SQL Compare 10

Working with backups

SQL Compare enables you to compare a backup with other data sources. This is useful, for example, when you want to retrieve the schema from a backup and compare it with your database without running a restore operation or copying the backup from a remote network.

If you are comparing two backups, you do not need SQL Server to be installed on your computer.

  • Comparing backups is available only in SQL Compare Professional edition.
  • SQL Compare can retrieve the schema from full or differential backups. However, it does not support partial, filegroup, or transaction log backups.
  • When you run a comparison using a backup, SQL Compare locks the backup files when it reads them, and you can't overwrite, move, or delete them.
  • SQL Compare does not read the log records of backup files, so if the database schema was modified while the backup was being created, it may not be shown as modified in the comparison results.
  • You can specify a backup as the target; however, note that backups can't be modified.

Comparing and deploying backups

You can:

  • create a deployment script from a backup

When you have selected a backup as the target, the deployment wizard creates a script to update the database from which the backup was created. Backups can't be modified directly.

When a backup is the source, and a database is the target, the deployment script will deploy the database from the backup.

For more information, see: Using the Deployment Wizard.

Compatibility with backups

You can compare backups from SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000 databases. SQL Compare supports:

  • native SQL Server backups

    You can use backups created with SQL Server native compression (including row-level, page-level and file-level compression). 

    SQL Server 2008 encrypted backups are not supported.
  • SQL Backup backups

    You can use backups created with SQL Backup version 3 or later; you can use compressed or encrypted backups.

When you set up a comparison that uses a backup, SQL Compare does not support tables that do not have a primary key, unique index, or unique constraint.

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