The SQL Server Magic

Think SQL Server is magical? You’re right! However, there’s some sense to the magic, and that’s what I’ll show you in this extremely deep dive session. Through my work in creating OrcaMDF, an open source parser for SQL Server databases, I’ve learned a lot of internal details for the SQL Server database file format.

In this session, I will walk you through the internal storage format of MDF files, how we might go about parsing a complete database ourselves, using nothing but a hex editor. I will cover how SQL Server stores its own internal metadata about objects, how it knows where to find your data on disk, and once it finds it, how to read it. Using the knowledge from this session, you’ll get a solid understanding of the basics behind SQL Server storage.

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