Goldilocks and the Four Schemas

Once upon a time, there was a DBA named Goldilocks. While walking through the forest one day, she stumbled upon a developer’s cubicle. There was no door (everyone knows that cubicles don’t have doors, even in fairytales) so she walked in without knocking. Pinned to the developer's corkboard were four database schemas. Goldilocks had a presentation to give the next day and wanted a sample database to run some queries against. She reviewed the first schema, called Pubs. “This schema is too simple!” Goldilocks exclaimed. The next schema was called Northwind. Goldilocks thought in addition to being too simple, that schema was chock-full of design problems. The third schema was called AdventureWorks. “Hmm, this schema is much better,” Goldilocks thought at first glance. But after reviewing AdventureWorks in more detail, she threw up her hands in despair and said, “This schema is too big and complicated. I can’t remember all the silly table names and relationships between the tables. How will I ever use it for demos?”

Goldilocks sighed despondently and was about the leave the cubicle when she saw one more schema pinned behind the others. This schema was called AdventureWorks Light and had just been released. AdventureWorks Light included only 10 tables (with a relatively small number of rows in each table) and three views, and all the objects were in a single schema, which made the database seem much more approachable. Although AdventureWorks Light didn't contain stored procedures, it did have one scalar and two table-valued functions as well as an XML schema collection. “This schema is just right,” said Goldilocks, and she used it in her demo the next day.

OK, I’ll stop. I was tempted to put some grumpy bear-like bosses in my little fairytale, but all good things must come to an end. As you might have deduced by now, Microsoft recently released Adventureworks Light, a schema that might be "just right" for simple demonstration purposes. If you're looking for an easy-to-grab schema to use for simple demos, AdventureWorks Light is what you need. This product is currently available only as a Windows Installer (.msi) file. (When will Microsoft learn that DBAs want their samples in a simple T-SQL-based installation script?) You can download AdventureWorks Light from or .

And everyone lived happily every after. The End.

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