Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red Gate SQL Compare

  • Automate database comparisons (we don't use command mode)
  • Synchronize your databases (we use it extensively)
  • Work with SQL scripts, snapshots, backups or live databases
  • Save hours of tedious work and eliminate manual scripting errors
  • Full support for SQL Server 2008 (yeah)

Let's start as I promised, and with the most important Red Gate product we use (and did a case study for, see text below for excerpts)

My job is to monitor SQL Servers and maintain backup/restore, configuration and security. I also try to tune and optimize our code base for performance, and work with developers on stored procedures and database design.

As our software changed and solidified, the need to generate a diff/synch script became apparent. Every time we release new front-end code, a DB sync script needs to go with it if there are any changes. This means with each release, I compare the development database with production backup, check the sync script into TFS, and generate a build (application plus DB script).

[Company] has a license for Red Gate’s SQL Toolbelt, so I’ve used SQL Compare V7 for database migration. SQL Compare V7 is easy to use, and its support of SQL Server 2008 was crucial as we updated our platforms.
Recently, I’ve found that I can use the compare-to-backup feature in SQL Compare V7 to achieve additional benefits, including:

• Greater accuracy – comparing the development database with the verified and only copy of production backup ensures that you get only the expected changes, not unwanted or unexpected ones.

• Time savings– saves you from restoring to both SQL Server and SQL Compare.

• Ease of mind – No need to worry about finding a server to restore – you just need to know the location of the backup.

SQL Compare does what it does very well, and the team behind it at Red Gate are friendly and very helpful. That’s why we use SQL Compare and love it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Red Gate Tools

Before this year, I have only heard of RedGate but never used it.
Now I have, as a SQL Server DBA, they have one of the best tools available for SQL Server.
I made this comment only after I have played with TOAD, Idera tools, Quest LiteSpeed, a few other tools, and even Microsoft's own IntelliSense. And of course, having done a few usability sessions and surveys with Red Gate, they have one of the best people to work with as well.
You gotta love the British people, coffee or tea? ;-)
In the next few days I will write up on my experiences of the few products I use
  • SQL Compare
  • SQL Backup Pro
  • SQL Prompt
  • SQL Refactor
  • SQL Response
Not so often used, but included in Toolbelt anyway
  • SQL Data Compare
  • SQL Data Generator
  • SQL Refactor
  • SQL Dependency Tracker
  • SQL Docs
  • SQL Multiscript
  • SQL Packager

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Smooth move from SQL Server 2008 RC0 to RTM

Recently we performed a Backup-and-Restore from SQL Server 2008 Standard RC0 to another server installed with SQL Server 2008 Standard RTM.
Overall it only took 30~60 minutes for the entire process, and I am glad for Red Gate's SQL Backup (for compression)

  • Backup & Compress databases on RC0
  • Copy over network for shorter time
  • Uncompress (using SQL Backup to MTF Converter)
  • Restore on RTM
  • Cleanup (update stats, index reorganize, associate logins, SQL jobs, etc...)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Free eBook - Virtualization for Dummies

Virtualization seems to be the trend for everything now. We utilize VMWare at work, and I have worked with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 as well.

Gladly I didn't invest in VMWare who was all the hype before it fell ;-)


Virtualization for Dummies – Sun and AMD Special Edition is now available! Published by the same folks who create all the "Dummies" books – this special edition version showcases Sun and AMD virtualization offerings, how they work together, and how they can benefit businesses. Learn about the latest virtualization technologies with this brief and easy-to-read booklet.

Free eBook - Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008

I found it via SQLBlog.com, downloaded it and finished reading it.
To me (from the SQL Server 2005 DBA viewpoint), it was a well written overview of the SQL Server 2008 new features (and new features only). Because of our usage of SQL 2008 at work, I have greater appreciation and understanding of the new features as well.

Tips to download the PDF:

You can press F8 to display the toolbar, and "Save As"
or press Ctrl-Shift-S to save the PDF locally

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008

by Peter DeBetta, Greg Low, and Mark Whitehorn
ISBN: 9780735625587

Learn about major new features in SQL Server 2008 including security, administration, and performance.

Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008:

Chapter 1: Security and Administration

Chapter 2: Performance

Chapter 3: Type System

Chapter 4: Programmability

Chapter 5: Storage

Chapter 6: Enhancements for High Availability

Chapter 7: Business Intelligence Enhancements

Love for SQL Server

Since I work with Microsoft SQL Server(s) daily, hourly, and yearly, I figure it may be time to start writing about them (SQL Server 2005/2008) and maybe educate myself in the writing and learning.

The recent buzz among SQL Server world was clearly the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 in August (RTM version, after a stable RC0 release)

Fortunately I have had chances to work with SQL Server 2008 extensively, and therefore will start to share some of my bright moments, or dark hours of the lovely SQL Server experience