SQL Server replication is a set of technologies for copying and distributing data and database objects from one database to another and then synchronizing between databases to maintain consistency. It is useful to divide replication into two broad categories: replicating data in a server to server environment and replicating data between a server and clients. Replicating data between servers typically supports improving scalability and availability, data warehousing and reporting, and integrating data from multiple sites. Replicating data between servers and clients typically supports exchanging data with mobile users, consumer point of sale (POS) applications, and integrating data from multiple sites.
Replication uses a publishing industry metaphor to represent the components in a replication topology, which include Publisher, Distributor, Subscribers, publications, articles, and subscriptions. Although the magazine metaphor is useful for understanding replication, it is important to note that SQL Server replication includes functionality that is not represented in this metaphor, particularly the ability for a Subscriber to make updates and for a Publisher to send out incremental changes to the articles in a publication.
There are three types of replication: transactional replication, merge replication, and snapshot replication. All of these types rely on a number of standalone programs, called agents, that carry out the tasks associated with tracking changes and distributing data.
In This Section
Replicating Data Between a Server and Clients
Contains descriptions of scenarios that involve replicating data between servers and clients, including workstations, laptops, tablets, and devices.
Replicating Data in a Server to Server Environment
Contains descriptions of scenarios that involve replicating data between servers.
Replication Publishing Model Overview
Discusses the publishing industry metaphor used to represent the components in a replication topology.
Types of Replication Overview
Contains overviews of the different types of replication and a discussion of how to select the appropriate type of replication to best meet your application requirements.
Replication Agents Overview
Introduces standalone programs, called agents, that replication uses to carry out the tasks associated with tracking changes and distributing data.