Is there a way to open a .db file (SQLite database file) from within Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio?

Right now we have a process that will grab the data from a Microsoft SQL Server database and put it into a SQLite database file that will be used by an application later on.

Is there a way to open the SQLite database file so that it can be compared to the data inside the SQL Server database... using only one SQL query?

Is there a plug-in for microsoft sql management studio? Or maybe there is another way to do this same task using only one query.

Right now we have to write two scripts... one for sql server database and one for sqlite database ... then take the output from each in the same format and put them each in their own OpenOffice spreadsheet file. Finally, we compare the two files to see if there are any differences. Perhaps there's a better way to do this.

Edit: The table columns and layouts are different so using the combo of http://www.codeproject.com/KB/database/convsqlservertosqlite.aspx and http://www.sqlitecompare.com/ will not work here.

P.S. A lot of applications use SQLite internally: Well-Known Users Of SQLite


8 Answers 8


Hi Yes it is possible to open any sql server from within management studio when you have the correct odbc driver to do so. Create an ODBC connection to the *.db3 file and call it something like SQLite then try this is a query window

-- needs to be a system odbc connection not user

EXEC sp_addlinkedserver 
   @server = 'SQLite', -- the name you give the server in studio 
   @srvproduct = '',
   @provider = 'MSDASQL', 
   @datasrc = 'SQLite' -- the name of the system odbc connection you created

This is how you get the data, you can create views using this sql as well if you like


  • One note, creating the ODBC connection requires the appropriate Windows driver. MS doesn't have a free-included driver for SQLite, so you have to purchase a 3rd party driver and pay the license fee.
    – JDM
    Nov 6, 2023 at 12:49

The OP is asking for a way to query between DBs and so I understand the linked server responses. However, if you're here because you simply want to open an SQLite db with MSSMS, it's a lot easier than that.

Call me lazy, but all of these answers are kind of laborious and/or require things you may not want to do, have access to do in every case, or are just the wrong thing to do if all you are looking for is something better than DB Browser For SQLite such as MSSMS.

Just use this: SQLServerCompactSQLiteToolboxforSSMS


Open the Compact Toolbox Open the Compact Toolbox

Add a connection add connection

Browse to the file

enter image description here

  • 4
    Does this still work? I get: "This extension is not installable on any currently installed products." I have VS Community 2019 (16.4.1) and SSMS 18.4, running on Windows 10 64-bit, 1909. I also tried as suggested in the above link, which is to install from the command prompt, something like this (in my case): "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2019\Community\Common7\IDE" "full path to extension.vsix" Dec 15, 2019 at 18:49
  • @CraigSilver same issue here. Feb 7, 2020 at 18:14
  • 9
    1. Open %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18\Common7\IDE\Extensions in File Explorer. 2. Create a new directory named SqlCeToolbox. 3. Download the VISX from Visual Studio Marketplace. 4. Open it in your favorite archiver (7Zip, WinRAR, etc.). 5. Extract the contents into the directory created in step 2. Mar 9, 2020 at 20:49
  • 2
    This answer no longer works. I tried installing the file but get the same error above. I tried unzipping and placing into the folder, as mentioned above. I tried to find it on the marketplace in VS. Nothing works. It does not show in SSMS or VS. Is there a way to get this to work in 2021? Feb 28, 2021 at 4:23
  • 1
    SSMS 19 v18.10, @DanielHenry instructions worked perfectly. Sep 16, 2022 at 23:48

If you cannot install a System DNS, then the following steps should work:

  1. Install SQLite ODBC driver from Ch. Werner (both 32 and 64 bit?)
  2. In SSMS, go to Server Objects > Linked Servers > New Linked Server... New linked server...
  3. In the window enter:
    • Linked server: EXAMPLE (or anything)
    • Provider: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers
    • Product name: example (or anything)
    • Provider string: Driver=SQLite3 ODBC Driver;Database=full/path/to/db; Linked Server Properties

You should now be able to query the SQLite DB with


as mentioned above.

  • 1
    for anyone using this method, use forward slashes instead of backslashes in the full-path-to-db
    – gordy
    Dec 30, 2016 at 22:59

Taking the instuctions from maplemale's answer and Daniel Henry's comment, I've put together a 2021 guide (SSMS 18.8 as of writing) on how to achieve such a task.

You first need to download the NEW SQLite and SQL Server Compact Toolbox from ErikEJ which works with VS 2017 & 2019, which the newer SSMS is built on.

You can install this onto your VS if you so desire, but we're here for SSMS.

To quote from Daniel Henry:

  1. Open %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18\Common7\IDE\Extensions in "File Explorer".
  2. Create a new directory named "SqlCeToolbox".
  3. Download the .vsix from the Visual Studio Marketplace.
  4. Open it in your favorite archiver (7Zip, WinRAR, etc.).
  5. Extract the contents into the directory created in step 2.

NOTE: If you get an "access is denied" error when extracting the contents, then extract the .vsix contents into a temporary folder the archiver can extract to. Finally, copy the files into the new directory created in step 2.

Now you can find this extension in two locations within SSMS as shown below.

First location

Second location

Just to complete this answer, you'll want to add the SQLite connection.

Add SQLite connection

Finally, go find your SQLite database file under these formats:

  • .db
  • .db3
  • .sqlite
  • .sqlite3
  • .dat
  • .mdb (under All files (*.*) in the File Explorer)

Please don't forget to click on the "Close" button at the bottom to add your database file instead of clicking on the red X button at the top-right.

Click on the "Close" button


You may want to create a linked server, if you have a provider for SQLite that SQL Server will accept.

Connect to your database and then navigate through "Server Objects", "Linked Servers" and add a new linked server. You can then use SQL Server to query the SQLite database, and compare the results directly.

Here is a tutorial for MySQL, so if you can create an ODBC connection for SQLite then you will be good to go.


It IS possible to open another type of database in Management Studio. I opened an Informix database, using a linked server to the Informix server.


You'll need an ODBC driver for SQLite before you can set up a linked server, but once you have one of those installed on your sql server, it's relatively easy to set up a linked server using it.

Example using "SpiceWorks" SQLite database


Here is what I think some people are missing in the instructions from Daniel Henry. The file you download has a .vsix file extension. For example "SSMSToolbox.vsix". That extension may not be associated with archive programs like 7zip, winrar, etc.. I use winrar. So what I did was just change the name "SSMSToolbox.vsix" to "SSMSToolbox.vsix.rar". At that point I was able to right-click the file and WinRar and Extract the files within to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 18\Common7\IDE\Extensions\SqlCeToolbox". Restarted SSMS and click "View" and you will see it there.

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