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What are my options if I need to move a database from SQL Server 2012(32bit) to SQL Server 2005(64bit)?

I know I cannot:

  • restore a backup of the database on SQL Server 2005
  • detach & attach

I know I can:

  • use import data wizard, and I tried it on one database, but it only moves data, and even that was troublesome as I needed to do a lot of work creating temp tables to maintain identity columns, recreating all FKs, indexes etc.

Is there an easier option?

share|improve this question
The easier option would be to upgrade the destination to 2012, to be honest. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 15 '13 at 15:59

You can follow any method below :

Note: If you are using any new features like new data types, etc then you have to test out as it will throw errors.

METHOD 1: Using Native Tools

  1. Script out the database SCHEMA_ONLY and recreate an empty database on the destination server. Below are the screenshots :

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  2. Use BCP OUT and BULK INSERT to insert data.

Below is the script that will help you with Part 2.

Author      :   KIN SHAH    *********************************************************************************************************************
Purpose     :   Move data from one server to another*********************************************************************************************
DATE        :   05-28-2013  *********************************************************************************************************************
Version     :   1.0.0   *************************************************************************************************************************
RDBMS       :   MS SQL Server 2008R2 and 2012   *************************************************************************************************

-- save below output in a bat file by executing below in SSMS in TEXT mode
-- clean up: create a bat file with this command --> del D:\BCP_OUT\*.dat 

select '"C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\bcp.exe" '-- path to BCP.exe
        +  QUOTENAME(DB_NAME())+ '.'                                    -- Current Database
        +  QUOTENAME(SCHEMA_NAME(SCHEMA_ID))+'.'            
        +  QUOTENAME(name)  
        +  ' out D:\BCP_OUT\'                                           -- Path where BCP out files will be stored
        +  REPLACE(SCHEMA_NAME(schema_id),' ','') + '_' 
        +  REPLACE(name,' ','') 
        + '.dat -T -E -SSERVERNAME\INSTANCE -n'                         -- ServerName, -E will take care of Identity, -n is for Native Format
from sys.tables
where is_ms_shipped = 0 and name <> 'sysdiagrams'                       -- sysdiagrams is classified my MS as UserTable and we dont want it
and schema_name(schema_id) <> 'some_schema_exclude'                     -- Optional to exclude any schema 
order by schema_name(schema_id)                         

--- Execute this on the destination server.database from SSMS.
--- Make sure the change the @Destdbname and the bcp out path as per your environment.

declare @Destdbname sysname
set @Destdbname = 'destination_database_Name'               -- Destination Database Name where you want to Bulk Insert in
select 'BULK INSERT '                                       -- Remember Tables **must** be present on destination Database
        +  QUOTENAME(@Destdbname)+ '.'
        +  QUOTENAME(name) 
        + ' from ''D:\BCP_OUT\'                             -- Change here for bcp out path
        +  REPLACE(SCHEMA_NAME(schema_id),' ','') + '_'
        +  REPLACE(name,' ','') 
        with (
        DATAFILETYPE = ''native'',  
        )'  + char(10) 
        + 'print ''Bulk insert for '+REPLACE(SCHEMA_NAME(schema_id),' ','') + '_'+  REPLACE(name,' ','')+' is done... '''+ char(10)+'go' 
from sys.tables
where is_ms_shipped = 0 and name <> 'sysdiagrams'           -- sysdiagrams is classified my MS as UserTable and we dont want it
and schema_name(schema_id) <> 'some_schema_exclude'         -- Optional to exclude any schema 
order by schema_name(schema_id)

Method 2 : Using Third Party Tools

Create a blank database on destination server. Use Redgate's schema compare and data compare to create and load data into the destination server.

Note: I have used Redgate's schema and data compare and they are the best tools for such type of task and hence if you are using 3rd party tools, then my recommendation would be Redgate.

share|improve this answer
+1 but keep in mind that there are certain things that just won't work at the destination (and I'm not sure how graceful 3rd party tools will handle all of that). Objects like SEQUENCEs, code like OFFSET / FETCH, LAG / LEAD, etc. – Aaron Bertrand Dec 15 '13 at 20:17
@AaronBertrand Agreed and hence I put the disclaimer to first test it thoroughly. Downgrading is always a pain !! – Kin Dec 15 '13 at 20:22
Once you have the schema created by scripting and running those scripts against the older database, another option for transferring the data is to copy directly from one instance to another by setting up a linked server. It shouldn't be difficult to script up a loop that does all the work. To deal with FK constraints you'll need to make sure you copy the tables in an appropriate order or you could remove the FKs temporarily and reenable them after the copy. Similarly you'll want to disable any triggers in the destination during the copy. – David Spillett Dec 8 '15 at 13:06

To decrease the version of Sql Server is very hard work.
There are some options to decrease like;
First of all, create all database object script and run at destination server.
After that you can use;

  • SSIS,
  • Import Data Tool,
  • Third party tool like RedGate or other.

But for RedGate Data Compare tool,

you must consider that it compares tables only which has primary keys . So if your tables that has not primary key, you must use other ways

share|improve this answer
I don't think this answer improves on Kins answer – James Anderson Dec 8 '15 at 11:27

protected by Kin Aug 10 '15 at 15:49

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