Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How to push database schema changes to hosts you cannot connect to

In most cases when you need to push database schema changes from your dev environment to QA/staging or from QA to production you are able to connect to both environments, the source and the target, at the same time in which case a tool like xSQL Schema Compare makes pushing the changes from the source to the target very easy and straightforward.
However, if you do not have access to the target database then pushing the changes becomes a bit of a challenge. Imagine for example that you have to upgrade a client’s database. To complicate things further imagine having tens or hundreds of clients running your software with a SQL Server back-end and to make matters worse your clients are running different versions of the software / database. In the past (I think there are still software publishers doing that) you would likely send your clients a set of scripts with detailed instructions telling them which scripts to run in what order based on whatever version they were upgrading from. If you have experience with that process you know it’s painful for both the software publisher and the client. In the case of small clients they would often have to hire outside help to perform the upgrade based on your instructions as the client lacks the in-house expertise so the process for them becomes not just painful but expensive too.

This is exactly what we build xSQL Builder for, to allow you to make the pushing of the schema changes to your clients’ environments easy and painless. A very simple and intuitive wizard guides you in creating a self-contained executable package in just minutes. You can then send the executable to your clients and all they would need to do is run it.

The executable package contains a snapshot of the master or source database schema that you wish to push to your clients. When executed it compares that schema snapshot to the target database on the client’s environment and performs the necessary schema changes on the target to make it the same as the source. The fact that your clients may have different versions of the database does not matter, the same executable package will upgrade any previous version to the current version you are pushing.

There are a few other convenient features like specifying pre and post synchronization scripts you may wish to run on a target and customizing the comparison and synchronization process based on your needs.

What makes this even better is that the distribution of the run-time library that makes this possible is royalty free. In other words you only need a single license for yourself and you can send those "magic" executable packages to as many clients as you need to.

xSQL Builder supports SQL Server versions from SQL Server 2005 and up, including SQL Server 2016 and SQL Azure.

Download and try the xSQL Builder now and if you decide to buy before the end of January 2017 ask us for a special discount.


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