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Why Is It Complicated?

By Steve Jones,

http://content.hccfl.edu/pollock/images/Dilbert.jpgI was answering a post the other day on backups, and I realized that it's a somewhat complicated subject. You have to know that there are multiple types of backups, and that if you want to restore a database with logs you need to do so with NORECOVERY. The logs have to be in order, there are logins to sync with users, stripes can easily, and inadvertently, be created. There are many, many options for the accidental DBA to be aware of.

Why is that so? Why can't the "restore" script be stored as part of the backup file and let the user open it, and get notified if there are issues. Or walked through the process? If you open a diff, can't it include the "name" of the last full? Or search for that file in the folder? What about logs, can't SSMS just "figure out" what LSNs are in which files and load them up automatically? Shouldn't a log have the name of the last full backup in it? Or the name of the last and next log backup files?

I can see how we ended up with this process, and why we expect people to be somewhat competent in this area. I also think that a lot of this complexity is mundane, and unnecessary. Computers are great at repetitive tasks, and they can "programmatically" figure out lots of these questions. After all, I see many people on SQLServerCentral have submitted scripts to do just that.

So why isn't this stuff built into the product?

I think that these repetitive, easy to solve issues should be built into the product. Simple tasks like restoring a series of backup files ought to be handled in an easier manner. That would be a step forward in making SQL Server much easier to manage.

Steve Jones


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