[UPDATED]DTS Package Compare 2.0

Dan J ArcherDan J Archer Posts: 89
edited December 15, 2005 11:26PM in DTS Package Compare 2
Dear all,

We've just released version 2.0 of DTS Package Compare. You can download it from:

https://www.red-gate.com/dynamic/downlo ... eDeveloper

Note that posts in this forum prior to 21st December 2005 refer to previous betas and may not be applicable to the current beta


Dan J Archer
DTS Package Compare Project Leader
Red Gate Software

Overview of New Features

DTS Package Compare allows you to compare DTS Packages from SQL Server instances; DTS Structured Storage Files (.dts files) and snapshots. If there are differences, you can see exactly what those differences are. Snapshots can be taken of a server at a given point in time, and then later used as the basis of a comparison.

Background compare. You can leave DTS Package Compare to work in the background, comparing the latest versions of packages on two servers. Meantime you can still use the application to compare particular packages of your choosing.

Quick compare. Since the background compare need not provide full details of each comparison, but just whether two packages are the same or different, it can use a more optimal algorithm to speed comparisons of large packages.

Compare arbitrary packages. You can compare any package on one server against any package on another server. This can be useful for tracking package evolution where one package forms the design basis for later, similar packages.

Compare package versions. SQL Server saves a new version of a package each time it is edited. By default, these versions are retained. In DTS Package Compare 2.0 you can see and compare any version of the package available on any server. This effectively gives you an audit trail tracking the evolution of a single package.

Password protected packages. The application has full support for password protected packages.

Packages with custom tasks. Properties on in house or third party custom tasks can be displayed and compared.

Printing. You can print out a summary report of all packages, or the results of an individual comparison.

Reporting. You can export XML comparison results, for either the current comparison or for all packages. You can also just export details of the package contents, without comparison information.

Caching. Since some DTS packages can take some time to load, both in SQL Server Enterprise Manager and DTS Package Compare, we provide client-side caching so that future comparisons with the same package can be noticably faster.

System Requirements

Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003
Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1
Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8
SQL Server 2000 (or SQL Server 2000 Client) installation, Service Pack 4
10 MB hard disk space
Runs on a user’s PC (can also run on a server)

Note: SQL Server 7 and earlier are not supported. SQL Server 2005 and SSIS are not supported.

Known Issues

• Memory consumption for large package sets is higher than planned for the final release.

• Exceptionally large packages over very slow connections may not load due to a loading timeout of 180 seconds. This is planned to be configurable in the final release.

• Packages with some kind of custom task, including some written in Visual Basic, may not be comparable by DTS Package Compare.

• Under some circumstances, some packages are not saved correctly in snapshots. This includes some password protected packages.

• When a snapshot is taken, success is reported even if some packages had to be skipped due to problems loading them or unsupplied passwords. A more detailed report will be given in the final release.

• The Edit Package Password… menu option defaults to editing of the password(s) for the left hand side package version being compared, rather than for both the left and right package versions. The more overt clickable “supply a password” links perform correctly.

• Clicking a “group by” header in the package list displays a “work in progress” indicator, although no work is being carried out.


  • Options
    Sorry Dan,

    Tried to run DTS Compare 2.0 beta just now, but didn't get very far I'm afraid. I can't seem to post a screen scrape here, but I get an error popup as soon as I start the comparison. Connecting to data sources is OK, but Loading package information is not. I get "Error (code 0x80041035) loading DTS package information from SQL Server 2000 instance '(local)\TFR'; General Repository Error: 80041035."

    Note that instance is an MSDE instance and thus has no repository. The packages are in msdb only.

    Like many developers I assume, I do much of my work in standard SQL, but must save the packages to MSDE for use at user's locations.

    John Ryan

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    Hi John,

    I'm glad you found that. You're quite right, at the moment DTS Package Compare 2.0 does assume that the repository exists. However, as far as the team's aware there's no reason why we can't support packages on MSDE instances in msdb; if there's no repository, neither the application nor the user should care! So at the moment it looks like we can add support for MSDE for the final release.


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    Hi Dan,

    when our 14 day evals on the beta expires, will be be able to re-install to get another 14 days - or can you update your registration system to issue licences for the beta for the licenced customers of the previous version?


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    I uninstalled, then reinstalled SQL Bundle when it expired. It did not give me another 2 weeks. I expect DTS Compare is the same, so I didn't try to reinstall when it expired. As I want to compare packages in standard SQL to those in MSDE, I haven't actually been able to try it yet. Hopefully there will be another beta release coming.

    John Ryan
This discussion has been closed.