KS DB Merge Tools logo KS DB Merge Tools
MssqlMerge logo for SQL Server
aka MssqlMerge
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MssqlMerge documentation overview

See the Use Cases to get the quick solution for the most common tasks. This documentation provides more details on specific application features.

Application can run in two modes - basic Free version and paid Pro mode that provides extended functionality. On the first run application opens Activation dialog that asks you to choose which mode you would prefer - Free, Pro Trial or to activate the purchased key for Pro. Once you've made your choice, you're getting into the main application window. After opening databases it may look like this:

for SQL Server, home tab

User interface has two primary elements: toolbar at the top and working area presented as tab control.

Tab control always has the default Home tab and during your work you can open other tabs to perform required tasks: Object list to compare and merge database programming objects like views and stored procedures, Data diff to compare data and so on.

Most of the tabs have a two-panel UI where each panel corresponds to one of two opened databases. Application shows lists of items side-by-side and uses text background colors to indicate changes. Before describing these colors, let's introduce one major application concept: some item (database object or table record) is counted as the same or not the same as in the other-side database. Usually the object is identified to be the same by its name and the table record is identified by the values of its primary key columns. Depending on same or not, the item or total count counting such item is highlighted in the following way:

Light green New item (object, record, line of code) - means there is no same object on the other side. For example, the database opened on the left has table Employees and the right one has no such table. It is counted as +1 for new objects total and highlighted as green in the tables list.
Gray Deleted or missing item. Usually shown as a blank line opposite to the New item. Such objects are not counted separately because obviously the number of missing items in one database is the same as the number of new items in the other side database. The Data diff also uses this color to highlight missing columns and columns that are excluded from comparison (have different data type or have mapping type = None in the Custom data diff).
Light red Changed item. It means there is a same item on the other side but it has some changes. For example, a changed table has the same name but has more columns. Changed table record has the same primary key value but the changed value of some other column. It is counted as +1 for changed total and highlighted as red in the list.
Strong red Changed attribute/property of the changed item. Used to indicate why this item is counted as changed. For example, a changed Employee table record with ID = 3 has a different value of the FirstName column: 'Alex' vs 'Alexander'. If all other columns have the same values then the whole record is highlighted as light red and FirstName is highlighted as strong red.
Light yellow Item is Changed but this change is ignored and not counted as +1 for changes total. The example is 'Case insensitive' text diff option: if we perform case-insensitive comparison of a view text and each column is listed in a separate line, then line firstname vs FirstName is highlighted as light yellow and this change is not counted as a changed line.
Light green to red gradient New+changed object count on the Home tab.
White Item is the same and not changed. Currently the total of such items is not counted separately, it can be easily calculated as Total - (New + Changed).

Toolbar has buttons for the most common application actions. Some of these actions have keyboard shortcuts. Some actions can be disabled at some moment of time: this action can be non-applicable for the current tab or for the current application state. Usually the action disable reason is shown in the toolbar button tooltip.

Some user actions can open specific dialogs to get details for the current action, for example 'Open database(s)' toolbar action opens Open databases dialog.

Some application features are also available via command line interface. MssqlMerge Pro supports its own scripting language that can be used from the command line.

So, this documentation is organized into the following major sections:

  • How it works - introduction explaining how application reads, compares and synchronizes databases; more details on how application identifies new/changed items
  • Tabs - describes behavior of each tab
  • Toolbar - describes toolbar actions, their shortcuts and applicability depending on the current tabs
  • Dialogs - describes behaviour of custom dialogs
  • Scripting - describes scripting language
  • Privacy - provides detailed description of all application features related to your privacy
  • Miscellaneous - few uncategorized articles not related directly to any concrete application tab or dialog

Last updated: 2023-12-01