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 Article: Software Review: SQLCompare
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AskSQLTeam
Ask SQLTeam Question

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  13:30:35  Show Profile  Visit AskSQLTeam's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've reached that horrible stage in a project. We're still doing development but the users are in an extended alpha/beta test of the software. And they don't like to lose the data they've entered. That means as I fix bugs and add new features I need to keep our development database in sync with our test database. I've been using Red Gate's SQLCompare to manage this and I thought I'd tell you a little about how it's going.

Article Link.

MichaelP
Jedi Yak

USA
2489 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  13:39:59  Show Profile  Visit MichaelP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use the older version 2.x of SQL Compare and love it! I hear the new version is much faster than the 2.x versions, and that is the only issue I had with it. It's fast enough, but faster is always better :)

Michael

<Yoda>Use the Search page you must. Find the answer you will.</Yoda>
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tkizer
Almighty SQL Goddess

USA
37129 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  13:42:58  Show Profile  Visit tkizer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Michael, you should upgrade! It would take about 5 minutes on one of my databases to do the compare. It now takes about 10 seconds with the new version. I typically use my own change scripts to update the other environments, but sometimes there is an environment that is several versions behind so it is faster to use SQL Compare scripts than to figure out what version the database is plus dig up all of those scripts.

Tara
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jasper_smith
SQL Server MVP & SQLTeam MVY

United Kingdom
846 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  14:32:55  Show Profile  Visit jasper_smith's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The speed rocks in the latest version! Another feature that is great is the ability to automate the comparison (does require the SQL Toolkit). I think this is a great addition to the range and extremely useful http://www.red-gate.com/sql_comparison_and_synchronization_toolkit.htm


HTH
Jasper Smith
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MichaelP
Jedi Yak

USA
2489 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  14:57:27  Show Profile  Visit MichaelP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wish I could afford the upgrade :(
Accounting doesn't understand why I need to upgrade something that works just so that it's "faster".

Michael

<Yoda>Use the Search page you must. Find the answer you will.</Yoda>
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  19:40:00  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MichaelP
Accounting doesn't understand why I need to upgrade something that works just so that it's "faster".



Do you have an internal billing rate ? Show them a spreadsheet with number of minutes a month you spend watching SQL Compare work



Damian
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SamC
White Water Yakist

USA
3464 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  23:02:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't use SQL compare and I'm guessing at the application....

Anyone use it to revise a test database and deploy the revisions to the production database?

Sam
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2004 :  23:16:52  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have done that.
Now I just follow a really strict routine of scripting everything so I know what has and hasn't been applied on a specific database.

It's great when you come into a new situation and have to figure out someone elses mess.



Damian
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csuire
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2004 :  10:36:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Graz (or anyone who knows),

In the article you say, "I have a script that generates all my procedures, views and functions in the proper order."

How do you programmatically generate them in the proper order? I’ve run into the problem before when adding stored procedures of getting a warning message of something like, 'Unable to update dependency tables. An object this stored procedure depends upon is missing. Adding stored procedure anyway.'

Thanks!
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Merkin
Funky Drop Bear Fearing SQL Dude!

Australia
4970 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2004 :  10:41:37  Show Profile  Visit Merkin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I know (I wrote the code for Graz ).
It uses SQLDMO, but instead of using the database objects to script directly, you use the Transfer object to handle your scripting and it handles the order. This is what Enterprise Manager uses when you script a database. You might have to play around with some of the options to get the result you want.

I plan to write an article on this (and include the C# code I wrote the tool with) when I get a chance.




Damian
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csuire
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2004 :  11:11:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm looking forward to that article and code sample.

Thanks for the information.
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simondeutsch
Aged Yak Warrior

USA
547 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2004 :  23:02:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SQLCompare Rocks!

Just bought it today, and lovin' it!

Sarah Berger MCSD
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22415 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2004 :  11:26:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a go with the DEMO. Couple of things I didn't seem to be able to do (Data Compare), please enlighten me if there are options to cover it:

Display a column but fo NOT include it in the comparison - e.g. UPDATE date which may be different on two databases but the row otherwise is NOT different

Use the PK's from one database as the basis of comparing with another database (which has DIFFERENT PKs or NO PKs - this is common for us; we use a LINKED SERVER to do a SELECT * INTO (LocalDatabase&TableName) FROM (Remote) and then want to do a compare locally.

Exclude a column from a compare one I can see the compare - seems like I have to re-edit the "job" and then re-run the whole thing (rather than just, say, right click a column of displaye data and say EXCLUDE or somesuch, and have that one table be re-compared)

Other than that it is a very nicely laid out application.

Kristen
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JellyRoll
Starting Member

United Kingdom
8 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2004 :  07:38:53  Show Profile  Visit JellyRoll's Homepage  Send JellyRoll an ICQ Message  Reply with Quote
I think you could solve the linked server comparison by using Indexed Views and comparing those instead...

Brian
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dazza
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2004 :  15:31:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are a lot of 3rd party tools available for SQL Server these days. Check http://www.aspfaq.com/show.asp?id=2209 & http://www.aspfaq.com/show.asp?id=2495. It depends on your need for such a tool, but a couple of things I found important when choosing our tool. How well are SQL object dependencies handled? Many vendors still don't appear to have this right. Does it enable a vastly improved process for database change management? If you are involved in database development, then I believe it is essential to implement an end-to-end approach from source control to upgrades to deployment. I've got a whitepaper that provides an overview of automated database change management, if anyone is interested.

Darren
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22415 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2004 :  03:00:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazza

There are a lot of 3rd party tools available for SQL Server these days. Check http://www.aspfaq.com/show.asp?id=2209 & http://www.aspfaq.com/show.asp?id=2495. It depends on your need for such a tool, but a couple of things I found important when choosing our tool. How well are SQL object dependencies handled? Many vendors still don't appear to have this right. Does it enable a vastly improved process for database change management? If you are involved in database development, then I believe it is essential to implement an end-to-end approach from source control to upgrades to deployment. I've got a whitepaper that provides an overview of automated database change management, if anyone is interested.

Darren


I agreed, and I'd be interested in your white paper.

We've wound up making a Home Grown tool to get closer to just what we need (which does take into account FKey dependancies).

Our application is highly customised per user, so I'm faced with trying to deploy changes without breaking customer-specific enhancements. This applies also to data (fully content managed web site / ecommerce etc. based on data returned from SProcs and so on, thus lots of Meta data involved too, some has our "ownership", some has client ownership - which they may or may not have changed, and may or may not want to replace with changes we have introduced.)

We have systems of GUIDs in records which are then recorded in tables of "ownership"; this includes attributing "assets" to application modules - allowing us to decide what assets should be shipped to a client, and who the owner is etc.

We then have an SProc that does a table-by-table comparison with some fairly slinky Web presentation stuff that allows review of differences, and decisions on what gets upsquirted etc.

These tools are also used in ensuring that the move from Staging to Production is safe - i.e. no emergency fixes made to Production that have not been reversed into Dev/Staging etc.

But its pretty much a nightmare, and I've got a large amount of development time allocated in 2nd half of this year to making it a whole heap more automated.

Kristen
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dazza
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2004 :  09:48:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kristen,

Your situation sounds quite complex, but it should be possible with the tools available to automate your processes a lot more. For example, you could package up your required changes with the tool, deploy it to your customers and have it dynamically apply upgrades. Send me an email and I'll reply with the whitepaper.

Darren
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