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Frequently asked questions

Most frequently asked

Q:
When are you going to support MS SQL Server 2008?
A:

Updated: 03-Feb-2009: As of version 1.96, AdeptSQL Diff is compatible with SQL2008. It works with all "basic" schema objects in all MS SQL versions from 7.0 to 2008 and supports those of the new features in SQL2005 and SQL2008 that can appear in existing objects: all new data types (including XML, spatial, CLR-declared and the new datetime variations), XML indexes, partial indexes, sparse columns and column sets, COMPRESSION attributes on tables and others.

However, it does not yet support or provides only limited support for such kinds of SQL objects as assemblies, partition functions, services or encryption (keys and certificates). An example of "limited" support is how the Diff deals with CLR-defined user types. Since columns of such types can occur in regular tables, the types are recognized and the columns which use them are correctly compared and scripted. However, the CLR type declarations themselves (or the assemblies containing them) are not displayed, compared or scripted.

Full support of these extended features is one of the goals for version 2.0.


Q:
What are your plans?
A:
Updated: 03-Feb-2009: There are currently 3 main directions in AdeptSQL work:

  • We'll continue to maintain Diff 1.xx, releasing minor updates/bugfixes as required (unfrequently). All 1.xx updates are free for all registered users.
  • We are currently working hard to finalize and release Diff 2.0. At the time of writing this, a reasonably working version of Diff 2.0 exists internally, but there is still enough polishing and testing before it can be released even as Beta.
  • Another branch of development in AdeptSQL is a stand-alone data comparison tool, based on the same data comparison core as the current "integrated" DataDiff, but with its own user interface and completely unlinked from the schema comparison. The product will be able to compare and synchronize data in multiple tables "in one go" and will be as DBMS-independent as possible.

Ordering and activation

Q:
Can I try the program before I purchase it?
A:
Absolutely. You are encouraged to download the program, install it and evaluate for up to 30 days. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us. It is always a pleasure for us to work with developers who are well informed about our software and know what they are doing.
Q:
I need to compare data. Where do I get the DataDiff module?
A:
There is no such thing as a separate DataDiff module (yet!). DataDiff is integrated with AdeptSQL Diff starting from version 1.50 and is always available in trial mode. Once the trial period is over, you will need a special "DataDiff-enabled" license, which costs about 30% more than a similar license without DataDiff.
Q:
What is the delivery cost and when would my CD come?
A:
There is no physical delivery at this time, no CD or floppy. You can download our software from this site and it will work in trial mode for 30 days. When you purchase a license, you will receive by email an activation code which will unlock the software.
Q:
What limitations does the trial version have?
A:
The trial version of AdeptSQL Diff shows a registration reminder at startup and stops working after 30 days or 50 runs (whichever takes longer) from the moment of its first installation. Otherwise, the program in trial mode is fully functional. If some feature doesn't work as you expect it to work, may be you are not using it correctly or there is some other problem, but it is certainly not because of the trial mode.
Q:
What is your refund policy?
A:
You have plenty of time to evaluate our software and you shouldn't buy it unless you are happy with it. We've been selling AdeptSQL Diff since 2002 to thousands of satisfied users all over the world and, fortunately, have had very few refund requests. If you do request a refund, you will be asked to destroy all your copies of the product in question and send us a signed legal document confirming that you did so. Then your activation key(s) will be invalidated in all future versions of the product.
Q:
What is that "serial number" thing in the order form and where do I get it from?
A:
Our most popular and affordable "personal" license allows to use the Diff on a single machine. So an activation key is linked to a "serial number" which the program produces on that specific machine. There are several ways to produce a serial (and it's not necessarily a "hardware binding" which many developers hate so much), but anyway you end up with a code looking like XXXX-XXXX-XXXX displayed in the registration dialog of the program. The easiest way to pass the serial to the online order form is to use "Purchase now" link in the program itself, in which case the "serial number" field on the form is filled in automatically.
Q:
I'm not the person who'll be using the tool so I don't know the serial. Can I still order?
A:
Yes, you can. Specifying the serial number at the time of purchase is convenient, but not required. If you do specify it, our registration system will be able to send you the activation code immediately. Otherwise you will be contacted by email soon after the purchase and asked to provide the missing information.
Q:
I followed your ordering link and found myself on a page of some "Shareit!" company. What's the matter?
A:
As many small software companies, we don't process orders directly. Instead, we use services of an external ecommerce provider ShareIt!/Element5, located in Germany and another one, Plimus, located in the USA. Both are well-established companies which handle sales for thousands of software products. They maintain 24x7 sales office and accept many online and offline methods of payments, including all major plastic cards, checks, bank transfers and purchase orders.
Q:
Our company doesn't buy software online. Can we place a purchase order?
A:
Although we do prefer online ordering, purchase orders are accepted as well. But please do not send any purchase orders directly to us. Choose the exact license type you need at our order page and email us for more info.

Resellers and affiliates

Q:
I'm a software reseller. My client wants to buy your product from me, can this be done?
A:
Yes, this can be done. Basically, you will be able to purchase the product with a discount at our online shop, then forward the activation code to the customer. Please email us for detailed instructions and comission rates. We are interested in long-term cooperation with resellers, so the comission rate can increase significantly after the first few sales.
Q:
We have a database-related website and would like to place a link to AdeptSQL product. Do you have any kind of affiliation program so we can get commission from sales?
A:
Yes. AdeptSQL site and our software provide very reliable affiliate tracking all the way from the first visit from your site, through download, installation and subsequent purchase of the product. Our e-commerce provider Shareit/Element5 will automatically transfer your comission to your ShareIt affiliate account and then once a month send the accumulated funds to you. You can signup to our affiliate program here. Note that we manually check all new affiliation requests and reserve the right to approve or decline them at our sole discretion.

Tech support and upgrades

Q:
Do I have to pay for technical support?
A:
No. Whether you have a license or just evaluating AdeptSQL products, if you have questions about the software, they will be answered. Period. No subscription fees, no incedents-per-month or other limitations. But believe it or not, we don't spend much time on technical support, since the software is very intuitive and easy to use.
Q:
Can I call you to ask a question?
A:
Sorry, we do all technical support by email only.
Q:
How do I report a bug?
A:
If you see what could be a bug in the product, please report it to us. Usually a screenshot or two help a lot to understand a problem. If the error has to do with incorrect comparison or scripting, it is very good to have the two SQL scripts of the relevant part of the schema, produced from each of the two databases using MS Query Analyzer.
Q:
I have bought a license before. Do I have to pay for upgrade when a new version comes out?
A:
The Diff has been on the market since 2003 and so far we have never charged for version upgrades. Your existing license will remain valid for all versions below 2.0. However, we do plan to charge for upgrade to Diff version 2.0. The upgrade price will depend on how long ago you purchased the original license and will be free for recent buyers. Details of the upgrade pricing will be available later.
Q:
I have a "personal" license. Can I upgrade to a LAN-pack?
A:
Yes. Any license can be upgraded to any "bigger" license and you only have to pay the difference. Please contact us before placing your order for detailed instructions. Note that if you had the right to upgrade, but you've already ordered the new license for the full price, it's just too bad. There will be no refund or compensation of any kind.
Q:
If you say upgrades are possible, why there is no upgrade links on the site?
A:
Our purchase form can also be used as an upgrade request form. When you submit it, we'll review the request, check it against your original order and send you a one-time personalized "discount code" and the ordering URL. Or you can simply ask about the upgrade by email.

Technical questions

Q:
Does your program work with Oracle (mySQL, Sybase, etc)?
A:
Currently AdeptSQL Diff only works with MS SQL Server 2008, 2005, 2000 and 7.0. Besides, there is an ancient version of Diff for InterBase that is still available on our download page but no longer supported.

The internal architecture of Diff 1.xx makes it rather hard to implement support for multiple databases. Diff 2.0 will have much better encapsulation of the DBMS-specific stuff, therefore allowing us to add new databases quickly.


Q:
Is using your program in any way dangerous for my database?
A:
AdeptSQL Diff never changes anything in your database directly. All it does, it creates SQL scripts which you can then execute, all at once or step-by-step. It is strongly recommended that you preview all generated code and don't run it unless you understand exactly what it does.
Q:
Does your program has a command line interface?
A:
Starting from version 1.90, AdeptSQL Diff has a number of command-line parameters which allow you to open a previously saved comparison and, optionally, specify a customized configuration file. Still, it is just some start-up options. The Diff is essentially an interactive tool and can't be run "silently" from a command line.

The product also has a COM Automation interface through which you can programmaticaly start a comparison, navigate the results and produce all kinds of SQL scripts. This requires some programming, though. You can find description of the Automation interface in the help file shipped with the product.


Q:
Why the Diff does not show any objects when I connect it to our production server?
A:
This is a known configuration problem which might happen when you connect to a database as a user other than DBO. Please open the "Ownership" page of the "Schema Options" dialog and make sure that "Load all objects" option is selected, as opposite to "Load only objects owned by the current user". Some earlier versions of AdeptSQL Diff used that latter option as a default one and the setting may be remembered in the Registry.
Q:
Do I need sysadmin privileges to use AdeptSQL Diff?
A:
No. To scan databases and make the comparison, you only need SELECT access to all system tables. To compare data, you also need SELECT access to the tables you are comparing. The permissions you need to execute a generated SQL script will be higher, depending on what is in the script.

DataDiff questions

Q:
I have a couple of huge tables I need to compare. Will the DataDiff handle that?
A:
The DataDiff keeps all loaded data in memory, which restricts not so much the number of rows compared, as the total amount of data it can handle. However, as of version 1.90, the DataDiff has an option to discard identical rows from the buffers. In this mode it can compare tables of virtually any size, provided that the actual number of differences is not very large.
Q:
Can I compare data in DataDiff without comparing the whole schema first?
A:
No. The integrated DataDiff module must use the previously loaded schema information to compare the tables. We do plan to have a stand-alone DataDiff utility where that would be possible, but no details about that are available at this time.
Q:
Can I compare data in multiple tables at once
A:
No. The integrated DataDiff can only compare one selected pair of tables at a time. If you absolutely need to compare multiple tables, you can do so programmatically, calling Diff's automation interfaces from an external script (VBScript, JScript, etc). Comparison of multiple tables may be possible in the stand-alone DataDiff tool, when/if such a tool becomes available.
Q:
Can I compare data in two tables in the same database?
A:
No. The integrated DataDiff can only compare a pair of tables from the two DBs matched during the schema comparison. If you need to compare tables with different names or tables from the same DB, there is only one workaround: copy one of them into a temporary DB, renaming it if necessary, then compare those.


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