We are converting data from a competitor for a new client, so I don't have access to the original server, just the .bak file. Here is a screenshot of some of the columns in SQL server


As you can see from the screenshot, the column names all have the same kind of format. It is not consistent across tables -- some have all the names correct, some have only one or two incorrect. Each attempt to restore leads to this same weird obfuscation. I have no idea what next steps to take.

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  • 3
    How do you know they're not like this in the original database?
    – mustaccio
    Oct 13 at 20:30
  • Yeah, I can't think of a situation where the restore process would create anomalies like this; 99.9% chance this is like this in the original. As for why they would have named the columns a weird name like this? Bad developers? Columns were added by an automated tool?
    – BradC
    Oct 13 at 20:35
  • 3
    Maybe the cryptic column names are intentional - to discourage others from doing what you are attempting.
    – SMor
    Oct 13 at 20:38
  • 1
    Look for those columns names in other tables. There may be a data dictionary table. Oct 13 at 21:17
  • "User Defined Field". The old application may have allowed the customer to add extra attributes to the objects. As @DavidBrowne-Microsoft advised, look for a catalog but also ask the customer if he is using these UDF's. Oct 14 at 15:18