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SQL Server Sample Databases


This page hosts links to the various sample SQL Server databases that we are aware of. All of these are free for download and provided by various individuals and companies.

If you know of other sample databases or have updated information on these, please feel free to send a note to the webmaster.

Microsoft Sample SQL Server Databases

Most of the sample databases are provided by Microsoft. There are a few different databases and versions that are available from various locations. The major databases are:

  • AdventureWorks
  • northwind
  • pubs

Each of these is described below with links to the locations and instructions.


This is the primary database in modern versions of SQL Server. It comes in various versions:

  • AdventureWorks OLTP, regular and light, case sensitive and insensitive.
  • AdventureWorks DW, Tabular and multidimensional

In addition, there are variations for each edition of SQL Server.

AdventureWorks on Azure - Hosted by Red Gate Software and provided to the community for practice. 

  • Server: mhknbn2kdz.database.windows.net 
  • Database: AdventureWorks2012
  • User: sqlfamily
  • Password: sqlf@m1ly

We have more information here.

SQL Server 2012 AdventureWorks - All files, scripts, backups, data files. Choose the appropriate one for wat you are attempting to do.

SQL Server 2008 R2 AdventureWorks - The OLTP and DW versions along with a cube.

SQL Server 2008 AdventureWorks - This page has the mdf and ldf files zipped up for this version along with 2008 R2 and 2012. Note that 2008 requires filestream.

Big AdventureWorks - With more data, provided by Adam Machanic.

A script from Jonathan Kehayias for enlarging AdventureWorks.

Northwind and pubs

These were the sample databases with SQL Server 7 and SQL Server 2000. You can download them from the Download Center page.


There are a few sample databases from SQLskills that they use in their demos and classes. There are two types of databases they have:

  • sample demonstration databases for queries and performance demos (credit and sales)
  • sample corrupt databases.

The download page is here. To understand how these databases are used, you should attend one of their presentations or classes.

The Chinook Database

A project on Codeplex with scripts for Oracle and MySQL in addition to SQL Server. It's based on music and a fun set of data to play with.


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