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The Change Tracking feature of Sql Server allows to identify the modified rows of a modified database copy.

This is obviously helpful for sync jobs, as the database can then be synced incrementally.

My question is: Is there a tool that uses this feature to actually do incremental syncs?

I know about

  • SSDT: can sync, but isn't interested in change tracking data as far as I know.
  • MS Sync Framework: is a framework, I'm looking for an application.

Do I really have to write something myself?

Is there perhaps some cool SQL script that does that if the source is brought in as a linked server?

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What are you trying to "sync" exactly? A subset of tables, the entire database? Replication was designed for syncing data between databases and it offers a number of different flavors and features. It's pretty verbose and should likely tackle just about any "sync" scenario you're looking to accomplish. My main issue with Replication is that people often take it too far and try to use it as a fully fledged HA/DR solution when there are better approaches instead.

If you don't want to setup Replication (as it does have it's fair share of caveats and problems) and want to tap into Change Tracking or even CDC, then you'll likely be creating your own sync jobs/routines. I'm not aware of any 3rd party tools that prefer Change Tracking or CDC over replication in this domain.

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    The sync is me making a copy of a production database for development. Usually I already made a copy a while ago, but the two databases will have diverged (especially at the production side). Note that Change Tracking is not the same as CDC but something a bit simpler. Thanks for the "there's not tool AFAIK" what I wanted to have confirmed. – John Aug 2 '17 at 19:50
  • @John Good catch and my apologies for muddling the two together, though my answer applies to either offering as you've already identified. – John Eisbrener Aug 2 '17 at 22:12

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