Say you have a development environment setup using SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and your customer has a SQL Server 2000 database accessible only via ODBC and you can only run a DB import via a script. How would you do it? Easy you might think just run msdbdump.exe on the command line, well this isn’t MySQL so you are not so fortunate.

Backing up your DB is easy with SQL Server using the following commands:

But this just gives you a binary file that can be restored if you have access privileges to the live database for restoring. If you are in a shared hosting environment or one where the paranoid admins won’t give you remote desktop access and the only access you have is to run a PHP script to import the data and schema via SQL you will need to export the DB to T-SQL format.

Microsoft have a little program to perform this very function: Microsoft SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard 1.1 It is difficult to find on the web so I aim to save you the time I spent hunting for it. When you run the wizard make sure to set:

  • Drop existing objects in script to false
  • Schema qualify to false
  • Script for target database to SQL Server 2000

It does seem to chew on the cud for quite some time so grab a beverage.

Now for the PHP portion of the process. So you have uploaded your lovely T-SQL dump file to a PHP accessible location on your webserver and now you are wondering how to get into your DB via ODBC. Well you will need a PHP script like the one I have supplied below.

A couple of the complexities to be aware of before you continue. It seems that the T-SQL dump file comes out as UTF16 and we need it in UTF8 so you will need to convert it to UTF8 before you can import. I used a neat little function available from for this purpose. This may or may not meet your needs. If you need a more accurate conversion method then I recommend you start your search with the PHP module/function mbstring . T-SQL contains reference and keywords that ODBC/MS SQL cannot understand. I have included some regex to strip these out.

My script is by no means perfect or factored down so feel free to make suggestions or improvements.