New features in the Schema and Data Comparison for SQL Server version 10

This page contains information about the new features, enhancements and fixes included in the version 10 of the Schema and Data Comparison for SQL Server. To view the release notes for other versions, click here.

New and updated features in this version are grouped into four categories:

Support for the SQL Server 2019

Version 10 of the comparison tools includes support for SQL Server 2019 and the latest features on Azure SQL Database. Some of the SQL Server 2017 enhancements will be added in a later patch.

The new Workspace for Schema and Data Compare

The workspace is the component of the comparison tools that stores and manages SQL Server credentials, databases, comparison sessions and a few other settings. Version 10 brings a redesigned workspace, with a new and faster storage, fewer restrictions and some other enhancements:

  • The new workspace storage is based on a SQLite database. This improves performance and removes some of the limitations that existed in the previous versions.
  • The new workspace can support multiple database files, tailored for different database environments, with very little effort from the user.
  • To further improve performance and minimize delays, operations that could be lengthy, depending on the users’ environment and hardware, are implemented asynchronously.
  • The number of saved sessions in the workspace has been increased from 25, in the previous versions, to 100.
  • The app. settings window of the data and schema compare exposes a new option that allows the users to choose the workspace database file they wish to use.

In order to preserve the comparison history, the release 10 migrates the previous workspace to the new format automatically. It provides also two migration utilities, that could be used if the automatic migration is not sufficient or if the users prefer to run it manually.
  • migrate_data_wrk.exe: migrates the workspace of the data compare
  • migrate_schema_wrk: migrates the workspace of the schema compare
Both these utilities are located in the installation folder of the comparison bundle.

Changes in the command lines

The command lines, for schema and data compare, have been redesigned to improve performance and simplify the parameters. They’re faster and friendlier when it comes to error handling, notifications, logging etc. Version 10 includes also a few changes:
  • The parameters, specified as the command line arguments, have been simplified. Version 10 supports three parameters. The rest are specified in the xml config file of the command line.
  • Some new command line samples, with the latest features, are included with the comparison bundle.
  • The command lines include a new option that encrypts sensitive information in the cmd. line config file, such as the SQL Server instances, credentials and database names.
  • A much more detailed parsing of the config file now generates plenty of warnings and suggestions, which simplifies the overall experience.
  • UTF32 encoding is now supported for the output files.

Other changed and improved features

  • Version 10 makes some small changes in the entity filters. They are now used, primarily, as an exclusionary method. Previous versions of the schema compare used the entity filters to include and exclude database objects, which created some confusion. Users who have entity filters may need to update them in order to get the intended result.
  • A new window, for entering SQL Server credentials and databases, adds validation for user-defined connection settings.
  • Data compare command line name search for tables and views is now case-insensitive. Schema portion of the object name is optional.
  • Data compare app. settings window contains a new option that specifies the max number of rows displayed in the data grid. This addresses an issue that limited the data comparison to tables with up to 100 million rows. Tables with more than 100 million rows can be compared with no issues, but the data grid will show up to the number of rows specified in this option. Tables can still be saved to an external file or synchronize with no data row restrictions.
  • Data compare fixes an issue when comparing characters, which in the ASCII table are located between the uppercase and the lowercase chars: 90 < char < 97. Previously, when these characters existed in the data key columns, in some specific cases they produced unexpected results.