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SQL Server comparison tools

November 17th, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

“There are so many SQL server database and structure comparison tools; may I know which one is better?”. Well this is one of the most frequent questions, asked in SQL Server communities,therefore I decided to clarify this based on my experience and the products I’ve used so far.

I mainly use Red Gate SQL Bundle developer edition for all DB related tasks and mostly for keeping my DBs in sync as I move up from dev to test to pre-prod and finally production, that’s why I prefer Red Gate myself. Doesn’t mean it’s “better”, I think that’s a personal subjective thing, but there are two more possibilities that I’m aware of:

1) Apex

2) DB Ghost

When I first used Apex SQL Edit, I was under the impression that their products are NOT as polished as they should be; it hangs a lot when it comes to huge databases and it hugs the resources a lot, so for the sake of this article, I took their products out of my benchmarking task. I’ve mucked around with DB Ghost a lot recently and I have found it to be extremely reliable and it provides additional capability beyond comparison e.g. a rock-solid process to upgrade your databases (same as Red Gate),but still believe that from a developer’s perspective Red-Gate dose a better job than all its competitors. Below is only a feature comparison on Red-Gate and DB Ghost’s most popular product.

SQL Bundle Developer Edition  (Red-Gate):

SQL Compare and Synchronization:Yes
SQL Data Compare:Yes
DTS Compare: Yes (That’s really handy if you are using DTS as an ETL tool)
Build Database from Script:Yes
Extra:SQL Toolkit (APIs and command line tools to programmatically compare database objects are all exposed to the clients)

DB Ghost Professional Edition™

SQL Compare and Synchronization: Yes
SQL Data Compare:Yes
DTS Compare:No
Build Database from Script:Yes

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