SQL database replication

I am attempting to set up a proper development environment and I need to know if something is possible.  I want to set up a development sql database that is regularly sync'd with the live so that any testing we do against the dev database does not affect the live.  It also allows us to test using actual data from the live site.

Is this possible without using a third-party application like Scribe online?  Is there a built-in feature of Windows to handle this?

We are running windows server 2012 and sql server 2012.

Thanks,
ACUIWebDeveloperAsked:
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Deepak ChauhanSQL Server DBACommented:
SQL database replication is a built-in feature of SQL server 2012.
You can configure database replication from Production to staging server.

Here is the link for detailed info, you can opt type of replication like Transactional or Snapshot.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms152531(v=sql.110).aspx
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Deepak ChauhanSQL Server DBACommented:
I want to set up a development sql database that is regularly sync'd with the live so that any testing we do against the dev database does not affect the live.

According to your requirement, Snapshot replication is good you can sync dev database from live whenever require and no impact on Production database if you make any change into Dev database because changes does not replicate back in Snapshot replication.

What is the actual size of live database?
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ACUIWebDeveloperAuthor Commented:
That sounds exactly like what I am looking for.

My database is about 8GB
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Deepak ChauhanSQL Server DBACommented:
Thats fine Snapshot replication will be a good option. But please note production snapshot will overwrite the changes whatever you will make on the copy database.
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ACUIWebDeveloperAuthor Commented:
That is exactly what I wanted to hear.  Thanks
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