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Comparing Schemata using CM/Schema
The part that I haven’t described yet is the part of comparing database structures. This part is covered by a separated tool named CM/Schema.
The installation of CM/Schema is straightforward and finishes without any problems. So, I’ll leave out the installation process altogether and focus on the functionality instead.
In the above screenshot you see the CM/Schema GUI. From the Task window you can start all essential tasks. Let’s have a look at each of these tasks:
Capture an Archive
CM/Schema allows you to compare live databases, and, additionally, create and compare archives. Think of archives as snapshots of a database in time. These archives can then be browsed, or used for other purposes. For example they can act as “reference” or “master” against which you can compare live databases, or other archives, to generate a historical report indicating what changed between points in time.. To capture such an archive, just click on the corresponding icon in the Task Window.
At this point it is worth mentioning, that all tasks CM/Schema can fulfil are completely wizard-driven. Thus, it is fairly easy to use the tool and achieve the results you expect.
Naturally, the first part in create an archive is selecting the SQL Server instance on which the databases resides that you want to capture. CM/Schema allows you to create archives of more than one database at a time. Just mark all databases that you want to include.
Once it is clear which databases will participate, the next step is to decide upon the database objects to be included in the archive. By default, all supported object types are checked. So, when you want to archive all object types, just accept this default setting. There is also an option to ignore system objects, which is useful in cases where you do not want to capture system objects such as the database catalog.
The next step is to decide what basic and additional operations should be performed on the archive. CM/Schema not only supports the creation of archives, but additionally also the extraction of the DDL in one large or multiple smaller files and, if you have specified and source control system, you can directly add the archive to your chosen system.
In CM/Schema lingo, the set of instructions it takes to create an archive is stored in a job. Each job has its own name and description.
Each job can be scheduled separately for later execution using the Windows Scheduler or your scheduling tool of choice. Jobs can also be executed immediately at this point.
Upon each successful execution of the job, a new archive version is added to the history.
All information captured during job execution and about the job itself can be viewed in the right grid.