What is the difference between the "Extract data-tier application" and "Export data-tier application" in the SSMS Options when right-clicking on a database?

  • 10
    Whoever names these functions should be fired.
    – tbone
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


So apparently "Export" creates a .bacpac file and "Extract" creates a .dacpac file.

After trying both options and seeing they had different file types, I found this information here;

DACPAC and BACPAC are similar but they target different scenarios. A DACPAC is focused on capturing and deploying schema, including upgrading an existing database. The primary use case for a DACPAC is to deploy a tightly defined schema to development, test, and then to production environments. And also the reverse: capturing production’s schema and applying it back to test and development environments.

A BACPAC, on the other hand, is focused on capturing schema and data supporting two main operations:

  • EXPORT– The user can export the schema and the data of a database to a BACPAC.

  • IMPORT – The user can import the schema and the data into a new database in the host server.

Both these capabilities are supported by the database management tools: SQL Server Management Studio, the Azure Portal, and the DACFx API.

tl;dr = Extract is used for schema information, Export is used for schema information and data.

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