Embarcadero Change Manager


Migrate a Database



The process of “cloning” or “recreating” a database either completely or partially from either a live datasource or an archive is called “migrating a database”.



In this wizard-driven process you first select which datasource (either live database or previously captured archive) is used as migration source and to which database(s) the chosen objects should be transferred.

An interesting aspect of this feature is that you are enabled to roll out a database object to one or more target databases. That makes this feature highly suited for rolling out objects that are common to multiple databases at once. One typical application would be the roll out of common help procedures and/or function.

Monitor Datasource



In most environments, average users do not have access to privileges like creating and/or modifying permanent database objects. These tasks are typically carried out by the database administrator. However, what if you want (or need) to make sure? In these cases, the “Monitor Datasource” feature is a good choice. Monitor datasource is a roll-up of the “archive capture” and “compare” job types, capturing an archive and automatically comparing it against its previous version in a single step.



A “Datasource” is a SQL Server instance, which means that you can monitor multiple databases hosted on this instance at once.



Once you have finished the “Monitor Datasource” wizard, a job is created which can either be schedule to run periodically or started manually.



To start the job manually just right-click on the job’s node and choose “Capture New Version…” from the context menu.

Manage Schema Jobs



To effectively manage all jobs , CM/Schema offers an intuitive GUI from which you have full control over all functionality related to job execution.


As you can see from the above screenshot, some functions are directly available from the toolbar, while others are accessible via the context menu.



For example, if you want to restore a database to a previously captured point in time, you can do so by choosing “Restore” from the context menu of the treeview entry, for the snapshot that you wish to restore.



Apart from the various options and settings you can switch on or off in such cases, you need to be aware of the fact that such on operation can potentially cause data loss, particularly in cases where newly-created objects are to be dropped.



In common scenarios you may not want to restore all database objects to a previous stage, but rather only selected ones. This can also easily be done with CM/Schema. Just navigate in the treeview to the version entry that contains the snapshot of the database object that you want to restore. In my case above, I’m going to restore a stored procedure to a previous stage. Once you have marked the “Procedures” entry you will see all objects of that type in the grid view on the right. From there you can locate the procedure you want to restore and by double-clicking you open the embedded DDL viewer that shows you the DDL for this procedure in this version. This DDL viewer also you to directly restore the procedure, or compare it with other version, or even just view this procedure’s history.



When you decide that you want to view the procedure’s history, the above dialog opens; showing all history entries recorded for this object. From this dialog you can easily navigate to other captured versions in order to view and/or restore them.

Summary
Embarcadero Change Manager provides the following key features:  
  • Compare and synchronize schema, data and configuration differences between data sources across RDBMS boundaries.
  • Compliance monitoring.
  • Automated execution of all its tasks via generated SQL scripts.

Advantages

  • Cross-platform environment. Change Manager supports Oracle, Sybase, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server databases.
  • The tool does not require any additional objects to be created in the SQL Server system databases.
    Well designed extensible user interface.
  • Easy and intuitive to use.
  • Fast and reliable, even on larger databases.

Disadvantages

  • Not 100% SQL Server 2005 ready.
  • Quite expensive.
  • A trial period too short. But you might contact Embarcadero to see if an extension of this trial period is possible.

Conclusion
Embarcadero Change Manager is a tool aimed at the high-end enterprise customer. The ability to work seamlessly with all major current database platforms ensures its unique position in its market. It is easy and intuitive to use and makes synchronizing databases a breeze. If you are in a position where you need to work with heterogeneous database systems, you should definitely have a look at this tool as it can make aspects of your working life much easier.




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