Launching SQL Compare with Context

Years ago Redgate Software started some work to link our tools together. I remember early efforts, about which I had dubious thoughts as to the value. I hadn’t looked at how the work had progressed until a little earlier this year, when I started examining in more detail some features I had missed.

One of these is in SQL Source Control, as it relates to SQL Compare. I often don’t have SQL Compare running, but I will find places where I want to look at the quick differences between one database and another, or between the database I’m working on and source control. While I can easily launch SQL Compare, or find a project with that is set up, it’s slightly annoying to have to find a file or create a new project and load a context.

Much easier to use SQL Source Control.

The Product Menu

In SQL Source Control, there is a Redgate icon in the upper left corner. When I’m working in SSMS, I can quickly switch over to the SQL Source Control (SOC) tab and click the icon.

2019-09-04 17_50_14-SQL Source Control - Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

This will open a long menu, with a list of my Redgate tools. SQL Compare is at the top, and all other tools listed below.

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If I click the ellipsis in the SQL Compare pane, I’ll get a couple of options.

2019-09-04 17_50_32-SQL Source Control - Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

If you don’t see these options, then the database you’re working on isn’t linked to a VCS. That’s a separate problem.

This feature, however, is designed to fit into our DevOps solution, bringing the tools together for those people that are working inside of the Redgate process. In this process, I can quickly launch many of the tools with context. When I click the “Launch with ‘ToolbeltDemo’, I see this when Compare opens.

2019-09-04 17_54_03-New project_

My current database is listed on the left. I can then pick a database on the right, or a backup, project, etc., and run the comparison.

A minor time saver, but a nice touch that eases my mental focus. If I continue to work, or check something while I wait for SQL Compare to launch, I know when I come back that half the work is done.

You can launch other products as well, in a similar manner, making your workflow move along a little smoother.

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