Which should you choose?

MySQL Database Compare Tools Overview: ApexSQL Data Diff vs dbForge Data Compare

Kateryna Khyzhniak
© Shutterstock/ Golden Sikorka

Modern technologies provide database specialists with powerful and convenient software tools. In this article, we are going to examine the powers of the two popular solutions for data comparison: dbForge Data Compare for MySQL created by Devart and ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL developed by Quest.

When working with MySQL databases, you will inevitably face the necessity of detecting and synchronizing data changes in them. Most companies use several work environments for development, testing, and production. Therefore, transferring changes from a database into another one is a routine job that takes place wherever you deal with data.

As your company grows, you need to allocate more resources. There will be additional servers, working environments, and RDBMS types in use. The synchronization routines will become even more critical and complicated. You may need to transfer changes between different testing environments, from testing to production, and vice

Of course, it can’t be manual. It would take too much time and increase the risk of errors due to human factors. We need specialized tools that automate all tasks and remove human mistakes. Fortunately, modern technologies provide database specialists with powerful and convenient software tools.

In this article, we are going to examine the powers of the two popular solutions for data comparison: dbForge Data Compare for MySQL created by Devart and ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL developed by Quest. ApexSQL Diff Data for MySQL is a visual tool for MySQL data comparison jobs. It is a part of the ApexSQL Fundamentals Toolkit for MySQL bundle. Compare data from live MySQL databases | ApexSQL.

ApexSQL Diff Data for MySQL Overview

ApexSQL Diff Data for MySQL is a visual tool for MySQL data comparison jobs. The tool compares the data from the two MySQL databases and allows the users to select objects for the task. The results can be exported into several formats, and automating the options let you schedule and run the MySQL data sync tasks without manual interference. The ApexSQL Data Diff tool also supports MariaDB.

SEE ALSO: The 7 Best Reasons to Choose MySQL for Organizing Your Web Database

dbForge Data Compare for MySQL Overview

dbForge Data Compare for MySQL is a MySQL data diffs management GUI. It is available as both, a stand-alone solution and a part of Compare Bundle for MySQL. MySQL data comparison and sync features are also included in dbForge Studio for MySQL, a multifunctional GUI for MySQL data development, management, and administration.

The chief purpose of this Data Compare tool is to compare, analyze, and sync MySQL databases. The tool will define and analyze the discrepancies between MySQL database data, and synchronize them quickly and safely. dbForge Data Compare for MySQL efficiently deals with large amounts of data. It applies to both databases, backups, and script folders. The entire MySQL data synchronization process takes just a moment. Besides MySQL, it is compatible with Percona and MariaDB and popular cloud servers.

dbForge Data Compare vs ApexSQL Data Diff Comparison

Both tools are powerful and favored by users. If we compare their functionality, we’ll see a lot of similarities. It is natural, as both tools are meant for the same goals. However, the differences are there as well. It determines the choice of this or that tool. So, let’s dive deeper and examine the available features offered by each tool.

Let’s start from the basics. BothdbForge Data Compare for MySQL and ApexSQL Data Diff, compare data in MySQL databases. However, only dbForge Data Compare analyzes script folders and identifies discrepancies between them.

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Database Comparison and Synchronization

The tools were developed for comparison. The specific needs of database specialists determine the parameters of this job. In different situations, you may need to analyze or ignore particular objects.

Both dbForge Data Compare for MySQL and ApexSQL Data Diff allow users to compare tables and views in databases. At the same time, they both provide flexible MySQL data compare and sync options.

You can ignore case and underlining in the names of objects and data, ignore spaces, new objects, Blob columns, calculated columns, and columns with Timestamp. In general, you can specify the precision of comparison jobs and apply the tool for those items that interest you in each particular case.

dbForge Data Compare for MySQL offers additional options for the ignore parameters: ignore microseconds, ignore the end of the line, and ignore the time part in DATETIME data types. You can set the tolerance interval to 0 in this tool when you need it. The ApexSQL Data Diff does not feature such specific options.

Database Object Mapping

This option is present in both solutions, and similar functionality is offered. It allows you to map objects, such as tables, views, and columns. You can do it both automatically or manually. Then, it is possible to UNMAP any item and to cancel all custom mapping by restoring to the defaults. Note also that you can search by the object and filter data in columns with the help of specialized filters.

dbForge Data Compare for MySQL allows for the SQL queries correlation, while ApexSQL Data Diff does not offer this option. Still, in general, the functionality of these tools in the Object Mapping aspect is similar.

Object Filtering

This helpful feature is present in both tools. Data Compare for MySQL allows you to filter objects by names with the help of masks. You can include or exclude tables and views by mask. In addition, you can ignore columns by masks (*ModifiedDate*,*CreatedOn*,*UpdatedBy*).

The Apex Data Diff for MySQL has developed a separate multi-functional filter with numerous options. It is an indisputable advantage of this software solution.

Database Object Management

This one is a fundamental feature of any data comparison solution. It is granted by both, dbForge Data Compare and ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL. Here, the functionality is similar as well, since it helps you manage the most essential factors.

You can include and exclude objects, group them, and search for an object by name. It is also possible to include and exclude the OnlyInSource, OnlyInTarget, and Different records. No matter which tool you’d choose, these crucial qualities will be present there.

Data Management

Both tools ensure including and excluding records and data search as well as navigation through the records. Besides, you can set the tool to auto-pick the column width. Separation of tables for the OnlyInSource, OnlyInTarget, Different, Equal, and Incomparable records also makes the work more convenient.

Data Viewer

An original feature that is present only in the dbForge Data Compare for MySQL simplifies the analysis of the comparison results. A separate window allows you to view long texts and binary code fields. You can search for specific information within those materials (text of hex code).

The primary goal of this feature is to add more flexibility and precision to the data comparison analysis. Besides, this window combines the functionality of the data search and viewing with the LOB data editing option.

Diff Reports

After running the comparison jobs (with all the necessary settings configured), you can view the results and export them as reports for future reference. This is granted by both dbForge Data Compare for MySQL and ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL. Each software generates the comparison reports in HTML, CSV, and Excel formats.

Sync Wizard

Synchronization Wizard is an extremely helpful option that makes MySQL data diff deployment tasks faster and simpler. Here, both tools allow you to change the synchronization direction, configure the Output options, and provide the Action Plan and Warnings. Both solutions allow operators to set the Include the USE <database_name> parameter in the synchronization options.

However, dbForge Data Compare for MySQL offers significantly more functionality and flexible settings. In particular, the tool lets you configure the table limitations, triggers, comments, multiple inserts, etc. With this feature, you can adjust the configuration settings precisely and avoid many potential risks because of missed parameters.

One more excellent feature available only in dbForge Data Compare is an option to use the prewritten SQL scripts. You can apply them before or after you execute the synchronization scripts.

SEE ALSO: SD-WAN is a hot topic, but how many solutions are truly security-first?

Performance Comparison

We all know how much performance matters when it comes to MySQL data diffs management and deployment. Thus, along with comparing the functionality of dbForge Data Compare for MySQL with ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL, we would also like to share the results of the performance comparison of three data compare and sync tools, including dbForge Studio for MySQL, Navicat for MySQL, and Red Gate MySQL Data Compare.

With each of three tools, we have compared the perf_dc_1 database with both, an empty database (perf_dc_empty) and a database with data (perf_dc_2) and measured the execution time elapsed on initial comparison, refresh, and synchronization (in seconds).

The results of the performance measurements are provided in the table below.

First Comparison Refresh Synchronization
dbForge Studio for MySQL 10.0.211 perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_2 76.3 74 420
perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_empty 59 53 392
Navicat 15.0.26 perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_2 80.5 72 >600
perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_empty 74.6 58.6 >600
Red Gate Data Compare 1 perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_2 95.5 87.5 240
perf_dc_1<>perf_dc_empty 65 60.5 207


If you are looking for a reliable and convenient tool for MySQL data comparison, you’ll find a lot of offers on the market. Though the choice is always yours, it is a common fact that the more functional and customized the tool is, the more convenient it is for work.

dbForge Data Compare for MySQL and ApexSQL Data Diff for MySQL both offer decent functionality. Still, the dbForge product wins this race.

It offers more flexibility for options of data comparison and synchronization. You can compare the data in script folders in addition to the databases, and it correlates with custom queries. Though ApexSQL is superior in one feature, Object Filter, the dbForge solution can provide some of its functionality too in the comparison options.

In any case, Devart and Quest are both among the market leaders in the field of database-related software development. Their competition is beneficial for the end-users. And whichever product you’ll choose, you’ll get the job done.


Kateryna Khyzhniak

Kateryna Khyzhniak is an experienced Technical Consultant, NDA. Her main areas of technical interest include SQL Server, MySQL, and related areas.

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