When making a copy of a database, there are different types of information that may be copied. A database copy may simply be a copy of the database structure (tables, views, stored procedures, keys, relationships etc.). As well as copying the database structure, it's also possible to copy the database's data.
Uses of a SQL database copy include:
- Making database backups.
- Taking a snapshot of a database (useful for reporting purposes).
- Distributing copies of a database to other database servers.
- Making a copy of a live database for testing purposes.
There are various database copy software solutions for the popular databases such as SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL. Microsoft's SQL Server comes with a Copy Database Wizard. This will allow a database to be moved between SQL Server database servers.
For more advanced database copy options, there are database copy tools such as Copy Database from OmBelt Database Tools. This is a database copier utility for Microsoft SQL Server. Advanced options include the ability to reset primary key values, as well as being able to schedule database copies.