SQL Server Directory - YOUR Microsoft SQL Server directory for Microsoft SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000 and 2005 (Yukon).
SQL Server Directory - YOUR Microsoft SQL Server directory for Microsoft SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000 and 2005 (Yukon).
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SQL Data Compare by Red Gate Software Limited

reviewed on 9/16/04 by Mark Wehmhoefer

Bottom line

I was impressed with SQL Data Compare. I see the value of having it in my DBA toolkit. When my company budgets are discussed for next year, I will recommend buying this product.

30 minute product review

Setup and installation was as simple as running an exe and accepting the defaults.

I was impressed by the very fast execution time to compare databases even when the databases were across 2 servers.

Ability to select which key to use to compare each table.

Ability to exclude columns from the compare.

Ability to export data compare results to a .CSV format that can be read by Excel.

Can generate a synchronization sql script for either database that was compared.

Can copy the results or summary of the data compare to the clipboard. You can then paste the clipboard into a text editor and you get a comma delimited file. Very nice and simple to use.

Improvements I would like to see

Add a SQL Data Compare option named 'Include datetime columns' that will allow you to include or exclude these columns just like the 'Include timestamp columns' option.

When comparing 2 empty databases, a different datetime column is generated (our site does not use timestamp columns). But in the data compare, each row gets flagged because of the datetime columns being different. With 300 tables and 900 datetime columns, it gets a little tedious to weed through those columns. I could go to each table and exclude those columns during the data compare setup dialog ... yuck!

In the summary result grid, add option to exclude 'equal records', When you have 300 tables, most of which are equal, it difficult to see which tables changed without a bit of scrolling. Sorting on compare status is an option, but it would be easier to view by excluding 'equal records'.

In the data compare results, use the red/blue symbol for 'same column value'. Only the primary key data compare uses the red/blue symbol when the column is equal. Many columns compare equal in a data compare but all old and new data values are displayed in a row when one column is different.

In the data compare results, option button to exclude columns that are equal, so you only see the column differences.

Free evaluation copy download

You can download a fully-functional, free trial from Red Gate's website.

The evaluation copy allows you 14 days to review after activation.

Mark Wehmhoefer is a full-time Data Base Administrator with a Fortune 50 healthcare company. He is the webmaster for several websites including: SQL Server Directory, MCDBA Directory and Front Page Help.

Mark has earned these Microsoft certifications: MCDBA, MCSE and MCSE + I. Mark has worked with Microsoft SQL Server since version 4.2 and has worked in various capacities in Information Technologies since 1974. 


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