Slick New Tool from RedGate

March 20, 2008 at 12:16 pm (Tools) (, , )

I have no intention of this becoming “tool of the day” or anything, but I can’t help tooting the horn for a tool that I’ve been using a lot from RedGate. It’s new and in beta right now, but it’s going to be pretty good. It’s a data generation tool called, are you ready, Sql Data Generator. Who saw that coming? Ok. I know. I’m not funny. Anyway, this is a great little tool. I’ve been using it to quickly slap large amounts of data into small sets of tables to test queries that I’m writing or for checking answers that I’m posting over at SQL Server Central. The tool lets you pick which tables and the columns inside those tables that you want filled with data. It has a number of data generation schemes built in to get either randomly generated data or data that looks like something (names from a list for example). It’ll let you pull data from other sources, and unlike the data load tool that comes with DataDude, this will let you do two things, ignore a table but still use data from it. Is that confusing? We have a build process using DataDude that we use to build our databases. Additionally, we load the standard look-up data into the database as part of the build by including it in a post deployment script. Works great. Unfortunately, when we try to use these tables in the MS data loader, it wants to replace the data or completely ignore the table (and associated foreign keys…). This tool from RedGate allows me to skip loading data into the table because it’s already there, but it lets me use that table as a look-up for the foreign key data that it is generating. Great stuff. The beta is pretty stable if you want to try it out and I think it’s going to be release soon.

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