Review: Log Explorer
Log Explorer 4.0
Starting at $1400
Lumigent Technologies, Inc.
You probably know that Microsoft SQL Server maintains transaction logs
of everything that it does. Whether it's creating or dropping a table,
adding data, or editing data, the transaction logs record every change
(except for a few non-logged operations). But what can you do with the
logs? The answer traditionally has been "not much"; the logs exist for
SQL Server to roll forward in case of recovery, not for you to muck
Log Explorer changes that by providing a powerful browsing and data
recovery tool based on your SQL Server transaction logs. Install Log
Explorer, open a log, and you'll see everything it contains: timestamps,
operations, data before and after changes, user IDs, and so on.
Transactions are color-coded so you can easily see all of the operations
that make up a single transaction. Powerful filtering tools make it easy
to find the changes made to a particular table or by a particular user
or process. There's also a real-time monitor mode that lets you see
detailed database activity as it's happening. You can also focus in on a
single row of data to see its history.
But Log Explorer doesn't end with exploring. It also lets you
selectively roll back any transaction without affecting any other
transaction in the database. It does this by generating SQL change
scripts to restore a row to any point in time that you select. After
generating the scripts, you can easily view and then run them right from
the Log Explorer interface.
Lost an entire table? No problem! You can recover a table by recreating
transactions, by grabbing it from a backup, or by getting a copy from an
offline data file. That's new in this version, as are e-mail alerting of
particular issues (you can select such things as creating and dropping
databases and objects, deadlocks, and rollbacks), and undo and redo
commands for stored procedures, triggers, views, and functions.
Log Explorer 4.0 works with SQL Server 2000 and 7.0 databases, and
they're planning Oracle support as well. If I find myself doing a dba
job again in the future, this is the first product I'm putting in a
purchase requisition for.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.