Copies of live database are frequently hosted on development servers. In some cases these occupy several Megabytes or Gigabytes of disk storage. This is acceptable for the duration of the project development, testing (and other uses) however it might not be feasible, both from an economical as well as security point of view, to store additional copies or backups of the databases’ data on tapes. In such cases it might make more sense to store copies of the database source code, such as table structures, views, stored procedures, functions and other objects since these reflect the actual work performed by the development team. The source code, being the intellectual property of the company, may be stored in a central repository or other secure location accessible only by a selection of members of the organisation. Disk storage would in this case be much less than storing an actual copy of the whole database. A number of products were used to achieve these goals. These are listed below:
- A number of Windows batch file commands;
- SQL Server Command-Line Utility (SQLCMD);
- SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard (SQLPUBWIZ);
- Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools (NOW command);
- WinRAR for Windows DOS (RAR32 - available from http://www.rarlabs.com);
- Windows [Task] Scheduler
- The FORFILES utility - described in Microsoft Technet
The Database Publishing Wizard is a graphical tool which also supports a command-line interface. Once the installation of the Database Publishing Wizard (downloaded from http://sqlhost.codeplex.com) was completed, the following was added to the “collector” machine’s PATH environment variable: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Publishing”. This will allow for the whole path to be omitted from the batch file, keeping it cleaner and more readable. The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools were downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center and also installed on the collector machine. An SQL script named “list_databases.sql” is included and will return a list of database names, excluding the system databases (master, model, msdb, tempdb) and can be customised to exclude any other databases. A batch file was created utilising the above-listed tools in order to achieve the desired results. The batch file will:
- Read a list of SQL Server Instances from the text file “servers.txt” contained in the same folder as the batch file. The text file should be structured as per Listing 1 below.
- For each entry in the “servers.txt” file, a subfolder will be created using the SQL Server Instance name. This will be created within the “SERVERS” folder. Should the instance be the default instance only one subfolder will be created, otherwise a subfolder will be created below the server name subfolder.
- The script will then check for the existence of the file “_databases.txt” within the instance subfolder, deleting it if found.
- Using the SQL Server Command-Line Utility, the database names for the selected instance will be extracted to the file “_databases.txt”. Parameters for the SQLCMD command are shown in Listing 2 below.
- The file “_databases.txt” is then read and for each entry the command SQLPUBWIZ with the necessary parameters is executed. With the parameters passed the application will generate a full schema of the selected database within the current instance name. Parameters for the SQLPUBWIZ command are listed in Listing 3.
- Once all the SQL Server Instances have been processed the current date is retrieved from the NOW command, formatted and stored in the “_backupfile” variable.
- The final step of this process is to compress the contents of the “SERVERS” folder using the RAR32 application. Once complete, the same program will delete the files which have just been compressed. Parameters for the RAR32command are listed in Listing 4.
- Finally, the number of backup files is kept in check by using the FORFILES utility to delete files older than 20 days.
The files required for this solution to work correctly are the following:
The above-listed files should reside within the same folder as the batch file, unless additional tweaks are performed to the said file. The full batch file script described in this document is included in Listing 5.
Listing 1 - The “servers.txt” file
This file should be structured as follows: [SQL Server instance name],[SQL Server version] For example:
Listing 2 – Parameters for the SQLCMD command
Microsoft (R) SQL Server Command Line Tool Version 9.00.1399.06 NT INTEL X86 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. usage: Sqlcmd [-U login id] [-P password] [-S server] [-H hostname] [-E trusted connection] [-d use database name] [-l login timeout] [-t query timeout] [-h headers] [-s colseparator] [-w screen width] [-a packetsize] [-e echo input] [-I Enable Quoted Identifiers] [-c cmdend] [-L[c] list servers[clean output]] [-q "cmdline query"] [-Q "cmdline query" and exit] [-m errorlevel] [-V severitylevel] [-W remove trailing spaces] [-u unicode output] [-r[0|1] msgs to stderr] [-i inputfile] [-o outputfile] [-z new password] [-f <codepage> | i:<codepage>[,o:<codepage>]] [-Z new password and exit] [-k[1|2] remove[replace] control characters] [-y variable length type display width] [-Y fixed length type display width] [-p print statistics[colon format]] [-R use client regional setting] [-b On error batch abort] [-v var = "value"...] [-A dedicated admin connection] [-X disable commands, startup script, enviroment variables [and exit]] [-x disable variable substitution] [-? show syntax summary]
Listing 3 – Parameters for the SQLPUBWIZ command
Microsoft (R) SQL Server Database Publishing Wizard Version 126.96.36.199 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Usage: sqlpubwiz script ( -C connection_string | -d local_database_name ) (output_file) [switches] switches: Output options: [-f] : Overwrite existing files [-noschemaqualify] : Output script does not qualify object names with schema name. [-schemaonly] : Only script schema [-dataonly] : Only script data [-targetserver] : Specifies what version of SQL Server the script should target. Valid versions are "2000", "2005". Default Value: 2005 [-q] : Suppress output [-nodropexisting] : Default Value: False Local connection related: [-C connection_string] : Connection string [-d local_database_name] : Database name to script [-U local_user_name] : Username [-P local_password] : Password [-S local_server_name] : Server name
Listing 4 – Parameters for the RAR32 command
Warning: No DPMI-server FPU support RAR 3.80 Copyright (c) 1993-2008 Alexander Roshal 16 Sep 2008 Shareware version Type RAR -? for help Usage: rar <command> -<switch 1> -<switch N> <archive> <files...> <@listfiles...> <path_to_extract\> <Commands> a Add files to archive c Add archive comment cf Add files comment ch Change archive parameters cw Write archive comment to file d Delete files from archive e Extract files to current directory f Freshen files in archive i[par]=<str> Find string in archives k Lock archive l[t,b] List archive [technical, bare] m[f] Move to archive [files only] p Print file to stdout r Repair archive rc Reconstruct missing volumes rn Rename archived files rr[N] Add data recovery record rv[N] Create recovery volumes s[name|-] Convert archive to or from SFX t Test archive files u Update files in archive v[t,b] Verbosely list archive [technical,bare] x Extract files with full path <Switches> - Stop switches scanning ac Clear Archive attribute after compression or extraction ad Append archive name to destination path ag[format] Generate archive name using the current date ap<path> Set path inside archive as Synchronize archive contents av Put authenticity verification (registered versions only) av- Disable authenticity verification check c- Disable comments show cfg- Disable read configuration cl Convert names to lower case cu Convert names to upper case df Delete files after archiving dh Open shared files ds Disable name sort for solid archive dw Wipe files after archiving e[+]<attr> Set file exclude and include attributes ed Do not add empty directories en Do not put 'end of archive' block ep Exclude paths from names ep1 Exclude base directory from names ep3 Expand paths to full including the drive letter f Freshen files hp[password] Encrypt both file data and headers id[c,d,p,q] Disable messages ierr Send all messages to stderr ilog[name] Log errors to file (registered versions only) inul Disable all messages isnd Enable sound k Lock archive kb Keep broken extracted files m<0..5> Set compression level (0-store...3-default...5-maximal) mc<par> Set advanced compression parameters md<size> Dictionary size in KB (64,128,256,512,1024,2048,4096 or A-G) ms[ext;ext] Specify file types to store n<file> Include only specified file n@ Read file names to include from stdin n@<list> Include files in specified list file o[+|-] Set the overwrite mode or Rename files automatically p[password] Set password p- Do not query password r Recurse subdirectories r0 Recurse subdirectories for wildcard names only rr[N] Add data recovery record rv[N] Create recovery volumes s[<N>,v[-],e] Create solid archive s- Disable solid archiving sc<chr>[obj] Specify the character set sfx[name] Create SFX archive si[name] Read data from standard input (stdin) sl<size> Process files with size less than specified sm<size> Process files with size more than specified t Test files after archiving ta<date> Process files modified after <date> in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format tb<date> Process files modified before <date> in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format tk Keep original archive time tl Set archive time to latest file tn<time> Process files newer than <time> to<time> Process files older than <time> ts<m,c,a>[N] Save or restore file time (modification, creation, access) u Update files v Create volumes with size autodetection or list all volumes v<size>[k,b] Create volumes with size=<size>*1000 [*1024, *1] ver[n] File version control vn Use the old style volume naming scheme vp Pause before each volume w<path> Assign work directory x<file> Exclude specified file x@ Read file names to exclude from stdin x@<list> Exclude files in specified list file y Assume Yes on all queries z[file] Read archive comment from file
Listing 5 – The script described within this document
rem NOTE: Add "rem C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Publishing" to the PATH environment variable @ECHO OFF CLS FOR /F "tokens=1-3 delims=," %%a IN (.\servers.txt) DO ( ECHO Processing server %%a rem *** Create server scripts folder *** mkdir .\SERVERS\%%a rem *** Remove old versions of databases file *** IF EXIST .\SERVERS\%%a\_databases.txt DEL .\SERVERS\%%a\_databases.txt rem *** Generate new list of user databases *** SQLCMD -E -S%%a -w8000 -W -s"|" -i".\list_databases.sql" -o".\SERVERS\%%a\_databases.txt" -h-1 rem *** Process server databases *** FOR /F %%c IN (.\SERVERS\%%a\_databases.txt) DO ( rem *** Remove old versions of script file *** IF EXIST .\SERVERS\%%a\%%c.sql DEL .\%%a\%%c.sql rem *** Extract schema *** SQLPUBWIZ script -S %%a -d %%c -f -schemaonly -targetserver "%%b" -q .\SERVERS\%%a\%%c.sql >> .\SERVERS\%%a\_report.txt ) ) rem ** Get the current date and time FOR /f "tokens=1,2,3,4,5,6 delims= " %%g IN ('NOW') DO ( SET _backupfile=%%k%%h%%i ) rem *** Compress server scripts as a single file *** RAR32 a -r -df .\BACKUP\SERVERS_%_backupfile%.rar .\SERVERS\*.* rem *** Delete RAR files older than 20 days *** FORFILES /p ".\BACKUP" /m "SERVERS_*.rar" /c "cmd /c del /Q @path" /d -20 END
A ZIP file containing all the files mentioned above can be downloaded here.