Rescue SQL Server Data with Red Gate's SQL Log Rescue

Data is your business. If you lose your data, you could lose the business. So, as DBAs, we have to give special attention to our data. If you deal with a high volume of data, you know that life is not a bed of roses. Red Gate Software, the popular SQL Server utility software vendor, has come up with a new tool called “Log Rescue,” which allows DBAs to undo and redo their SQL Server database transactions. By doing so, users are protected from losing data, and more importantly, reducing or eliminating downtime. In addition, SQL Log Rescue can be used as an auditing tool to a limited extent. In simple terms, SQL Log Rescue allows you to see “Who has done what and when.” Let’s see what SQL Log Rescue offers you.

Version and Configuration

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

  • Operating System: Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Service Pack 4
  • SQL Server: Version 2000 Service Pack 4
  • SQL Log Rescue 1.0
  • Processor: Intel Pentium CPU 2.80 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB

System Requirements:

  • Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1.4322+
  • MDAC 2.6+
  • 128 MB RAM, 10 MB hard disk space

Product Overview

Let’s go through the features of the SQL Log Rescue to see what it offers you.

Installing SQL Log Rescue is not complex, as it offers a standard and simple installation. While installing, it creates extended stored procedures in the default instance of SQL Server. If you have multiple instances installed on a single physical box, you need to create the extended procedures manually from within the application.

To use SQL Log Rescue, you must first create a SQL Log Rescue project, which you can save and use later as needed. When creating a project, you must select a database to work with. Depending on the authentication mode, you need to specify the necessary login information. In addition, SQL Rescue will list the available backups, and you will be prompted to select an appropriate backup file. You also have the option of creating and removing the backup files from the project.

Next, you are taken to the main screen of SQL Log Rescue. The main screen lists all the previous operations done on the database, along with information on the date and time, table, user, and the type of operations. Operation types include update, insert, delete, drop, and truncate. Depending on the user’s requirements, a column’s positions can be changed by dragging it and dropping it to the necessary place. More importantly, users can sort and group the columns depending on their requirement. When an operation row is selected, as shown below, operation details are displayed, so that you can identify the changes. To improve usability, search and navigation buttons are available.

After selecting one or more records, which you want to undo, clicking the “Undo Operations” begins the Undo Operations Wizard. The wizard creates a script which allows you to undo the relevant operation(s). You have the option of running the script from SQL Log Rescue directly, to launch Query Analyzer (as this is the pet tool for most DBAs) and run it from there, or to save the script and run it at a later time. The main disadvantage of this “undelete” script is that it does not create the necessary T-SQL for the disabling of relevant triggers, foreign keys, identity columns, cascade deletes, and so on. You must create these manually. The vendor informed me that these functionalities will be available in the future releases. The “Redo Operation” also has the same feature set.

As this is an initial release, we can expect more to come in future releases.


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