SQL Server replication is a set of utilities built into Microsoft SQL Server that are used to copy, distribute, and synchronize data across multiple databases, database servers, or server instances. Using native MSSQL replication components, SQL Server data replication can be carried out in a unidirectional or bidirectional manner and deployed via replication wizards in SQL Server Management Studio, using Replication Management Objects, or through manual scripting.

SQL Server replication is a convenient out-of-the-box solution for firms that use SQL Server databases exclusively and have the necessary trained staff to monitor and manage it. For firms with heterogeneous IT environments and/or limited staff, a third-party SQL Server database replication tool may be a better fit.

SQL Server Replication Technologies Built into Microsoft SQL Server

The SQL Server replication software included with some editions of MS SQL Server supports three main types of replication: snapshot, merge, and transactional replication. Snapshot replication is a single unidirectional push of all data in a database at a specific point in time. Because it is resource-intensive, this type of replication is most often used for initializing other types of replication.

Merge replication is a bidirectional SQL Server replication technology typically employed in server-to-client environments and used to synchronize data on systems that cannot be continuously connected. Transactional replication, which is the most common form of SQL Server replication, is a unidirectional type of scheduled or real-time data replication and is generally implemented in server-to-server scenarios.

Particularly in the case of transactional replication, SQL Server's built-in replication utilities are relatively straightforward when it comes to set-up. In environments using non-SQL server databases, however, users may find that native SQL Server replication has inconsistent replication target support. SQL Server replication also can be complicated to manage, troubleshoot and tune.

Powerful Yet Simple Software Solutions for SQL Server Replication

Building on our over two decades of experience in enterprise data integration, Qlik (Attunity) has developed two powerful yet simple solutions for SQL Server data replication. Qlik Replicate (formerly Attunity Replicate) is a unique, log-based CDC for SQL Server that allows you to capture data changes applied to your SQL Server databases and deliver those changes in real time or in optimized batches to EAI or data integration applications. Qlik (Attunity) non-invasive SQL CDC technology works with virtually any ETL tool on the market and lets you choose the most suitable delivery method for your particular requirements.

Leveraging our next-generation CDC technology, Qlik Replicate (formerly Attunity Replicate) is a universal data replication platform that is easy to use and supports a broad range of source and target platforms, supplying you with MS SQL or MySQL replication software depending on your needs. Featuring our intuitive visual interface, Qlik Replicate (formerly Attunity Replicate) lets you execute, manage, and monitor replication jobs easily and without having to write scripts.


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