SQL Examiner: Not Just a SQL Server Comparison Tool

Database comparison and synchronization are frequent operations that most of do in our daily work as a developer or DBA. Tulasoft LLC has released a tool called SQL Examiner for the above purposes. There are several third party tools available for you to perform these same tasks for you. So why do you need another tool for the same job? Just read this through and you may identify why you may want to add this tool to your software toolbox.

Version and Configuration

This review has done using the following software and hardware configuration:

  • Operating System: Windows 2000 Advance Server Service Pack 4
  • SQL Server: Version 2000 Service Pack 4
  • SQL Examiner 1.0.0.17
  • Processor: Intel® Pentium ® CPU 2.80 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB

Product Overview

SQL Examiner is a tool for comparing and synchronizing the schemas of different versions of SQL server databases, no matter how complex their schemas are. The most significant feature SQL Examiner has is its ability to compare the schemas of not only current databases, but also between backups, detached databases, and from database snapshots. A database snapshot is a feature of SQL Examiner that allows you to save a snapshot of a database’s schemas, which you can later, if desired, compare to a database or a backup. More on this feature later.

From the following screen, you can select the details of the databases which you want to compare. There are three source types from which you can select.

  • Database Server: A SQL Server database which is currently running on a server.
  • Database Snapshot: A previously saved snapshot – a file with the .sesnap extension which was saved using SQL Examiner.
  • Backup / Detached Data File: A backup of a SQL Server 2000 database or a SQL Server 2000 detached database.

When Database Server is selected as the data source, you specify the SQL Server name from the list, along with the mode of authentication. Login name and password must be specified if the authentication mode is SQL Server. Next, you need to select the database which you want to compare. Clicking the refresh button fills the database list.

When Database Snapshot is selected as a data source, you specify the path to the snapshot file.

If you select the Backup / Detached Data File source type, you specify the path of the Bak/Mdf file. After selecting a backup file, backup sets are displayed for you to choose from. You can select only a full database backup. Comparison with differential backups is not supported. When you select the database backup as the source type, you are able to view the backup set name, the type of the backup, the date of the backup, size of the backup, and backup set description.

A check box is available at the bottom of the above screen called “Both databases on the same server.” This is a handy option for users. By enabling this option, you can avoid entering the login/password twice, and the same account is used to connect to both servers.

The More / Less button allows you to Hide/ Show part of the window where you can specify exactly what object types should be retrieved from the databases and compared, rather than comparing all the objects, which is time consuming if you don’t need to compare all objects. Unlike some of the other similar tools available in the market, SQL Examiner allows you to compare all the object types: i.e. Tables, Views, Stored Procedures, Users, Roles, Rules, Defaults, User-Defined Date Types, and User-Defined Functions.

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