Build your SQL server database

VSTS | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015

Here we’ll show you how to define your continuous integration (CI) process for your SQL server database project.

Get set up

For the instructions in this topic, you need a SQL server database project in Visual Studio.


If you don’t yet have an app but want to try this out, then see the Q&A below.

Define your CI build process

Create the build definition

  1. Open your team project in your web browser ▼

  2. Create a build definition (Build and Release tab > Builds) ▼

    Build tab
  3. Select the .NET Desktop template.
  4. As the repository source, select the team project, repository, and branch.

Enable continuous integration (CI)

On the Triggers tab, enable continuous integration (CI). This tells the system to queue a build whenever someone on your team commits or checks in new code.

Queue and test the build

Save the build definition and queue a new build by selecting the Queue new build command. Once the build is done, click Artifacts and then Explore to see the DACPAC (.dacpac file) produced by the build. This is the package that your release definition will consume to deploy your database.

Deploy your database

After you’ve run the build, you’re ready to create a release definition to deploy your database to:


How do I create an SQL server database solution?

  1. In Visual Studio, connect to your team project.

  2. On the Team Explorer home page (Keyboard: Ctrl + 0, H), under Solutions, click New.

  3. Select the SQL Server templates section, and then choose the SQL Server Database Project template.

  4. Commit and push (Git) or check in (TFVC) your code.

I use TFS on-premises and I don’t see some of these features. Why not?

Some of these features are available only on
and not yet available on-premises. Some features are available on-premises if you have
upgraded to the latest version of TFS.