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SQL Build Manager is an all in one tool for building and maintaining a package of SQL scripts to manage builds and updates to your SQL Server database.

SQL Build Manager

SQL Build Manager is a multi-faceted tool to allow you to manage the lifecyle of your databases. It started as a forms based application for the management of a handful of databases and then switched focus to command line automation for the management of thousands of databases.

Change notes

Key Features

The Basics

Build Package meta-data

At the core of the process is the “SQL Build Manager Package” file (.sbm extension). Under the hood, this file is a Zip file that contains the scripts that constitute your “release” along with a configuration file (SqlSyncBuildProject.xml) that contains meta data on the scripts and execution parameters:

If you are using a DACPAC deployment, this all gets generated for you based on your command line parameters and defaults

Example SqlSyncBuildProject.xml file. You can build this by hand to create your own .sbm file or leverage the options below (recommended).

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes"?>
<SqlSyncBuildData xmlns="">
  <SqlSyncBuildProject ProjectName="" ScriptTagRequired="false">
      <Script FileName="select.sql" BuildOrder="1" Description="Testing select script" RollBackOnError="true" CausesBuildFailure="true" DateAdded="2019-04-11T19:45:05.081043-04:00" ScriptId="14f775d2-d026-426b-bece-7faa323e0e14" Database="Client" StripTransactionText="true" AllowMultipleRuns="true" AddedBy="mimcke" ScriptTimeOut="500" DateModified="0001-01-01T00:00:00-05:00" ModifiedBy="" Tag="default" />
    <Builds />

Creating a Build Package

Forms UI

While the focus of the app has changed to command line automation, the forms GUI is fully functional. If you are looking for a visual tool, check out Sql Build Manager.exe. There is docmentation on the GUI that you can find here that will walk through the creation of build packages (PDF version).

Command line

The command line utility is geared more toward executing a build vs. creating the package itself. You can however extract a build package file from a DACPAC file using the Action=ScriptExtract flag. This is useful if you are utilizing the recommended data-tier application method.

A DACPAC can also be created directly from a target “Platinum Database” (why platinum? because it’s even more precious than gold!). Using the /Action={Threaded|Batch|Remote} along with the flags /PlatinumDbSource="<database name>" and /PlatinumServerSource="<server name>" the app will generate a DACPAC from the source database then can then be used to run a build directly on your target(s).

Running Builds (command line)

There are 4 ways to run your database update builds each with their target use case


Leveraging the /Action=Build command, this runs the build on the current local machine. If you are targeting more than one database, the execution will be serial, only updating one database at a time and any transaction rollback will occur to all databases in the build.


Using the /Action=Threaded command will allow for updating multiple databases in parallel, but still executed from the local machine. Any transaction rollbacks will occur per-database - meaning if 5 of 6 databases succeed, the build will be committed on the 5 and rolled back only on the 6th


Using the /Action=Batch command leverages Azure Batch to permit massively parallel updates across thousands of databases. To leverage Azure Batch, you will first need to set up your Batch account. The instructions for this can be found here.

An excellent tool for viewing and monitoring your Azure batch accounts and jobs can be found here


Using /Action=Remote, this method leverages an Azure Cloud Service deployment of the SqlBuildManager.Services application. This is a legacy method that allows for massively parallel updates. It is considered legacy because Azure Cloud Services themselves are a legacy deployment and also because of the extra effort to deploy and configure the Cloud Service compared to the same capability available via Azure Batch.

For full command line reference details, go here

Detailed information on leveraging Azure Batch for massively parallel deployments, go here

For help on building and unit testing, go here