How to automate event data extraction using SQL audit reporting API

Save SQL audit report definition


In a scenario where SQL audit data requires special processing, reviews, and analysis, it can be accomplished by designing an in-house custom application to read the data and provide desired output and visualization. Since the ApexSQL Audit central repository database uses a proprietary design with encryption applied, a custom database will have to be used to provide data to the said in-house application.

December 15, 2021

Extract SQL Auditing data into Power BI

Generate API call from ApexSQL Audit

Growing datasets and information in the modern digital age become considerable businesses’ assets as data drives many important decisions for organizations. Therefore, many companies are challenged with keeping a close eye on data governance processes that expand together with the amount of data being accumulated. To an extent, SQL auditing data is not an exception, and it might play an important role while screening for potential data breaches, learning about activity trends and data flows.

December 15, 2021

How to export SQL Server data to a text file format

Output file format selection

Text file represents a document that contains information in plain text. Any text editor and most popular web browsers are suitable for viewing or editing text file formats. Also, all smartphones are equipped with suitable applications that can open and edit text file formats. As such, text file formats are the most relevant file formats for sharing information between users. SQL Server users, among other things, can export data in text file format, which will be explained further in the article.

April 14, 2021

How to configure SQL auditing data central repository automatic backups

ApexSQL Audit email notifications on central SQL audit data repository archiving/creation

Although ApexSQL Audit provides high versatility for SQL auditing, it lacks internal functionalities for data repository redundancy or disaster recovery. There is the capability to archive the central repository but that would require further manual manipulation to backup those archives and create some disaster recovery plan. Inheritably, the active repository remains unattended. For disaster recovery, the application will have to rely on the native SQL Server backup method.

April 6, 2021

How to decrypt stored procedures on multiple SQL databases

ApexSQL Decrypt main grid with loaded SQL databases


Before we show how to decrypt stored procedures, we need to give some background about this concept. When stored procedures are built in the SQL Server, their body text is reachable to all that have required permissions to access the data. Because of that, it’s simple to expose underlying content during created stored procedures and analyze that content through the SQL Server Management Studio, Windows PowerShell, or any commercial tool. As a result of data transparency, a SQL database can become vulnerable and compromised by any type of cyber-criminal activity. This is where encryption comes into place.

March 3, 2021

Exporting SQL Server data to a CSV file

The Job summary window

This article will explain how to export SQL Server data to a CSV file type. CSV represents a file format where plain text values are separated by a delimiter, usually comma symbol (Comma-Separated Values). It is one of the most common format types for any spreadsheet program. CSV files are easy to organize and edit, and can be used by many different business software programs for data analysis. Large amounts of data can be better organized with CSV files, and those files can be easily edited and created by different spreadsheet applications.

February 26, 2021

Using Ignore comparison script options to define database changes

Changes shown in the Action center tab


Database development in a multiuser environment has its challenges on a daily level even without including the database source control. But when the database source control is included, based on the chosen source control system, those challenges can multiply by the number of database developers working on the same database.

February 19, 2021

How to script SQL objects, format, and run SQL scripts on multiple SQL Server instances

The Script button under the Home tab

A part of DBA’s and developer’s role is to migrate SQL Server databases between hosts or migrate from a local development environment to a live hosted environment. It requires copying all database objects such as database schema, tables, stored procedures, functions, indexes, etc. For this, different methods can be used depending on a requirement such as a database backup restore, object SQL scripts, BACPAC files, etc.

January 12, 2021

How to query data using a SELECT statement in SQL Server

Highlighted aliases in a query

The SELECT statement in SQL is the most used of the DML statements and it’s used for fetching data from tables in SQL Server. This article is intended for DBAs and developers who want to get familiar with all the major components of the SELECT statement and what this statement is all about.

January 4, 2021

How to use Dynamic data masking on Azure SQL Database

The preview window in the main window of ApexSQL Mask

SQL databases can contain a lot of data, including a lot of sensitive data. This sensitive information can easily be misused. Mask SQL Server data is of great importance when the SQL database contains a lot of sensitive data. Microsoft has offered a dynamic data masking feature that has been implemented in SQL Server 2016 and later versions, as one of the solutions for protecting sensitive data in SQL databases.

December 22, 2020

How to track data changes using database auditing techniques

ApexSQL Audit - before after data changes report

Tracking data changes helps us to understand moving parts in a database, learn about changing trends, easily recover from unwanted data changes or data loss, and adds more context to the auditing documentation. In this article, we will introduce ways of tracking database changes by exploring some out of many database auditing mechanisms in the SQL Server ecosystem.

November 27, 2020

How to automatically revert database changes based on SQL auditing alerts using SQL Server transaction logs

Generating CLI script for generating Undo script from SQL Server transaction log

One of the problems that can be solved with SQL auditing technologies in conjunction with SQL Server transaction logs is finding specific events, i.e. specific database or data change, capturing the event, and resolving it as wanted or unwanted. Depending on methodology and tools this can be an easy or complicated task. The ApexSQL Audit tool provides the solution wherein a few easy steps a specific event can be audited, with high granularity and precision. The additional problem surfaces out in case unwanted change occurs, how to easily revert those changes? The usual methodology consists of creating SQL Server transaction log backups and restoring them. But restoring implies reverting the database to a specific moment in time, thus reverting even wanted changes.

November 17, 2020

How to collect information about SQL audits and database mail using SQL documentation

Database Mail object type

Manual replication of a SQL Server is still nothing out of the ordinary, so keeping some SQL documentation about the ‘original’ SQL Server is recommended to use as a reference. SQL Documentation can come in handy especially when server level objects have to be reconstructed manually on the new instance, for example, SQL audit settings or database mail. Having the T-SQL scripts also with this documentation for recreating those objects will certainly simplify the actions needed for the task.

November 17, 2020

How to search for SQL Server data

Database text search pop-up window

In day-to-day work, DBAs and developers often have to search SQL Server data especially tables that contain specific data. In SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), or Visual Studio, there is no simple solution to performing such tasks.

November 16, 2020