.SDF File Extension

SQL Server Compact Database File

Developer Microsoft
3.6  |  93 Votes

What is an SDF file?

An SDF file contains a compact relational database saved in the SQL Server Compact (SQL CE) format, which is developed by Microsoft. It is designed for applications that run on mobile devices and desktops and contains the complete database contents, which may be up to 4GB in size.

More Information

You will most likely only encounter SQL CE SDF files if you are a database architect or developer. You can open an SDF file with several programs, including Microsoft Visual Studio and LINQPad.

To open an SDF file with Visual Studio, select View → Server Explorer → Data Connections → Add Connection..., change the data source to "Microsoft SQL Server Compact," click Browse..., and select the SDF file.

To open an SDF file with LINQPad, follow these steps:

  1. Click "Add connection" in the top-left pane
  2. Select "Build data context automatically," choose "LINQ to SQL," and click Next >.
  3. Select "SQL CE 4.0 (auto-install)" in the Provider section.
  4. Click "Attach database file" in the Database section, click "Browse," and choose the SDF file.

NOTE: Previous versions of SQL Server Compact were distributed as SQL Server for Windows CE and SQL Server Mobile Edition.

Open over 400 file formats with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open SDF files

Spatial Data Format File

Developer Autodesk
3.6  |  45 Votes

Geodatabase format used to store infrastructural and geospatial data; supports multiple feature classes, which may each contain multiple geometric properties; optimized for large datasets of spatial information.

More Information

The SDF format was developed by Autodesk and is used by several Autodesk programs, including Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise and AutoCAD Map 3D.

Programs that open SDF files

Structure Data File

Developer Symyx Technologies
3.6  |  21 Votes

Chemical data file created in the Structure Data File (SDF) format, which was developed by Molecular Design Limited (MDL); saved in plain text and contains chemical structure records; used as a standard exchange format for chemicals information.

More Information

Molecular Design Limited was renamed to MDL Information Systems and then later was acquired by Symyx Technologies, the organization that now maintains the SDF format.

Programs that open or reference SDF files

Standard Database Format

Developer N/A
3.4  |  22 Votes

An SDF file may also be a data file saved in the Standard Database Format (SDF), which stores data in a structured format that consists of values organized into fields of fixed lengths. Various database and data analysis programs can import and export SDF files, making SDF a common format for transferring data between different programs.

More Information

The Standard Database Format is one of several data formats that use the .sdf file extension. Other formats include the Spatial Data Format, SQL Server Compact Database Format, and the Structure Data Format.

While an application can open an SDF file saved in one format, it likely does not support SDF files saved in other formats. For example, the Avogadro molecule editor and visualizer can open SDF files in the Structure Data Format but cannot open SDF files in the Standard Database Format.

How to open an SDF file

You can open SDF files with various programs, including dBase, a database management system that supports many modern database engines.

Programs that open SDF files

Free Trial

World in Conflict Game Map

Developer Massive Entertainment
3.3  |  15 Votes

Map file used by World in Conflict, a real-time tactics war simulation game; stores the terrain, spawn points, item locations, and other map details; used for multiplayer gameplay.

More Information

Custom maps can be created using WicEd, the World in Conflict map editor.

Programs that open or reference SDF files

Verified by FileInfo.com

The FileInfo.com team has independently researched all file formats and software programs listed on this page. Our goal is 100% accuracy and we only publish information about file types that we have verified.

If you would like to suggest any additions or updates to this page, please let us know.