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Opinions on Red-Gate SQL Data Compare Tool

Posted on 2006-11-08
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are considering using a tool from Red Gate called SQL Data Compare for keeping four databases in sync.

I was at a Microsoft seminar last night which was being sponsored by Red Gate, so I asked them about the performance of SQL Data Compare, I said something like "do you have any figures for what volume of data it can support?" - first reaction:

"volume isn't one of its strong points"

I tried to press them that I wasn't looking to sync millions of transactions, I just wanted some idea of what it would be reasonable to expect from the tool, but the two people I was speaking to were both very cautious about it - "use where clauses to limit the data being loaded", "there is a lot of discussion about this on the newgroups, take a look at them", "there are really too many variables to give any figures".

I don't understand why they are so cautious. I had a look at product reviews for the tool - using Google - and they all appear very positive. Can anyone who uses the tool regularly give any rough figures for the amount of data it will process in a given period?

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Question by:purplesoup
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Expert Comment

by:imran_fast
ID: 17897823
>>Can anyone who uses the tool regularly give any rough figures for the amount of data it will process in a given period?

Hi,

I nerver used regdate to compare transaction data only the lookup tables and few of configuration tables the data in those tables are limited may be in thousand and performance was good so the point is
if you  are trying to synch two servers transactional data (huge as compared to lookup and configuration data) you should use one of sql functionality like Replication, Mirroring or LogShipping.

Regards

Imran
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Author Comment

by:purplesoup
ID: 17898086
We can't mirror the whole database, some of the data will need to be different, only selected tables will be affected, but this will include some transactional data as well as lookup and configuration data.
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by:imran_fast
ID: 17898119
>>only selected tables will be affected, but this will include some transactional data as well as lookup and configuration data.

Then use replication for selected tables only.
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Author Comment

by:purplesoup
ID: 17898251
It seems it is going to be awkward having two replication mechanisms running for different parts of the data against multiple databases. You say you haven't tried using Red Gate for transaction data yet you seem to rule out using it - is this because you initially tested it for transactional data and found it wasn't suitable? I find the Red Gate UI very simple to use and if the tool can do it I would prefer to do all replication through it.
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imran_fast earned 500 total points
ID: 17898404
No I haven’t tired that on transactional data. See the problem is replication is also keeping track for data changes and it will apply on the changes from the primary server to the secondary server. Imagine you have a table Work order and you might have millions of records in it so if you compare each record in two servers for this table it will take hours. So usually in real time environment we just check for certain block of data. As those guys from red gate suggested use the where clause.
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Author Comment

by:purplesoup
ID: 17898471
OK - that makes sense - getting SQL Data Compare to continually compare all the data in very large tables is where the bottleneck is. I was thinking it would just remember changes made since the last update, not do a full compare - this all makes sense now -  "volume isn't one of its strong points" etc.

So if I had four databases I wanted to keep in sync this would actually be quite difficult because it would need to have some schedule to keep comparing different databases in order to identify the changes.
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