It’s a <strike>boy</strike> new version of SQL Data Compare!

Well, after five months of design, development, testing, documentation, training, and countless other activities that I’ve almost certainly forgotten to list, SQL Data Compare 6 is out.

Richard‘s been blogging quite a bit about the release over the last few months, so I don’t think there’s much point in me listing the all the cool new features again, but I’d really recommend grabbing a copy and giving it a go.

Personally, my main involvement has been with the “read from backup” technology that we’ve introduced, and it’s been a really exciting project to work on, and has given me a real appreciation of some of the quite cunning design decisions in SQL Server.

I think the titles of some of the bugs raised sum up the complexity of the problem quite nicely: “SQL 2000 Non-clustered indexes sharing variable-width key columns with unique clustered indexes fail” was a particularly good example. I’m not sure how many times I’ve thought I’ve understood how something worked, only to find that assumption to be completely wrong when you throw in another factor!

If you’d asked me at the start of the project, I would’ve predicted that the alpha would throw up huge numbers of issues, which is why we originally planned to have both an alpha and a beta. In the end though, there turned out to only be a couple of serious ones, and so we decided to go full steam ahead towards the release. I think this is a great testament to all the testing that happened before the alpha – Chris, thank you!

As with all software, I’m sure there’ll be the odd issue here and there, but I’m confident this is going to be the best version of Data Compare yet.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and play!