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tablediff Utility

The tablediff utility is used to compare the data in two tables for non-convergence, and is particularly useful for troubleshooting non-convergence in a replication topology. This utility can be used from the command prompt or in a batch file to perform the following tasks:

  • A row by row comparison between a source table in an instance of Microsoft SQL Server acting as a replication Publisher and the destination table at one or more instances of SQL Server acting as replication Subscribers.
  • Perform a fast comparison by only comparing row counts and schema.
  • Perform column-level comparisons.
  • Generate a Transact-SQL script to fix discrepancies at the destination server to bring the source and destination tables into convergence.
  • Log results to an output file or into a table in the destination database.

tablediff 
[ -? ] | 
{
        -sourceserver source_server_name[\instance_name]
        -sourcedatabase source_database
        -sourcetable source_table_name 
    [ -sourceschema source_schema_name ]
    [ -sourcepassword source_password ]
    [ -sourceuser source_login ]
    [ -sourcelocked ]
        -destinationserver destination_server_name[\instance_name]
        -destinationdatabase subscription_database 
        -destinationtable destination_table 
    [ -destinationschema destination_schema_name ]
    [ -destinationpassword destination_password ]
    [ -destinationuser destination_login ]
    [ -destinationlocked ]
    [ -b large_object_bytes ] 
    [ -bf number_of_statements ] 
    [ -c ] 
    [ -dt ] 
    [ -et table_name ] 
    [ -f [ file_name ] ] 
    [ -o output_file_name ] 
    [ -q ] 
    [ -rc number_of_retries ] 
    [ -ri retry_interval ] 
    [ -strict ]
    [ -t connection_timeouts ] 
}
[ -? ]

Returns the list of supported parameters.

-sourceserver source_server_name[\instance_name]

Is the name of the source server. Specify source_server_name for the default instance of SQL Server. Specify source_server_name\instance_name for a named instance of SQL Server.

-sourcedatabase source_database

Is the name of the source database.

-sourcetable source_table_name

Is the name of the source table being checked.

-sourceschema source_schema_name

The schema owner of the source table. By default, the table owner is assumed to be dbo.

-sourcepassword source_password

Is the password for the login used to connect to the source server using SQL Server Authentication.

ms162843.security(en-US,SQL.90).gifSecurity Note:
When possible, supply security credentials at runtime. If you must store credentials in a script file, you should secure the file to prevent unauthorized access.

-sourceuser source_login

Is the login used to connect to the source server using SQL Server Authentication. If source_login is not supplied, then Windows Authentication is used when connecting to the source server.

-sourcelocked

The source table is locked during the comparison using the TABLOCK and HOLDLOCK table hints.

-destinationserver destination_server_name[\instance_name]

Is the name of the destination server. Specify destination_server_name for the default instance of SQL Server. Specify destination_server_name\instance_name for a named instance of SQL Server.

-destinationdatabase subscription_database

Is the name of the destination database.

-destinationtable destination_table

Is the name of the destination table.

-destinationschema destination_schema_name

The schema owner of the destination table. By default, the table owner is assumed to be dbo.

-destinationpassword destination_password

Is the password for the login used to connect to the destination server using SQL Server Authentication.

ms162843.security(en-US,SQL.90).gifSecurity Note:
When possible, supply security credentials at runtime. If you must store credentials in a script file, you should secure the file to prevent unauthorized access.

-destinationuser destination_login

Is the login used to connect to the destination server using SQL Server Authentication. If destination_login is not supplied, then Windows Authentication is used when connecting to the server.

-destinationlocked

The destination table is locked during the comparison using the TABLOCK and HOLDLOCK table hints.

-b large_object_bytes

Is the number of bytes to compare for large object data type columns, which includes: text, ntext, image, varchar(max), nvarchar(max) and varbinary(max). large_object_bytes defaults to the maximum value of 8000 bytes. Any data above large_object_bytes will not be compared.

-bf number_of_statements

Is the number of Transact-SQL statements to write to the current Transact-SQL script file when the -f option is used. When the number of Transact-SQL statements exceeds number_of_statements, a new Transact-SQL script file is created.

-c

Compare column-level differences.

-dt

Drop the result table specified by table_name, if the table already exists.

-et table_name

Specifies the name of the result table to create. If this table already exists, -DT must be used or the operation will fail.

-f [ file_name ]

Generates a Transact-SQL script to bring the table at the destination server into convergence with the table at the source server. You can optionally specify a name and path for the generated Transact-SQL script file. If file_name is not specified, the Transact-SQL script file is generated in the directory where the utility runs.

-o output_file_name

Is the full name and path of the output file.

-q

Perform a fast comparison by only comparing row counts and schema.

-rc number_of_retries

Number of times that the utility retries a failed operation.

-ri retry_interval

Interval, in seconds, to wait between retries.

-strict

Source and destination schema are strictly compared.

-t connection_timeouts

Sets the connection timeout period, in seconds, for connections to the source server and destination server.

Value Description

0

Success

1

Critical error

2

Table differences

The tablediff utility cannot be used with non-SQL Server servers.

Tables with sql_variant data type columns are not supported.

By default, the tablediff utility supports the following data type mappings between source and destination columns.

Source data type Destination data type

tinyint

smallint, int, or bigint

smallint

int or bigint

int

bigint

timestamp

varbinary

varchar(max)

text

nvarchar(max)

ntext

varbinary(max)

image

text

varchar(max)

ntext

nvarchar(max)

image

varbinary(max)

Use the -strict option to disallow these mappings and perform a strict validation.

The source table in the comparison must contain at least one primary key, identity, or ROWGUID column. When you use the -strict option, the destination table must also have a primary key, identity, or ROWGUID column.

The Transact-SQL script generated to bring the destination table into convergence does not include the following data types:

  • varchar(max)
  • nvarchar(max)
  • varbinary(max)
  • timestamp
  • xml
  • text
  • ntext
  • image

To compare tables, you need SELECT ALL permissions on the table objects being compared.

To use the -et option, you must be a member of the db_owner fixed database role, or at least have CREATE TABLE permission in the subscription database and ALTER permission on the destination owner schema at the destination server.

To use the -dt option, you must be a member of the db_owner fixed database role, or at least have ALTER permission on the destination owner schema at the destination server.

To use the -o or -f options, you must have write permissions to the specified file directory location.

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