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Archiving of Databases: SIARD Suite

SIARD stands for Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases. The Swiss Federal Archives (SFA) have developed SIARD as a sustainable solution for the archiving of relational databases. The SIARD format is based upon the most important international standards. SIARD Suite is currently being used worldwide in 54 different countries. The software can be ordered free of charge through the SFA.

How does SIARD work?

SIARD consists of two parts:
SIARD format: an open file format for the archiving of the contents of relational databases.
SIARD Suite: a freeware tool for the conversion of contents of relational databases into the SIARD format.
SIARD Suite extracts the contents from a relational database and saves them in the SIARD format which is appropriate for archiving. In this format, the data is stored for future generations and can be uploaded into a new database that may differ from the original. Therefore, this method allows to retain data independently of the original database and to reuse them in the future in modern database systems.

Archiving with SIARD Suite

Where is SIARD Suite being used?

SIARD Suite is being used by various institutions in Switzerland and abroad for the archiving of databases.
Distribution of SIARD Suite

Which types of databases does SIARD Suite support?

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • DB/2
  • Microsoft Access

To which standards does the SIARD Format correspond?

SIARD Format is based on internationally recognized standards such as XML, SQL:1999 and UNICODE.
Moreover, in early 2013 SIARD format has been adopted as eCH-Standard (eCH-0165: Spécification de format SIARD).
eCH-Standards define guidelines for recurring applications and their results, as for example format definitions or procedural standards. The aim of those standards is to unify and thus facilitate the electronic collaboration between authorities as well as between authorities and organizations, educational and research institutions, firms and private organizations.
The format description of SIARD before its approval as eCH-Standard can be downloaded here:
Type: PDF
SIARD Format Description
Submitting offices to the AFS we ask to use the more accurate formate description "eCH-0165: Spécification de format SIARD".
Last modification: 17.07.2012 | Size: 224 kb | Type: PDF

How can I order SIARD Suite?

The SFA provide SIARD Suite free of charge according to the license agreement. The terms of the license agreement are published opposite.
You can order SIARD Suite using the form below. By accepting the license agreement, the access data for the download will be sent to you by email.

Ordering form

License contract*

After verifying your information we will send you an email with the password required for the download of the software.

Have you forgotten your password for the download? Send an e-mail to:

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Type: PDF

eCH-0165 SIARD format description: Format description SIARD for preservation of relational databases.

We recommend submitting offices to the AFS the use of this standard format description approved by the eCH.
08.08.2013 | 1620 kb | PDF
Type: PDF

30.10.2009 | 262 kb | PDF
Type: PDF

13.04.2010 | 600 kb | PDF