Build a database project from command line

While the SQL Database Project extension for Azure Data Studio provides a graphical user interface to build a database project, a command line build experience is also available for Windows, macOS, and Linux environments. This article outlines the prerequisites and syntax needed to build a SQL project to dacpac from the command line.


  1. Install and configure SQL Database Projects extension for Azure Data Studio.

  2. The following .NET Core dlls and the target file Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SqlTasts.targets are required to build a SQL database project from the command line from all platforms supported by the Azure Data Studio extension for SQL Database Projects. These files are created by the extension during the first build completed in the Azure Data Studio interface and placed in the extension's folder under BuildDirectory. For example, on Linux, these files are placed in ~\.azuredatastudio\extensions\microsoft.sql-database-projects-x.x.x\BuildDirectory\. Copy these 10 files to a new and accessible folder or note their location. This location will be referred to as DotNet Core build folder in this document.

    • Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.Sql.dll
    • Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.Tasks.Sql.dll
    • Microsoft.Data.Tools.Utilities.dll
    • System.Io.Packaging.dll
    • Microsoft.SqlServer.Dac.dll
    • Microsoft.SqlServer.Dac.Extensions.dll
    • Microsoft.SqlServer.TransactSql.ScriptDom.dll
    • Microsoft.SqlServer.Types.dll
    • Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SqlTasks.targets
    • System.ComponentModel.Composition.dll
    • Microsoft.Data.SqlClient.dll
  3. If the project was created in Azure Data Studio - skip ahead to Build the project from the command line. If the project was created in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT), open the project in the Azure Data Studio SQL Database project extension. Opening the project in Azure Data Studio automatically updates the sqlproj file with three edits, noted below for your information:

    1. Import conditions
    <Import Condition="'$(NetCoreBuild)' == 'true'" Project="$(NETCoreTargetsPath)\Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SqlTasks.targets"/> 
    <Import Condition="'$(NetCoreBuild)' != 'true' AND '$(SQLDBExtensionsRefPath)' != ''" Project="$(SQLDBExtensionsRefPath)\Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SqlTasks.targets"/>
    <Import Condition="'$(NetCoreBuild)' != 'true' AND '$(SQLDBExtensionsRefPath)' == ''" Project="$(MSBuildExtensionsPath)\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v$(VisualStudioVersion)\SSDT\Microsoft.Data.Tools.Schema.SqlTasks.targets"/>
    1. Package reference
        <PackageReference Condition="'$(NetCoreBuild)' == 'true'" Include="Microsoft.NETFramework.ReferenceAssemblies" Version="1.0.0" PrivateAssets="All"/>
    1. Clean target, necessary for supporting dual editing in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) and Azure Data Studio

      <Target Name="AfterClean">
          <Delete Files="$(BaseIntermediateOutputPath)\project.assets.json"/>

Build the project from the command line

From the full .NET folder, use the following command:

dotnet build "<sqlproj file path>" /p:NetCoreBuild=true /p:NETCoreTargetsPath="<DotNet Core build folder>"

For example, from /usr/share/dotnet on Linux:

dotnet build "/home/myuser/Documents/DatabaseProject1/DatabaseProject1.sqlproj" /p:NetCoreBuild=true /p:NETCoreTargetsPath="/home/myuser/.azuredatastudio-insiders/extensions/microsoft.sql-database-projects-0.1.2/BuildDirectory"  

Next steps