In this fast-paced tech-driven world, the need for efficient database management cannot be overstated. One key aspect of this essential process involves the generation of data. This is where Microsoft SQL (MS SQL) data generators come into play.
1.1 Importance of MS SQL Data Generator
MS SQL Data Generators are designed specifically to help generate high volumes of data in Microsoft SQL Server databases. This type of software helps to populate the database with random data or samples for testing and other uses. They simplify the process of populating databases, saving developers countless hours and helping them ensure the database’s functionality, manageability, and searchability. This software is an indispensable element in any developer’s toolkit.
1.2 SQL Server Repair Tool
Apart from data generator, most of DBAs will also have a tool to repair SQL databases, such as DataNumen SQL Recovery:
1.3 Objectives of this Comparison
In this guide, we aim to provide a balanced and detailed comparison of some of the best MS SQL data generators available on the market. We will briefly introduce each tool and present its respective pros and cons. This comparison will help you to understand each tool and its suitability to your specific requirements. Therefore, it will guide you to make an informed decision when choosing an MS SQL data generator.
2. Redgate SQL Data Generator
Redgate SQL Data Generator is a well-known software tool famous for its versatile nature and efficiency in generating data. It produces realistic data, based on column and table names, field length, data types, and other existing constraints, and it’s particularly skilled at populating SQL Server Databases.
- Realistic data generation: It can produce sample data that is similar to production data utilizing a variety of customization options and existing constraints.
- Integration with SQL Server Management Studio: Redgate as an add-on integrates seamlessly with SQL Server Management Studio, which makes it convenient for users who are already familiar with these tools.
- Flexible data generation: Redgate allows users to generate data based on their own SQL scripts, making this tool flexible and powerful.
- Streamlined data refreshing: The software gives you the ability to refresh data, in addition to generating new data, which is key for updating outdated test databases.
- High cost: Unlike some other tools, Redgate is not free, and the pricing can be higher than its competitors.
- Complex user interface: Although it’s powerful and flexible, its features and functionalities can be overwhelming to new users. The software would benefit from an improved user interface to enhance user experience.
- Requires a learning curve: Due to its range of features, Redgate tends to have a steep learning curve, especially for those who are new to database management.
3. dbForge Data Generator Tool for SQL Server
The dbForge Data Generator Tool for SQL Server is a powerful GUI tool developed by Devart, aimed at populating SQL databases with realistic test data. It allows you to create, generate, and populate databases quickly, using predefined generators and a wide array of customizable options.
- Broad library of generators: The dbForge tool offers over 200 predefined generators covering various data types, including personal, geographical, financial data, and much more.
- Customizable: This tool allows customizing data by applying various fill methods, including random value, list, file, range, and more. This enables the generation of complex data for specific scenarios.
- SQL integrity support: The software recognizes SQL relations between tables and correctly generates data keeping in mind these relationships, which ensures database integrity.
- Costly: While offering a full-featured trial, the full version of dbForge Data Generator tool comes at a cost. This could potentially deter some users, especially startups and small businesses, from using it.
- Incomplete documentation: The tool’s documentation can be a bit lacking, especially for complex scenarios, hence beginners might find it challenging to get started.
- Limited customization for predefined data: While the tool offers a plethora of predefined data generators, customization options for predefined data are comparatively limited.
4. EMS SQL Manager – Data Generator for SQL Server
EMS SQL Manager Data Generator for SQL Server is an impressive tool for producing large volumes of test data in SQL Server databases. This powerful, yet simple to use tool offers various ways of generating personalized data with a multitude of available options, patterns, and data types.
- User-Friendly Interface: The EMS Data Generator boasts a clear and intuitive graphical user interface that provides an easy and efficient approach to data generation.
- Wide Range of Data Types: The software supports a wide array of SQL server data types, including geometric, network, datetime, and others.
- Customizable data patterns: The tool allows users to create test data with the help of pre-set data patterns, manual lists, SQL queries, or by using templates.
- Interactive preview functionality: This feature aid users to visually plan and validate the data before actual generation, which enhances convenience and saves time.
- Costly: While it does offer a free version, the full version of the software comes with a price tag which could be a deterrent for some potential users.
- No support for console mode: The lack of a command-line interface might be a disadvantage, particularly for developers who prefer console-based tools for automation and scripting purposes.
- Required registration for trial: To access the trial version, users need to register, which might put off some users who prefer anonymity or do not wish to share their information.
5. ApexSQL Data Generator
ApexSQL Data Generator is a robust SQL data generator that is built to quickly populate your SQL Server database with the custom specified data. Rigorous testing of SQL databases is facilitated due to its capability to generate data of multiple types in large quantities.
- Rich Data Generation Options: ApexSQL Data Generator provides numerous data generation options, giving significant flexibility to users in their testing needs.
- Supports Multiple SQL Server Versions: The tool works seamlessly with various editions of SQL Server, making it highly compatible, regardless of your SQL Server edition.
- Avoids Data Redundancy: Previously entered values are reused, to avoid data redundancy and contribute to seamless data generation.
- Comprehensive Documentation and Support: The tool provides extensive documentation and excellent customer support, making it easy for new users to familiarize themselves with the tool.
- High Pricing: While ApexSQL Data Generator is a powerful tool, its cost can be prohibitive for small businesses or individual developers.
- Lack of Graphical Data Analysis: Unlike some competitors, it does not offer any graphical data analysis, which can make it harder to visualize and analyze test results.
- Complex User Interface: The user interface could be more intuitive, as it can be a bit overwhelming for first-time users due to its range of options and functionalities.
6. Mockaroo – Random Data Generator
Mockaroo is an online tool that provides a user-friendly interface for generating random and mock data in various formats, including SQL queries that can be used to create SQL Server databases. Recognized for its flexibility, it’s suited to generating data for unit tests, creating demo instances, and developing applications with specific data requirements.
- Browser-based: As a web app, Mockaroo can be used on any device with an internet connection, ensuring accessibility and convenience.
- Extensive data formats: Mockaroo supports a wide array of data formats like CSV, JSON, SQL, Excel which accommodate most data needs.
- Free for basic use: It offers a certain number of records for free per day, making it an accessible option for those who only have minimal data generation needs.
- Highly Customizable: It lets users define their data types, field names, and the nature of data distribution, enabling thorough flexibility.
- Limit on free generation: While it’s free for basic use, there’s a limit on the number of records you can generate per day without a paid plan.
- Internet Dependent: Since it’s a web-based application, it can’t operate without an internet connection.
- No native SQL Server integration: True integration with SQL Server databases is lacking, which can limit the tool’s efficiency in some use cases.
7. Generate Data
GenerateData.com is an open-source, free data generator that can quickly create large volumes of custom data in multiple formats for testing or development purposes. Available as both a web version and downloadable script, the tool has broad accessibility and flexibility.
- Cost-Effective: The software is free for personal use, making it an attractive choice for users who need to generate data without large budgets.
- Open-source: Being open-source implies that developers have the freedom to modify and distribute the code for their specific needs, which gives this tool a significant advantage over closed-source counterparts.
- Multiple Export Formats: It can export generated data in different formats like HTML, CSV, XML, SQL, and Excel which are widely used in various areas.
- Simple User Interface: It comes with an intuitive interface that’s easy for beginners to grasp while still containing powerful features that seasoned developers can exploit.
- Limited Free Usage: Although the tool is free, to gain complete access to all its features, users need to become a Patreon donor.
- No Built-In Database Connection: Unlike some competitors, this tool does not have a built-in database connection, which can limit the efficiency of data generation and upload.
- Internet Dependent: For users who prefer the web-version, the tool’s functionality is contingent on a working internet connection which may be inconsistent at times.
8. DTM Data Generator
The DTM Data Generator is a software tool that is developed specifically to generate data for testing or populating databases. It offers a comprehensive solution that supports all popular database interfaces and prioritizes efficiency and usability.
- Multiple Database Support: DTM Data Generator supports many different databases, which broadens its area of application.
- Command Line Support: The tool supports command-line mode, making it convenient for developers who prefer scripting or automating their tasks.
- Data Rule Management: The software allows the creation of complex set of rules for data generation, enabling high data accuracy which is crucial for certain testing scenarios.
- Value Library: It comes with a pre-installed library of lists and value ranges, providing users with a ready set of data for generation.
- Limited Free Version: The free version of DTM Data Generator comes with restrictions and for full functionality, users need to switch to the paid version.
- Learning Curve: Some users might find it difficult to work with the tool initially due to its complex nature. It may require time and exploration to get familiar with the different features.
- Interface Design: The interface design could be improved for better user experience as it seems a little outdated compared to some tools in the market.
9. Datanamic Data Generator
Datanamic Data Generator is a software tool designed to create realistic, meaningful data for database testing purposes. The tool includes a copious amount of data types and integrates smoothly with multiple databases, promoting effective and comprehensive database testing.
- Multi-database support: Datanamic Data Generator is compatible with a broad range of databases, enhancing its applicability across various platforms.
- Predefined data list: The tool offers predefined lists for generating specific types of data, like names, addresses, etc., which is very efficient for common use cases.
- Custom function support: This software lets you use custom functions in your data generation, granting a high degree of adaptability for specific needs.
- Data dependency recognition: The tool identifies data dependencies in the database schema, ensuring coherent data generation across relational tables.
- Expensive: Datanamic Data Generator is among the more expensive tools on the market, which might deter potential users with smaller budgets.
- Steep learning curve: The extensive features of the tool can make it overwhelming for beginners and take some time to master.
- Limited trial version: The trial version has significant limitations, which might deter some users who wish to thoroughly test the tool before purchasing.
10. Contoso Data Generator
The Contoso Data Generator is a software tool intended for creating dummy data for use in testing or demo purposes. It’s designed to generate structured and semi-structured data for a fictional multinational manufacturing company, making it ideal for simulating a wide range of business data scenarios.
- Broad Range of Generated Data: The tool generates comprehensive data that covers a wide range of business functions and activities, making it highly versatile.
- Easy to Use: Using Contoso Data Generator is straightforward, making it accessible to individuals with varying levels of technical expertise.
- Free and Open-Source: The Contoso Data Generator is free and open-source, removing cost as a barrier to access and allowing for customization of the code.
- Limited Customization: The tool is designed to generate data for a specific, fictional company. While this is sufficient for many use cases, it could be restrictive for those looking for highly personalized data generation.
- Limited Data Types: The Contoso Data Generator does not support as wide a variety of data types as some other tools.
- No Direct Database Integration: Unlike some other tools, Contoso Data Generator does not support direct upload of generated data to a database, although the output can be manually uploaded.
11. Mock Data Generation in DBeaver
DBeaver is an open-source universal database manager that includes a valuable feature for mock data generation. With it, any DBeaver user can quickly and easily generate sample data for their databases, making it an important tool in database development and testing.
- Broad Database Support: As a universal database manager, DBeaver supports a wide range of databases, enhancing its applicability to various DBMS scenarios.
- Flexible Data Generation: DBeaver’s mock data generation is customizable, offering multiple formats, data types, and distributions.
- Free and Open-Source: As an open-source solution, DBeaver is free to use and customizable, enabling users to tweak it as per their requirements.
- Direct Database Integration: As a database manager, DBeaver can directly populate your database with the generated data, simplifying the workflow.
- Interface Complexity: With so many features, DBeaver’s user interface can be daunting for beginners, leading to a steep learning curve.
- Performance: Some users have reported performance issues when generating large volumes of data using DBeaver.
- Limited Data Generation Options: While DBeaver offers a good amount of customization for data generation, it may not match some stand-alone data generation tools in terms of functionality and versatility.
12. MOSTLY AI’s Synthetic Data Generator
MOSTLY AI’s Synthetic Data Generator is a tool that uses advanced machine learning algorithms to generate highly realistic, synthetic datasets. It is particularly useful for businesses that require data for complex testing or analysis, without compromising privacy or regulatory compliance.
- Privacy-Friendly: By generating synthetic data, MOSTLY AI enables businesses to use data that mimic their real data without violating privacy regulations.
- High Data Fidelity: MOSTLY AI uses AI to ensure that the generated synthetic data accurately represents the statistical properties of the original dataset.
- Ready-Made AI Models: The tool comes with prebuilt AI models for data generation, significantly reducing setup time.
- Scalability: This tool is built to handle large datasets, providing a reliable solution for enterprise-scale data requirements.
- Expensive: Given the advanced technology it uses, MOSTLY AI can be expensive, especially for small businesses or individual developers.
- Requires Expertise: Creating synthetic data that is both realistic and privacy-preserving can be complex. This tool may require a higher level of expertise to use effectively.
- Performance: Synthetic data generation, particularly when using complex AI models, can be computationally intensive and time-consuming.
13.1 Overall Comparison Table
|Ease of Use
|Redgate SQL Data Generator
|Realistic data, SQL Server Management Studio Integration, Data refreshing
|dbForge Data Generator Tool for SQL Server
|200+ predefined generators, Customizable, SQL integrity support
|EMS SQL Manager – Data Generator for SQL Server
|Wide range of data types, Customizable data patterns, Interactive preview
|ApexSQL Data Generator
|Rich Data Generation Options, Supports Multiple SQL Server Versions
|Mockaroo – Random Data Generator
|Browser-based, Extensive data formats, Free for basic use, Highly Customizable
|Open-source, Multiple Export Formats, Simple User Interface
|DTM Data Generator
|Multiple Database Support, Command Line Support, Value Library
|Datanamic Data Generator
|Multi-database support, Predefined data list, Custom function support
|Contoso Data Generator
|Broad Range of Generated Data, Easy to Use
|Mock Data Generation in DBeaver
|Broad Database Support, Flexible Data Generation, Direct Database Integration
|MOSTLY AI’s synthetic data generator
|Privacy-Friendly, High Data Fidelity, Ready-Made AI Models, Scalability
13.2 Recommended Tool Based on Various Needs
If you are on a budget yet require substantial data generation, consider using Mockaroo or Generate Data as they offer both free and economical paid plans. For developers requiring comprehensive database management capabilities along with data generation, Mock Data Generation in DBeaver is an excellent choice. If privacy is a significant concern, but budget is not a constraint, MOSTLY AI’s Synthetic Data Generator is a superb option. For businesses requiring specific test data mirroring their unique business scenarios, consider using Contoso Data Generator.
Choosing the right MS SQL Data Generator should be dependent on various factors such as your budget, the types of data you need, the volume of data required, and whether you need specific features like synthetic data generation or integrated database management services. Free tools like Generate Data and Mockaroo offer sound starting points if your budget is limited or your needs are straightforward.
For more advanced users or specific requirements, tools like MOSTLY AI’s Synthetic Data Generator or Redgate SQL Data Generator may be worth the higher price tag. Always consider the scope and nature of your project and the possibility of scaling up in the future when choosing a tool.
The best tool for your needs might not necessarily be the most expensive or the one with the most features. Instead, it should be a tool that directly addresses your unique requirements and fits well with your existing workflow and system architecture.
Vera Chen is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, which provides a wide range of products, including repair PDF product.