SQL Data Compare 11

Example - selecting tables with unrelated names

This example illustrates how you select a number of individual tables for comparison when their names are not related in any way.

In this example, the databases contain the following tables:

  • Product
  • Supplier
  • ProductCategory
  • SpecialOffer
  • Customer
  • Order
  • Invoice

You are interested only in the differences between the Product, Customer, Order, and Invoice tables in two different versions of your database, Customers1 and Customers2.

Using the command line

To specify the list of tables to include, you use the /Include switch. You could use an Include switch for each table that you want to compare. However, this could get unwieldy if you have a long list of tables. Instead, you can use the pipe character ( | ) to separate the table names:

sqldatacompare /db1:Customers1 /db2:Customers2


  • /db1:Customers1
    specifies that you want to compare the database Customers1
  • /db2:Customers2
    specifies that you want to compare the database Customers2
  • /Include:table:\[Product\]^|Customer^|Order^|Invoice
    specifies that you want to compare only the tables that have a name that includes the strings [Product], or Customer, or Order, or Invoice

Note that you use .NET standard regular expressions to define the /Include and /Exclude arguments. Therefore, you must escape the square brackets ( [ ] ) with the backslash character ( \ ). Regular expression syntax is beyond the scope of this online help; refer to your Microsoft .NET framework documentation for more information.

You must include the brackets ( [  ] ) in the string; if you specify the argument without the brackets, /Include:table:Product, the ProductCategory table is included because it contains the string Product. The full SQL Server table names are qualified by the owner name in SQL Server 2000, and the schema name in SQL Server 2005/2008, and include brackets. For example (in SQL Server 2000):


and so on. Therefore, the brackets indicate that you are specifying the full table name. To include the owner (or schema) name in the regular expression, you would need also to escape the dot ( . ):

/Include:table:\[dbo\]\. \[Product\]

The pipe character ( | ) in a regular expression is interpreted as a logical OR. The character must be escaped by the caret character ( ^ ), to prevent the operating system shell from interpreting it as the pipe operator. (Note that if you want to use the caret character itself as part of your regular expression, it must be escaped by a second caret.)

Using XML

You can use XML as follows:

<?xml version="1.0"?> <commandline>

Note that the pipe character ( | ) (and other operating system operators) do not have to be escaped by the caret character ( ^ ) when they are specified in the XML file, but ( < ) and ( > ) must be escaped.

To execute the comparison using the XML file, enter the following command:

sqldatacompare /Argfile:XMLFileName.xml

where XMLfilename is the name of the XML file.

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