SQL Backup provides an alternative application to create backups and restore from backups SQL Server or MSDE databases.
I received my download location and licence key via email. The download was around 5 Meg. The installation was seemless. If you want to run SQL Backup remotely you will need to enter a user id & password combination (or use Windows Authentication) for a user that has administrator password. Apparently an extended stored procedure needs to be installed.
I performed my tests using MSDE 2000 running on XP Pro SP2.
The SQL Backup comes with a GUI listing the available databases in the left hand pane and a tabbed right hand pane where Activity Log, Processes & Backup History can be selected. There are toolbar and menu entries to allow you to connect to a different database, perform a backup or restore (via a friendly wizard) and set up your options. The wizards were pretty straight forward and made both backing up and restoring very easy to perform. There are choices for full, differential and transactional backups. The backup file can also be a single file, split into multiple files or mirrored so that the same file is backed up to multiple locations. You also have the choice to verify backups on completion.
Note that my backups made with SQL Backup were listed within the Enterprise Manager backup facility but when I tried to use EM to restore them I obviously got an error message. Bear this in mind so you label the SQL Backup backups differently to your EM ones.
Although SQL Backup does not come with its own scheduler it is relatively easy to utilise either the EM or Windows schedulers to schedule tasks and full details on how to do this are included in the help file. It took me less than 5 minutes to set up and execute a scheduled task.
There is a Red Gate Support Forum available to users of SQL Backup
- I made a backup of my CodeLib and Ontime databases and in the case of Codelib the backup was less than half the size and in the case of OnTime around a third the size of the standard SQL Server backup.
- The help file is pretty comprehensive.
- Email alerts can easily be setup without relying on SQL mail which is handy if you are running MSDE as MSDE does not have this facility.
- Option to encrypt backups with a password.
- There was no way of specifying a default email address to send any reports to. The email address had to be retyped each time a job was created.
- I used a default backup folder of d:\my documents but if I wanted to change this the dialog box truncated the folder to My and started off in the d:\ folder. Not a big issue but a minor annoyance.
SQL Backup provides an excellent tool for performing backups of SQL Server (or MSDE) databases. The compression ratio is extremely useful as is the speed at which the backups can be created using the GUI. I now use this as my preferred SQL Server backup tool.