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By: justin hansen
September 17, 2017
SysTools SQL Log Analyzer
By: justin hansen
September 17, 2017
SysTools SQL Log Analyzer: Advanced Utility for SQL Transaction Log ForensicsWhen SQL Server log files are mentioned, the very thought on our programmer's brain is a SQL Server transaction log file. These files record and track updates of the activities carried out on the corresponding database. However, some of us remain unaware of the fact that there are many other log files.There are SQL Server Profiler, Setup, Error, Agent, and Windows event log files. It is easy to view SQL logs of this category; however, to open a transaction log file one needs to have an external SQL Log analyzer tool only. No other procedure lets you view transaction logs for SQL as easy as a third party tool.The blog puts light on the statement with a set of facts, which shows how difficult it is to view transaction log SQL Server without an application.
Different Logs in SQL Server vs. Transaction Log FileSQL Server log files do not limit to just transaction log files. Many more log files offer other details related to the server and its functions. A set of log files other than the database transaction record are:
- Log files for Audit collection
- Log file for Data collection
- Database Mail log file
- Job history related logs
- Server agent log files
- General SQL Server activity log
- And, Windows event
Reading a Transaction Log File on SQL ServerWhen searching for how to view SQL transaction logs, you must have found a four-step procedure. However, that is not the end of it; the stated procedure is for Log File Viewer, which is meant to read all the SQL Server related log files except for transaction logs.In reality, there are not four but a number of endless steps involved in reading the transactions of any SQL Server database. Transaction logs records are not directly readable and require one to either uses a function or a third party tool (to get the best result) to view transaction log SQL Server.Matter of FactThe transaction logs record information that describes any/all changes made on to the associated database. The stored information is sufficient for even restoring the corresponding database to a particular point in time. Either you can replay or roll back a change made in the database previously.However, viewing what a transaction log file stores in it is not a very simple procedure to follow as it is for the rest of the log files. Transaction log files are viewed in a condition where either the DBA wants to read the transactions to see what happened to a database or to roll back changes previously made to recover a deleted record.
How to View SQL Transaction Logs without Software?
- Open LDF and TRN in a binary/hex editor
- Or, run the undocumented function ‘fn_dblog’
- Run the function ‘fn_dblog’ against the respective database of your choice. Specify the operation that you are looking for and proceed.
- You will then see a lot of transaction IDs all for the specified operation
- Capture the preferred transaction ID based on the required AllocUnitName
- Use the transaction ID to find the exact LSN of the preferred operation
- You need to specify the operation that you are looking for
- Details of only a specific operation can be searched at once
Difference Made by SQL Log AnalyzerMethod to view SQL logs query based manner is evidently a complex and lengthy procedure to follow every time you need to look at the transaction log records. Therefore, using a commercial tool is the best way to analyze SQL transaction log.SQL Log Analyzer software is programmed to render easy and instant readability of SQL Server transaction logs. Unlike ‘fn_dblog’ you get the following contrasting options to view transaction records in SQL Server:
- Load and preview SQL Server LDF file in an instant successfully
- Preview complete transaction records in a readable format
- know who changed what and when
- Auto-locate the corresponding MDF file for recovery, if required
- Analyze SQL log file and export into SQL DB, Script, or CSV file
- SQL Server connectivity is not required for analysis of Log file(s)
- Freeware trial available to review transactions for demonstration