Setting Data Comparison

Data Compare for SQL Server gives you a perfect opportunity to compare and synchronize data with many useful features. To start a new comparison project, you need to specify two data sources you want to compare, and how to connect to them.

To select Source and Target connections and specify the names of databases to be compared:

1. On the File menu, click New Data Comparison.

2. In the New Data Comparison wizard that opens, specify the type of the Source and Target, connection and the names of the databases to be compared.

New Data Comparison

Selecting data sources

Select the two data sources you want to compare in the Source and Target tab of the New Schema Comparison wizard. You need to specify a source and a target.


The Source is the data source that will not change. The Target is the data source that will change.

To swap Source and Target settings click Swap button

The following types of data source can be compared:

  • Database
  • Backup
  • Scripts Folder

You can select a data source from a Type drop-down list.

Type drop-down list


You can compare any combination of data source types in your project.

Selecting a database

1. In the drop-down list under Source or Target, select Database.

2. Select the name of the SQL Server in the Connection box.

3. Select a database to be compared from a drop-down list under Database.

To refresh the Database list, click < Refresh… > option at the top of the list.


If you need to use a new connection:

  1. Click < Manage… > in the drop-down list under Connection.
  2. Then in the Connection Manager window, click New.

New connection

3. Finally, in the Database Connection Properties window specify the details of the connection you want to add.

Database Connection Properties

Alternatively, click the New button.

New button

Selecting a backup

Data Compare for SQL Server does not support using partial, filegroup, or transaction log backups as a data source.

Also, you can not compare encrypted backups with its help. However, the tool works well with differential backups.

To select a backup as a data source:

1. In the drop-down list under Source or Target, select Backup.

2. Click the Add button to select all the files making up the backup set you want to compare.

Add button


When you have added backup files, one of the following icons will be displayed:

Tick button The backup set is valid and complete.

Cross button The backup set cannot be used as a data source.

Selecting a scripts folder

1. In the drop-down list under Source or Target, select Scripts Folder.

2. In the Database scripts folder box, select the name of the scripts folder, or click < Browse… > to browse to the required folder.

Alternatively, click the Browse button under the drop-down menu.

Browse button


You can create a new Scripts Folder.

To do this, press the New button and specify the details in the window that opens.