BI Compare

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BI Compare


The BI Compare add-in compares two SQL Server objects down to the property level and presents the results in an easy-to-ready and exportable manner. You can save the comparison, which saves the object paths and filters for easy comparison in the future. You can also export the comparison, which gives the user a freeze-frame of the objects at the time that they were originally compared.


Feature Highlights

  See differences between any SSIS package

  The providers for SQL Server and SSAS allow users to read the entire instance specified, including all databases, settings, logons etc.


Important Note:

If you are attempting to run a comparison using SSIS Package(s) that contain Third-Party Component(s), the machine in which BI xPress' BI Compare is installed on will also require the Third-Party Component(s) installed on it as well.


Additionally, Pragmatic Workbench (32-bit) must be used when comparing SSIS packages on a machine that only contains SSDT for Visual Studio 2015.


Table of Contents

  Creating a comparison scenario

  Navigating the comparison view

  Using the toolbar


Important Note:

While selecting a technology type to be compared within BI xPress BI Compare, you may run into an issue where the source type you wish to analyze does not show up. If this happens, chances are you have not met the system requirements for that specific provider. Please check the System Requirements page and ensure you have all of the system requirements for that specific provider installed properly.


For details on the capabilities of each provider within BI xPress BI Compare, click here.


Creating a comparison scenario

1.   To begin, name your comparison.

A good rule of thumb is to name it something that describes the items being compared. When you want to reopen the comparison, it will help for it to be named something meaningful.



2.   Select your object type

First you will select your source from the drop-down menu. In this example we have SQL Server selected. You will then be able to specify your filter settings. You will then select your server by clicking the ellipses on the right side of the Server row. Be sure not to compare two different types of objects.



3.   Choose the objects to be compared.

o   For SQL Server, you will need to enter the server name you wish to compare, as well as your permissions (either Integrated or SQL Server Authority).

o   For SSIS, you may select your packages from the file system, SQL Server, Package Store, or 2012 Integrated Services Catalog.

o   For SSAS, you must enter the server name. Only Integrated Security is available for Analysis Services.

o   For SSRS, you may select your report objects from the file system individually, from a folder (to compare several objects at once), or from the web service.


4.   Click "Finish".


Navigating the comparison view

Once your comparison has finished loading, you will see one object on the left, and another on the right. Properties that don't match will show an 'x', and objects that exist only on one side or the other will be delimited with an arrow pointing to that side.



Note that if you highlight a line, it will show the value of the object and highlight the differences between them.


Using the toolbar



This ribbon bar spans the top of the application after the comparison has been generated.


  New - Starts a completely new comparison scenario.

  Open - Opens a previously saved comparison file and starts the comparison procedure.

  Save - Saves the current comparison. This generates a file that is used to point BI Compare to the chosen targets.

  Save As - Creates a new file name from the current comparison.

  Refresh - Starts the comparison procedure again to generate updated results.

  Filters - Choose to include such properties as ID, StartTime, and StopTime. These objects are seldom the same in two different objects, so you can choose to omit them if desired.

  Export Results - Generates a file that, when opened, displays the results as they were at the time the file was created (as opposed to saving the comparison, which saves only the object paths and generates a new comparison).

  Switch Left/Right - Allows the user to choose a different object for one side of the other without having to create an entirely new comparison scenario.

  View - Allows the user to explicitly filter out the types of comparison results they wish to see.

  Starting points - Allows the user to adjust the left and right starting point for the comparison. By default, the left and right starting point will be set to the root of the source. This can be changed, however, to create a more specific comparison. Adjusting the left and/or right starting points is an excellent way to compare the same item that has been been moved from one environment to another.