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We're currently building a setup to scan tickets at an event. We plan on having 2 servers at each entrance but can't have a local link between the two.

We have scanners (sqlCE) and half of them are subscribed equally to one of the two server with merge replication, and we thought about replicating the two servers together using peer-to-peer replication. Is this possible or we should use merge replication all the way?

Heres an ugly diagram:

http://i.imgur.com/BB2al.jpg

enter image description here

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The topology is a bit unclear... could you provide a diagram? I'm assuming the data carries on to another system after it hits the "2 servers at each entrance"? –  Jon Seigel Jul 24 '12 at 13:38
    
updated with diagram –  Ownatik Jul 25 '12 at 14:53
    
Okay. Do the two servers need to share data between them before they pass the data on to another system (which I assume is what happens)? In other words, what do you do with the data after they hit those two servers? –  Jon Seigel Jul 25 '12 at 15:02
    
I don't get exactly what you mean, but yes, the goal of having replication between the 2 servers is that once one of the scanner writes something to its database, the scanners connected to the other server on the other side end up knowing about it too using replication, so the data is the same everywhere (not in realtime but near) –  Ownatik Jul 25 '12 at 15:07
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since the intention is to have the same data at multiple locations, Peer-to-Peer replication would be the most appropriate. Peer-to-Peer is the only out-of-the-box technology that SQL Server provides to handle writes at multiple nodes, so it makes sense to use it. (For completeness of this answer, Peer-to-Peer does require Enterprise edition, while Merge replication does not.)

Once you get the security of the topology ironed out (I found this MSDN page very handy), it's actually not that difficult to set up. If you're considering Merge replication, chances are your schema is already is decent shape, so conforming to the requirements and restrictions for Peer-to-Peer shouldn't be a problem.

While I don't know your exact data requirements, it seems like writes would be nicely partitioned (i.e., data entered on one side probably never needs to be edited in multiple locations after that), meaning update conflicts would be extremely unlikely.

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The thing is the scanners are running windows mobile 6.1 which only supports merge replication. So my question is can I use merge replication between the scanners and servers, and peer-to-peer between the servers? –  Ownatik Jul 25 '12 at 15:33
    
@Ownatik: Yes, yes, that's what I meant. Use Merge to get the data from the handhelds to the servers, and Peer-to-Peer between the servers. I thought you were trying to decide between Peer-to-Peer and Merge between the servers, and that Merge was solid for the first part. –  Jon Seigel Jul 25 '12 at 15:35
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