Compare with SQL Server backups

In addition to live databases and some other data sources, SQL Examiner and SQL Data Examiner allow the use of database backups and detached database files as a source database for schema and data comparison.

SQL Examiner Suite compares a live database with a backup itself, making the process of comparison much quicker. In doing it, there'll be no need to restore the backup, and it'll be enough to specify the needed file and click "Compare".

This considerably simplifies the work of database developers. For example, in SQL Examiner, the process of comparison will take less than 5 seconds, even if a backup is several gigabytes large. This is more convenient than having to spend 30-40 minutes on restoring a database.

Key benefits that the feature provides

  • Quicker comparison of a backed-up database with a working one. No need to restore a backup as a separate database.
  • Quicker and simpler finding of the lost data, because there is no need to spend time on restoring several old copies
  • Less time is spent on search of changes that were made after creation of the last backup.
  • Simple viewing of changes that were made during the period between two backups.
  • An opportunity to rollback changes in the data for several tables, while the data in other tables remains unchanged.


SQL Examiner Suite allows the use of native files of SQL Server - backups (*.bak) and data files (*.mdf).

A SQL Server data file (*.mdf) may be used if it is detached from server and contains data of a database consisting of a single data file in a single file group.

A SQL Server backup should be a complete database backup (not a transaction log backup or a differential backup, etc).

Backups may be used as the source only; a backup cannot be synchronized. So if you compare two backups, you’ll be able to review the differences between objects, but not to synchronize any of them.

The process overview

Select "Backup/Detached Data File" in the "Source Type" drop down list. Then select the backup file you want to compare. Backup sets are displayed for you to review, e.g.: see the screenshot below:

Backup/Detached Data File

If a file contains several backups, select the one you want to compare.

After you have selected a backup, work with it as if it were a live database.

  • Product: SQL Examiner, SQL Data Examiner
  • Edition: All
  • Version: All

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