Data Management

Add Red Gate's tools to your SQL Server tool arsenal


Red Gate Software, a leader in SQL Server tools for .NET professionals recently released SQL Compare 6.10. In short, the tool allows you to compare and synchronize all database objects, including tables, stored procedures, views, user-defined functions, XML schema collections, and CLR assemblies.

This tool is very simple to use and it basically looks for information about your company’s structure or schema and then scripts out the entire database. It goes on to compare both databases and identifies the differences allowing you to synchronize the database in any given direction. All dependencies and referential integrity are maintained during this process.

John Allman, senior DBA with United Health Group, states, "I just wanted to say a few words about SQL Compare. It is probably the best value in software that I've ever gotten in my life. For what you pay for that and the utility you get out of it, I just can't understand why everybody doesn't have it.”

As a DBA consultant in the trenches, I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have a set of tools that allows me to compare my production database to a live backup. In the past, I had to restore the data to a temporary database and this could take many hours depending on the size of the database.

With this tool, you have the ability to compare a live SQL Server database with its backup without having to restore the backup, which is time consuming, or copy from your SAN\NAS to the local disk. Can you imagine how much time your are saving?

With SQL Compare you have the ability to compare and synchronize databases, compare backups, SQL Server 2005 support, compare primary keys and unique indexes, custom comparisons, indexed views support, pivot-view navigation, and compare large databases that could contain gigabytes of data. SQL Compare is so powerful; you can synchronize a row, table, and/or an entire database. It is so easy to use, practically simplistic, but very powerful.

Furthermore, "If you develop on a live database, you can now use SQL Compare 6 to update a set of SQL script files that represent the database schema," says Andras Belokosztolszki, the architect of the last three versions of SQL Compare. He goes on to say, "This opens the door to placing source control at the heart of the development process, providing a way to control and track database design changes in a detailed and meticulous manner."

Many database administrators have a variety of tools in their repertoire. This is just one tool that needs to be handy in case the need arises to rebuild databases or just compare databases quickly and efficiently. In a world where most IT people must hybrid themselves by being a database administrator and an Engineer, having tools that save time becomes a must. We live in a world, “Can you get this done by end of business (eob), today.”

Jasper Smith, SQL Server MVP states, “It’s very intuitive. The interface is clean and it’s obvious what everything is there for. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed. I usually hand-code SQL queries when moving databases between environments and doing synchronization and replication checking. With SQL Data Compare, I can save up to several hours on each database.” He goes on to say, “SQL Data Compare is simple, quick and it saves time. Simply put, it does what it sets out to do.”

In order to use this tool, you must have SQL Server 2000 or SQL Server 2005 installed. SQL Compare also requires the following Operating Systems in order to function properly:

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 2003 Server
  • Windows XP
  • Microsoft.NET Framework 2.0
  • MDAC 2.8
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 25 MB of disk space required for installation
As far as cost in concerned, a standard license of SQL Data Compare will run you about $395.00. The Professional Edition runs $595.00, which includes access to the command line interface as well as the Compare to Backups feature.

According to Peter Daniels, DBA of InComm, “One of the key draws for Red Gate tools has always been the price point and the rapid return on investment (ROI). The SQL Bundle has been a standard for my toolbox since 2000, across 4 jobs.”

You can take advantage of their 14 day-day free trial by simply downloading the product. After you download SQL Compare for 14 days, you have a fully functioning product for 14 days.

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