Release Announcement for SQL Comparison Toolset 9.0 for SQL Server

We are pleased to announce the general availability of SQL Comparison Toolset 9.0 for SQL Server. Existing users may upgrade to this version through the Idera Customer Portal. New users may download the trial version from the Idera Website

Accelerate your DevOps workflows with IDERA SQL Comparison Toolset. Easily automate and propagate database schemas from development through staging to production.  Around the world, DBAs and developers managing the movement of database versions through their organizations save hundreds of hours and achieve much higher levels of precision and accuracy through IDERA SQL Comparison Toolset.

What’s New in SQL Comparison Toolset 9.0 for SQL Server

Now supporting SQL Server 2019!

With release 9.0 for SQL Server, there are three areas of improvement:

  1. Add support for SQL Server 2019

  2. Upgrade the toolset workspace with new storage and API

  3. Improve the command lines, by redesigning and recoding a significant portion of them.

Changes in the Release 

Changes in Prerequisites for .NET

Version 9.0 of the toolset requires .NET 4.6 (the previous version was built on .NET 4.0). .NET 4.6 has been added for two reasons:

-  The next build of the toolset will add Azure Authentication for SQL Server. We are working on two, possibly three different flavors of it. Azure Authentication requires .NET 4.6, so we might as well add it on this version and prepare the groundwork for the next patch.

-  An open-source component, named SQLite, which is used by the toolset to manage the new workspace, works much better on .NET 4.6. By using .NET 4.6, we also resolved a few dependencies that this component needed without having to install them via the toolset setup.

We believe the change will be immaterial to the users, considering that .NET 4.6 has been around since 2015.

The New Workspace
The workspace is the component that stores and manages SQL Server credentials, databases, comparison sessions, and a few other settings. It consists of storage, an API for managing it and a UI for displaying it to the users.
Version 9.0 uses a brand new workspace, which was the most laborious task of this release. Some of the features of the new workspace are:

- The use of database storage, instead of the xml-storage in the previous version. The database is managed via a well-known, open-source component, named SQLite.

- A unified interface and API for all comparison tools, SQL and Oracle. This simplifies maintenance and future upgrades.

- Support for multiple database files, with very little effort from the user.

- Some limitations of the previous version have been loosened in this version. The number of stored sessions has increased from 25 to 100. Save operations that could be lengthy, depending on the users’ environment and hardware, are implemented asynchronously, to eliminate delays. Version 9 will migrate the previous workspace storage to the new format automatically. This ensures that users keep their comparison history and other settings. The migration process works as follows:

-  The first time the new schema or data is launched, it searches for the old workspace storage and automatically migrates it to the new database. An internal flag marks the migration as “completed” and prevents it from happening again. A log, saved in the temp folder of the current user, stores details, warnings or errors and can be used to check for anomalies.

-  If a user wishes to run the migration manually, the toolset provides two utilities:

  • migrate_data_wrk.exe: migrates the workspace storage of the data compare

  • migrate_schema_wrk: migrates the workspace storage of the schema compare

Both utilities are placed in the installation folder of the toolset.

The app. settings window of data and schema compare exposes a new option that allows the users to select the workspace database file they wish to use.

Command Lines
The command lines for schema and data compare have been redesigned. They’re faster and friendlier for error handling, notifications, logging, etc.

Version 9.0 changes include:

  1. The parameters specified as cmd line args are simplified. The previous version had overlapping parameters set via the command line and in the xml config file. Version 9 expects only 3 parameters via the command line. The rest are specified in the cmd line xml config file.

  2. This version includes new command line samples for schema and data compare. The samples files are located in the installation folder of the toolset.

  3. The command line namespaces which are visible in the xml config file have been changed to and  

  4. A new option is added to encrypt sensitive information in the cmd line config file including the SQL Server instances credentials, database names, and a few others.

  5. Much more detailed parsing of the config file now generates plenty of warnings and suggestions which simplifies the overall user experience.

  6. A new UTF32 encoding is supported for the output files.  

Updates and Bug Fixes 

A few other changes and fixes are included in this version:

1. Added a new UI window for entering SQL Server credentials. It adds validation for user-defined connection settings.

  1. A fix in the data compare object dictionary makes the name-search for tables and views case- insensitive. The schema portion of the object name is now optional.

  2. Data compare app settings window contains a new option that specifies the max number of rows in the data grid. This has been added to address an issue when comparing tables with more than 100 million rows which are close to the max that the current data grid can handle. The max number is set to 50 million which should be sufficient for most users. The users can still export the entire data grid with no restriction to an external .csv file.

  3. Data compare fixes an issue when comparing characters which in the ASCII table sit between the uppercase and lowercase characters: 90 < char < 97. The previous method generated errors in some specific cases when comparing these characters.

  4. Data compare fixes an issue with the mapping rules. In some cases, they didn’t save properly or
    were not applied to a comparison session.

  5. Version 9 includes a help file within the product with new content and provides for a better experience.