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I currently have a database with an attached CMS. The CMS has about 50+ people with various permission levels that can log in etc... I would like to know if there is a way I can look at the transaction logs (taken every 30 minutes) and see where a particular value was updated on a bit switch. I can then cross reference it with the person who was logged in at the time so I am fine on that part. If someone can guide me on how to read the transaction log to find the specific update to table x that would be a huge help.

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What type of database are you using? Oracle? SQL Server? MySQL? PostgreSQL? Something else? The answer is going to be very specific to the database in question. – Justin Cave Dec 11 '12 at 18:50
you'll have to specify which SQL product you're using. – Erwin Smout Dec 11 '12 at 18:50
I am using SQL Server 2K12. Sorry i neglected to mention. – JTJ Dec 11 '12 at 22:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you're using MS SQL Server you're much better off downloading a tool like this instead of trying to figure out how to go through the entire transaction log and use those functions. It has a 14 day free trial and should make it a lot more readable for you.

If you end up having to do that check out this thread on DBCC LOG:

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I have looked into Apex the thing i am not to fond if is having to install drivers and other stuff for the tool on said production system to read the log. Is there any tool that does not require this? – JTJ Dec 11 '12 at 22:14
I'm not familiar if there are any, have you considered taking a full backup and restoring it to a different machine, then installing Apex? A full backup includes the transaction log. – Ali Razeghi Dec 11 '12 at 22:18
you know what that is a good idea. I am sorry for being a clown and not thinking of that before! respect. – JTJ Dec 11 '12 at 23:13
No problem JTJ, we're all here to learn! – Ali Razeghi Dec 11 '12 at 23:42
Actually, a full database backup doesn't include the complete transaction log (just a little part of it). Here's the recommendation for using the tool on a different machine:… – Carol Baker West Feb 25 '13 at 8:41

There are different ways to open an LDF file, and most of them do just that – opens it. It’s tricky to get any human readable information and make a use of it though

ApexSQL Log is a SQL Server transaction log reader which reads online transaction logs, detached transaction logs and transaction log backups – both native and natively compressed. As an LDF viewer, it’s focused on operations (both DML and DDL, 45 in total), and what was changed by execution of these operations: Open LDF file and view LDF file content

And you can selectively view or script one or all operations in a transaction - create Undo or Redo script

Disclaimer: I work as a Product Support Engineer at ApexSQL

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