Synchronization Services for ADO.NET Vs SQL Merge Replication

One of the common questions I get from developers once they get their hands on the new sync framework for ADO.NET is: How is it different from SQL Merge Replication? When should I use merge as oppose to sync services? Can sync services do filtering, ddl replication etc …? These are all interesting questions, so let’s talk about the scope of each product:

Synchronization Services for ADO.NET is a development framework for developing occasionally connected systems that:

  1. Enables developers to build offline capabilities into their data applications easily and efficiently. 
  2. Provides an open model, allowing developers to sync data with different backend databases or any other relational data store
  3. Uses SQLCE to provide small footprint, in-proc client database.
  4. Supports unidirectional and bidirectional sync with conflict detection and resolution.

SQL Server Merge Replication is a powerful replication solution for synchronizing data between SQL Server Databases; it evolved overtime to cover very complex and demanding replication scenarios; today it provides the following features:

  1. Join Filters
  2. Partition Groups
  3. Logical Records
  4. Schema Changes Replication
  5. Automatic data realignment
  6. Column Tracking \ Conflicts detection
  7. Backward Compatibility
  8. Backup and Restore

Obviously, the scope of each product and the target audience is quite different. While developers use Merge Replication today, they don’t have a lot of control on how it works. Sync framework, on the other hand, puts developers on the driver seat, but takes away many of the high-end features to keep the framework simple and applicable to the most common scenarios.

Download the CTP: Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET CTP release
Feedback: Visit Sync Services Forum


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Comments (4)

  1. rogerj says:


    Thanks for the comparison of Sync Services and SQL Server Merge replication. (See "Update" section of

    It would be interesting to compare a scenario with SQL Server 2005 as the publisher and SSCE as the subscriber.


  2. MSDN Archive says:


    Thanks a lot for the summary you have in your blog.

    I will try to cover the comparison you requested in a future post. There are lot of material to talk about in sync which is poorly covered area ..

    Thanks Roger, feel free to post suggestions and comments!

    Rafik Robeal

  3. zbatorfi says:

    Érdekes lélektana van annak, hogy vajon miért jelennek meg mostanában egyre sűrűbben a trendi technológiai

  4. zbatorfi says:

    Érdekes lélektana van annak, hogy vajon miért jelennek meg mostanában egyre sűrűbben a trendi technológiai

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