What are .dacpac files

DACPAC is one single file that contains the database model, i.e. all files represent the database objects. It represents a binary structure of the SSDT-compatible database project.
The name comes from an extension of these files. But, if you change the extension from *.dacpac to *.zip, you’ll be able to jump in and check what’s there.

Generating DACPAC using Visual Studio

Creating a dacpac file is quite easy and straightforward.

Visual Studio provides more options when compared to its predecessor. One of the most interesting features is the possibility to disable the “Verify extraction” option, which, if enabled (and hidden) in SSMS, leads to the failure of the operation. By disabling this option, you will avoid receiving errors and it doesn’t matter if the database contains errors or not – the DAC package file will be generated.

Open the extraction window using the menu: View -> SQL Server Object Explorer, select the required database and right-click it and choose Extract Data-tier Application…

Image by sqlplayer.net

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