This is following up on this previous useful answer; I'd have left a comment there if i had the rep(: In case you have the same questions i did:

First, i had to rename AddressBook-v22.abcddb to end with a .db suffix before i could get my sqlite DB browser (Version 3.8.0) to recognize it as a SQLite database, even though sqlite3 could open it from the command line.

Second, the biggest hassle i had was figuring out the data model used in this database. For me, the DB Browser GUI made fishing around across the tables worth the effort.

  • The primary integrating table is ZABCDRECORD (Why did Apple have to add ZABCD to all table names?!)
  • The name of the other tables' attributes which allow them to be joined varies, eg:


Note that while I'm able to get existing Contacts data in these tables, I haven't found anyway to have Contacts take up any subsequent edits to the sqlite database. @bmike suggests using vCard import/export, and that is certainly a workaround.

  • 2
    Sorry I can't help with your question however I wanted to say thanks for turning me on to DB Browser for SQLite. – user3439894 Jan 8 '16 at 0:50
  • I don't think you can achieve anything on working on the .abcddb because this is a database which is built by Contacts from its internal data which is the Metadata directory. – dan Jan 17 '16 at 10:29
  • Welcome to Ask Different. What specifically are you looking to modify? Exporting data as vCard and manipulating that file and then importing is the fastest way I know to make bulk changes to the database. That code is well documented or you could import into a simplified sqlite database schema if you needed. Also - if you could stick to one question per question, that works best here. – bmike Feb 18 '16 at 20:02
  • hey @bmike, i was pursuing the contacts' .abcddb <--> sqlite connection. (if i was starting over, i'd probably use vCards as you suggest.) yes, i can import into sqlite, but it seems impossible to round-trip. that comes close to the 'answer' i wish i'd had. tell me how you'd like this editted to conform and i'm happy to oblige. – rikb Feb 19 '16 at 22:22
  • Everything after the code block needs do to go I think. Modifying contacts app to use a different schema is too broad IMO. Basically, can you specify a more narrow end goal? – bmike Feb 19 '16 at 23:51

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