse), or LT (lightweight).

The OLTP type is for most typical online transaction processing workloads. It contains data about the current state of the business operations. The DW type is for data warehousing workloads. It contains historical data that is aggregated and organized for analysis and reporting purposes. The LT type is a lightweight and pared down version of the OLTP type. It contains less data and fewer tables than the OLTP type.

If you are not sure what type of AdventureWorks database you need, you can start with the OLTP type that matches your SQL Server version. For example, if you have SQL Server 2019 installed on your machine, you can download the AdventureWorks2019.bak file from Microsoft.

What are the prerequisites for downloading and installing AdventureWorks

To download and install AdventureWorks sample databases on your machine, you will need the following:

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  • An instance of SQL Server or Azure SQL Database

  • A tool to restore the .bak files to your SQL Server instance, such as SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Transact-SQL (T-SQL), or Azure Data Studio

  • A web browser to access the download links for the .bak files

  • Enough disk space to store the .bak files and the restored databases

  • Optionally, Full Text Search feature installed on your SQL Server instance if you want to use the full-text search capabilities of AdventureWorks

How to download AdventureWorks sample databases

To download AdventureWorks sample databases, you can visit the following link from Microsoft:

This link provides the download links for the .bak files for different versions and types of AdventureWorks databases. You can choose the one that suits your needs and click on it to start the download. The .bak files are compressed using zip format, so you will need to unzip them before restoring them to your SQL Server instance.

Alternatively, you can also use the following link from GitHub to download the .bak files:

This link provides the same .bak files as the Microsoft link, but in a different format. You can browse through the releases and find the one that matches your SQL Server version and type of AdventureWorks database. You can then click on the Assets section and download the .bak file directly without unzipping it.

How to restore AdventureWorks sample databases to SQL Server

Once you have downloaded the .bak file for your desired AdventureWorks database, you can restore it to your SQL Server instance using one of the following methods:

How to use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to restore the .bak files

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a graphical user interface tool that allows you to manage and administer SQL Server instances and databases. You can use SSMS to restore the .bak files to your SQL Server instance by following these steps:

  • Open SSMS and connect to your SQL Server instance

  • Right-click on the Databases node in the Object Explorer and select Restore Database...

  • In the Restore Database dialog box, select Device as the source and click on the browse button (...) next to it

  • In the Select backup devices dialog box, select File as the backup media type and click on Add

  • In the Locate Backup File dialog box, browse to the folder where you saved the .bak file and select it. Click OK to close this dialog box.

  • Click OK again to close the Select backup devices dialog box. You should see the name of the .bak file in the Device field.

  • In the Restore Database dialog box, select To database as the destination and enter a name for your restored database. You can use the same name as the original database or a different one.

  • Optionally, you can click on Files in the left pane and change the location of the data and log files for your restored database. By default, they will be stored in the same folder as your SQL Server instance.

  • Optionally, you can click on Options in the left pane and check or uncheck some options for your restored database, such as Overwrite existing database, Preserve replication settings, Close existing connections, etc.

  • Click OK to start restoring your database. You should see a progress bar and a message indicating whether the restore operation was successful or not.

  • Once the restore operation is completed, you should see your restored database under the Databases node in Object Explorer. You can expand it and explore its objects and data.

How to use Transact-SQL (T-SQL) commands to restore the .bak files

Transact-SQL (T-SQL) is a dialect of SQL that is used to interact with SQL Server databases. You can use T-SQL commands to restore the .bak files to your SQL Server instance by following these steps:

  • Open SSMS and connect to your SQL Server instance

  • Open a new query window and type the following T-SQL command:

RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM DISK = 'C:\path\to\your\bak\file.bak'

Replace the path and the file name with the actual location and name of your .bak file. This command will show you the logical names an


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