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I have a full backup of my database from 4 days ago. It is a standard SQL 2008 .bak file. What I'd like to know is if its possible to view the SQL to a View that is in the database I backed up without restoring the entire database?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Using native tools, no. Idera Virtual Database will allow you to read the backup file in the manner you're describing. Other tools, such as SQL Litespeed and Red Gate SQL Backup will allow you to do object level recovery. However, you will have to pay for these tools (though you might be able to get away with using the trials short term).

Otherwise, you'll need to restore the database file somewhere. This is why it is important to also back up your schema to script files or store your database object definitions in source control.

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Natively to SQL Server, no. You would have to restore the backup in order to access it.

There are some third party tools that can do this, Idera has one I have heard is pretty good but does cost money.

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