I currently use the Visual Studio Professional Edition which has the database project as a project template, but some of its features are not available, for example Schema Compare tool. The schema comparison and database update scripts generation are only available in Visual Studio 2010 Premium/Ultimate versions.

But are the schema comparison and update scripts generation features in the Visual Studio as rich as those in Redgate SQL Compare tool? (I didn't use it either) I didn't manage to find the feature comparison list. Could anybody, who used both of them, help to make it clear?

6 Answers 6


I tried to use the VS tool yesterday with my production SQL 2000 instance, comparing to my dev 2008 instance, and it refused to work with anything prior to SQL 2005. Red Gate definitely does not have such a restriction. It even works reasonably well (not 100%) with another database we have that runs in 6.5 Compatibility Mode.


It's been a while since I used Red Gate, but the VS2010 has it matched from what I remember, with options to include or exclude by object types, and generate scripts to match the two schemas; the VS tools takes a while to run, I remember the Redgate to be pretty quick.


I'm personally using only Visual Studio with Database Edition GDR, because it's better for my needs. What I like about it mostly is the fact that I'm able to compare db projects with the actual databases. The tool can also compare databases, not only projects. It's true that the schema comparison tool itself is not very fast and has some quirks, but I managed to work with it very well and didn't need any other tool for years now.

I am sure that a separate tool is faster (I used in the past) and maybe has more options, but you can leave with what ever choice you make without any problem. I didn't use it much for data comparison (feature that's included in Visual Studio and not in RedGate's tool, which requires a different tool - Data compare), so I can't say how fast it is.


It mostly depends on your needs, because it is a common fact that standalone tools feature more options and are faster.

I couldn't find the feature comparison list between Visual Studio and Redgate, but I ran into a post that compares the performance of 2 SQL schema comparison tools - ApexSQL Diff and Redgate SQL Compare: http://blog.apexsql.com/apexsql-diff-2015-r3-vs-redgate-sql-compare-11-2-1-comparative-performance-test-of-live-databases-and-backups/

Hope this can help.


I've used both and I thought that Red Gate's was a slightly better interface and easier to use (that probably meant I was overlooking something in VS). They both produce reasonably similar scripts.


For what redgate does that VS dosn't its really not worth paying all that extra money. Redgate tools are seriously over priced. Redgate is a little nicer to use but you would have to use it an awful lot to justify paying that much on an extra tool.

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