These pages relate to SQL Data Compare versions 10.0 to 10.7. Help for older versions is also available.

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This page provides a list of the switches you can use with the SQL Data Compare command line.

Note that:

  • the first data source ( /db1, /b1, and so on ) is the source
  • the second data source ( /db2, /b2, and so on ) is the target
  • there are changes to the command line syntax of SQL Data Compare in version 8
    The names, aliases, and behavior of some switches and options is different to that of earlier versions.
    For more information, see Changes to the command line in SQL Data Compare 8

/activateSerial:<serialnumber>

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This switch is case sensitive.

Attempts to activate the application with the license key provided. An internet connection is required to activate the product.

If you run the switch without specifying a key, it will display the activation window.

You can license the command line with a SQL Compare Professional license or bundle such as the SQL Toolbelt; this will also license the GUI of those products. Alternatively you can license only the SQL Compare command line with an Automation license. If you have multiple serial numbers, separate them with commas without spaces.

/AllowIdenticalDatabases

This switch is deprecated. Instead use /Include:Identical

/Include:Identical suppresses the exit code if the two data sources are identical. If /Include:Identical is not set, SQL Data Compare returns the error code 63.

/Argfile:<argfile>

Runs a file containing an XML argument specification:

For more information see Using XML to specify command line arguments.

/Backup1:<filename1>;<filename2>;...;<filenameN>

Alias: /b1

Specifies the backup to be used as the first data source (the source). You must add all of the files making up the backup set you want to compare:

To specify more than one backup file, the file names are separated using semicolons:

/Backup2:<filename1>;<filename2>;...;<filenameN>

Alias: /b2

Specifies the backup to be used as the second data source (the target). You must add all of the files making up the backup set you want to compare:

/BackupPasswords1:<Password1>,<Password2>,...,<Password1N>

Alias: /bpsw1

Specifies the password for the first backup:

/BackupPasswords2:<Password1>,<Password2>,...,<Password1N>

Alias: /bpsw2

Specifies the password for the second backup:

/BackupSet1:<backupset>

Alias: /bks1

If you are comparing a backup set that contains multiple files, use the /BackupSet1 switch to specify the files which make up the first backup set, and use the /BackupSet2 switches to specify the files which make up the second:

If the backup set switches are not specified, SQL Data Compare uses the latest backup set.

To specify more than one backup file, the file names are separated using semicolons.

For encrypted backups that have been created using SQL Backup, use the /BackupPasswords1 and /BackupPasswords2 switches to specify the passwords; when there is more than one password, the passwords are separated using semicolons.

/BackupSet2:<backupset>

Alias: /bks2

Specifies which backup set to use for the second backup:

/CaseSensitive

This switch is deprecated. Instead use /Options:CaseSensitiveObjectDefinition

/Columns

This switch is deprecated. Instead use /IncludeColumns and /ExcludeColumns

/ComparisonKeys:<table or view name as regular expression>:<index name>

Alias: /ck

Specifies a unique index to be used to identify rows for comparison.

The name of the table or view is specified using a regular expression - you do not have to specify fully-qualified names. It is recommended that you use a regular expression which matches only one table or view:

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  • /ComparisonKeys must be used with the /IncludeColumns switch
  • with /ComparisonKeys you can only specify an index as the comparison key, no other columns can be specified

To specify a comparison key that is is not an index, use the GUI to set up and save a project with the settings you require. You can then use that project from the command line with the /Project switch.

For more information on using the GUI to set comparison keys, see Selecting the comparison key, under Selecting tables and views.

/Database1:<database1>

Alias: /db1

Specifies a database to use as the source:

/Database2:<database2>

Alias: /db2

Specifies a database to use as the source:

/Exclude:<object type>:<regular expression>

Arguments:

  • Additional
only those objects that are not present in the source (eg /db1)
  • Missing
only those objects that are not present in the target (eg /db2)
  • Different
only those objects that are present in both data sources, but are different.
  • Identical
identical objects in the command line output and any generated reports.
  • User specified
objects you specify with a regular expression (eg /Include:Table:WidgetPurchases)

To specify the list of objects to exclude, use the /exclude switch:

/Exclude:table specifies that you do not want to compare tables; you only want to compare other objects such as views, stored procedures, and so on.

To specify more than one object or object type type for exclusion use multiple /Exclude switches. For example, to exclude only tables and views:

Note that you cannot use /Exclude with the /Include and /Project switches.

For a more detailed example of how to use the /include and /exclude switches, see Example: selecting tables with unrelated names.

/ExcludeColumns:<table or view name>:<regular expression>

Alias: /ec

Specifies which columns within a table or view are excluded from deployment.

Table or view names are matched using a regular expression so that you do not have to specify fully qualified names. However, it does not usually make sense to supply a regular expression that matches more than one table or view. Multiple column names should be specified as a comma-delimited list.

Note that /ExcludeColumns takes precedence over /IncludeColumns

/Export:<directory>

Alias: /e

Exports the comparison results to the specified directory as a .csv file.

Note that the file created is always called Summary.csv

You specify the directory in which the file is created.

/ExportIdenticalTables

This switch is deprecated. Instead use /Include:Identical

/Force

Alias: /f

This forces the overwriting of any output files that already exist. If this switch is not used and a file of the same name already exists, the program will exit with the exit code indicating an IO error.

/IgnoreParserErrors

If SQL Data Compare encounters any high level errors when parsing a scripts folder, it will exit with an error code of 62.

Use /ignoreParserErrors to force SQL Data Compare to continue without exiting.

/Include:<object type>:<regular expression>

Arguments:

  • Additional
only those objects that are not present in the source (eg /db1)
  • Missing
only those objects that are not present in the target (eg /db2)
  • Different
only those objects that are present in both data sources, but are different.
  • Identical
identical objects in the command line output and any generated reports.
  • User specified
objects you specify with a regular expression (eg /Include:Table:WidgetPurchases)

This switch is used to specify the list of objects to include. You can use an /Include switch for each object that you want to compare. However, this can be unwieldy if there is a long list. Instead, you can use the pipe character ( | ) to separate the table names:

/Include:Identical suppresses the exit code if the two data sources are identical. If /Include:Identical is not set, SQL Data Compare returns the error code 63.

For a more detailed example of how to use the /include switch, see: Example: selecting tables with unrelated names

/IncludeAdditional

This switch is deprecated. Instead use /Include:Additional

/IncludeColumns

Alias: /ic

Specifies which columns within a table or view are included in the deployment.

Table or view names are matched using a regular expression so that you do not have to specify fully qualified names. However, it does not usually make sense to supply a regular expression that matches more than one table or view. Multiple column names should be specified as a comma-delimited list.

Note that /ExcludeColumns takes precedence over /IncludeColumns

/MakeScripts:<folder>

Alias: /mkscr

Creates a scripts folder from the first (source) data source.

If the folder already exists an error will occur. To merge scripts into an existing scripts folder, compare them with that folder and use the /synchronize switch:

/options:<option1>,<option2>,<option3>

Alias: /o

Applies the project configuration options used during comparison or deployment:

 

For a detailed list of these options, see Options used in the command line.

/Out:<FileName>

Redirects console output to the specified file:

/OutputProject:<FileName>

Alias: /outpr

Writes the settings used for the comparison to the specified SQL Data Compare project file:

This also generates a SQL Data Compare project file. These files end with a .scp extension. If the file already exists an error will occur, unless you have also used the /force switch.

/OutputWidth:<columns>

Forces the width of console output.

This can be used to ensure that database object names etc are not truncated, and that SQL script lines are not wrapped or broken. This is particularly useful when redirecting output to a file as it allows you to overcome the limitations of the default console width of 80 characters.

/Password1:<password1>

Alias: /p1

The password for the first database (source).

You must also provide a username. If you do not specify a username and password combination, integrated security is used:

Note that this switch is only used if the source is a database. If the source is a backup, use /BackupPasswords1

/Password2:<password2>

Alias: /p2

The password for the second database.

/Project

Alias: /pr

Uses a SQL Data Compare project (.scp) file for the comparison.

To use a project you have saved as "widgets.scp" from the command line:

Note that:

  • When you use a project, all objects that were selected for comparison when you saved the project are automatically included.
  • When you use the command line, your project option selections are ignored and the defaults are used. Use /Options to specify any additional options you want to use with a command line project.For more information, see: Options used in the command line.
  • If you want to include or exclude objects from an existing project, you must modify your selection using the graphical user interface. You cannot use the /Include and /Exclude switches with /Project.

/SyncScriptEncoding

Alias: /senc

Arguments:

  • UTF8
UTF-8 encoding, without preamble
  • UTF8WithPreamble
UTF-8 encoding, with 3-byte preamble
  • Unicode
UTF-16 encoding
  • ASCII
ASCII encoding

Specifies the character encoding used when writing the SQL script file. The default is UTF8.

For example:

/ScriptFile:<scriptfile>

Alias: /sf

Generates a SQL script to migrate the changes which can be executed at a later time. If the file already exists an error will occur, unless you use the /Force switch:

 

/Scriptfile can be used when the target (/db2, /scr2, /sn2) is a database, a snapshot, or a scripts folder.

If the target is a snapshot or a scripts folder, the generated script modifies a database with the schema represented by that snapshot or scripts folder.

/Scripts1:<folder>

Alias: /scr1

Specifies the script folder to use as the first data source:

/Scripts2:<folder>

Alias: /scr2

Specifies the script folder to use as the second data source.

/Server1:<server1>

Alias: /s1

Specifies the server on which the first (/db1:) data source is located. If an explicit path is not specified, it defaults to Local.

/Server2:<server2>

Alias: /s2

This specifies the server on which the second (/db2:) data source is located. If an explicit path is not specified, it defaults to Local.

/Synchronize

Alias: /sync

Deploys the data after comparison.

The target (for example, /db2) is modified; the source (for example, /db1) is not modified:

/UserName1:<username1>

Alias: /u1

The username for the first database.

If no username is specified, integrated security is used.

/UserName2:<username2>

Alias: /u2

The username for the second database.

If no username is specified, integrated security is used.

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