Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases

In short

A modern attempt to represent relational data in a software-indpependent way.

item info
types Database
preferred ✅ yes
extensions .siard
related formats Access, CSV, dbase, HDF5, SQL, XML
wikipedia SIARD_Suite


For relational databases, SIARD is seen as a suitable and sustainable format. SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases) is intended for archiving relational databases in a way that is as independent of the original DBMS as possible. This format takes into account all the significant characteristics of databases. SIARD is an open, freely available format, based on clear text formats: Unicode, XML, SQL (1999). This makes it accessible for various tools.

SIARD is a relatively young format.


There are tools for converting databases to SIARD and for validating the format, but the possibilities are limited. Some conversion tools such as AccessToSiard and CSV2SIARD can be found via COPTR (Community Owned Preservation ToolRegistry. Using these tools requires the SIARD Suite (free of charge).


Databases can use routines which may be dependent on their own scripting languages or programming languages from the DBMS. When converting to SIARD there is the potential risk of loss of such routines, but this risk is not considered to be very big because such languages are not expected to become obsolete.

See also