Simplest Example

Simplest Example

the essence of the thing

Large Sample Databases for SQL Server

A large sample dataset is helpful when demonstrating the benefits of SQL Server features such as compression or columnstore indexes. Here’s a list of sources of large sets of data that can act as this sample set of data with little additional preparation.

  1. Microsoft Contoso BI Demo Dataset for Retail Industry – download the ContosoBIdemoBAK.exe file. Run it to decompress the ContosoRetailDW.bak SQL backup contained within it. The table FactOnlineSales within this database contains 12,627,608 rows.
  2. AdventureWorksDW for SQL Server 2012 – download the file and unzip it. The file has a table called FactProductInventory that has 776,286 rows, but may not be a good example in all cases because it is very narrow. Stephen Wang has written some scripts to expand the FactResellerSales table in this database to have over 10 million rows.
  3. StackExchange. Jeremiah Peschka maintains a data dump importer for this data to pull it into MSSQL. This set has a lot of text data, so if that matches what you’re hoping to show, then this may be the dataset for you.

Have a dataset that should appear here? Add it in the comments and I’ll update the post.


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