The following tips are excerpted from the McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media book SQL Server 2000 Administration, Chapter 10, 'Replication', written by Mark A. Linsenbardt and Shane Stigler. For a summary and link to the complete chapter, click here.
A replication method or replication type is a way of describing the actual replication process. Three basic methods of replication exist, and in some instances they can be combined to create custom solutions. At the heart of all replication schemes, you will find one of the basic three: snapshot replication, transactional replication and merge replication. Each method of replication has a component inside SQL Server called an agent. The agent is responsible for managing and controlling the replication process and is designed to handle that type of replication specifically. As you will find, sometimes a replication design uses more than one agent, but all types use at least one. In the following text, you will learn the process, the advantages and disadvantages, and some tips on when to use each replication method.
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This was first published in July 2005