Moving teams and users between multiple SQL Clone Servers

“Portability should be the default.”
Larry Wall

Greetings one-and-all! It’s been a long time hasn’t it?

Well – I’ll be honest. I’ve not been great… I’ve been struggling. With the pressures of everything going on; from National Lockdown 3: The Lockdown Strikes Back, to working hard, and trying to lose weight it’s all been a bit too much – but that’s not really any excuse for neglecting y’all is it?

As we go further into 2021 I can’t promise that you’ll see LOADS more here, but I’m determined to bring you something, and so long as it helps 1 person out there, I’ll consider it a success.

Well I was asked a question yesterday I wasn’t really sure of the answer to, but is definitely a nice-to-know and I thought I would share it with all of you.

“If I have multiple SQL Clone Servers, or even just a new SQL Clone Server, how do I move the teams and permissions from one to the other without manually setting everything up again?”

Quite the head-scratcher indeed!

Emoji Emotion GIF by Anne Arundel Community College

Well fortunately we know where to start – in SQL Clone every action, every change is recorded by virtue of a back-end SQL Server DB called the SQL Clone Config DB (you may remember this from such classics as Using things weirdly part 1!) and this holds all of the information we might need to move things over.

Let’s start by taking a look at the schema in the DB:

There is already fairly comprehensive documentation on moving the whole SQL Clone Config DB and even the SQL Clone Server to another instance here, but we ONLY care about users and permissions for this particular run, so we’ll focus on that.

The schema is reasonably straight forward and well-named thankfully which means we can isolate the tables we’ll need for the move. Anything that mentions Teams or Principles (Users) is generally going to be in our remit. I took a reasonably fresh install of SQL Clone and added a few users and teams (I’ve been watching a lot of Sword Art Online lately, so you might sense a trend with these teams…

Now when we investigate some of the tables in the config DB we’ll notice that everything is really nicely normalized and mapped together:

But what does this look like in a fresh install with NO teams defined?

Wait… no teams defined/ activated but there’s… a team. The default team.

aaron paul what GIF by Breaking Bad

It turns out once you hit the “Enable Teams” option in the SQL Clone Dashboard, that entry magically goes away though and it looks more like we’re expecting:

Now we know the lay of the land – how do we move our users? Well to answer that I’m going to work on 3 assumptions here:

  • I’m going to stick to just these 3 tables (Principles, Teams and the mappings). There’s a wider question around Images and Clones etc. that we’ve added for those teams and any overlap that may occur, but we’re working on the belief that the SQL Clone Server we’re moving to is segregated and independent (so will not have access to the same images), so it only needs the users and teams.
  • The target SQL Clone Config DB we’re moving these to is brand new, and does not already have any users/permissions or teams set up except clicking the “enable teams” button in the dash.
  • The same user has set both SQL Clone Servers up, and is therefore position 1 in the dbo.SqlClonePrinciples table, however you could easily overwrite this one value manually if needed or use a local copy with the same #1 user to generate the script initially E.g. Chris.Unwin is ID1 in both the Source and Target Config DBs below, and then just add in the missing user manually to the target config DB.

1. SQL Data Compare – my recommended

SQL Data Compare is our friend here. It knows all about constraints and identities and anything we may come across. This is a fairly small scale need however if you open it up and simply compare those 3 tables we’ve been looking at, it should be able to pick up the users and permissions to insert, and generate us a script quickly and easily we can run against the target Config DB:

I’m going to generate the SQL Script and then run it against my target – notice how Data Compare takes care of any issues we might face with constraints and identity inserts to make sure everything 100% ties up? Good isn’t it!?

This was my script:

SET NUMERIC_ROUNDABORT OFF
GO
SET ANSI_PADDING, ANSI_WARNINGS, CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL, ARITHABORT, QUOTED_IDENTIFIER, ANSI_NULLS, NOCOUNT ON
GO
SET DATEFORMAT YMD
GO
SET XACT_ABORT ON
GO
SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL Serializable
GO
BEGIN TRANSACTION

PRINT(N'Drop constraints from [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings]')
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] NOCHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings_SqlClonePrincipals_SqlClonePrincipalId]
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] NOCHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings_Teams_TeamId]

PRINT(N'Drop constraint FK_TeamImageMappings_Teams_TeamId from [dbo].[TeamImageMappings]')
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamImageMappings] NOCHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamImageMappings_Teams_TeamId]

PRINT(N'Drop constraint FK_TeamInstanceMappings_Teams_TeamId from [dbo].[TeamInstanceMappings]')
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamInstanceMappings] NOCHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamInstanceMappings_Teams_TeamId]

PRINT(N'Add rows to [dbo].[SqlClonePrincipals]')
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[SqlClonePrincipals] ON
INSERT INTO [dbo].[SqlClonePrincipals] ([Id], [FriendlyName], [Role], [Sid], [IsGroup]) VALUES (2, N'RED-GATE\Chris.Kerswell', 2, 0x010500000000000515000000fd43461e19525f12828ba62895680000, 0)
INSERT INTO [dbo].[SqlClonePrincipals] ([Id], [FriendlyName], [Role], [Sid], [IsGroup]) VALUES (3, N'RED-GATE\David.Ong', 3, 0x010500000000000515000000fd43461e19525f12828ba628cb7b0000, 0)
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[SqlClonePrincipals] OFF
PRINT(N'Operation applied to 2 rows out of 2')

PRINT(N'Add rows to [dbo].[Teams]')
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[Teams] ON
INSERT INTO [dbo].[Teams] ([Id], [Name], [Color], [IncludeAllPrincipals], [IncludeAllImages], [IncludeAllInstances]) VALUES (2, N'TeamKirito', N'#373737', 0, 0, 0)
INSERT INTO [dbo].[Teams] ([Id], [Name], [Color], [IncludeAllPrincipals], [IncludeAllImages], [IncludeAllInstances]) VALUES (3, N'TeamAsuna', N'#fc9003', 0, 1, 1)
SET IDENTITY_INSERT [dbo].[Teams] OFF
PRINT(N'Operation applied to 2 rows out of 2')

PRINT(N'Add rows to [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings]')
INSERT INTO [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] ([TeamId], [SqlClonePrincipalId]) VALUES (2, 3)
INSERT INTO [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] ([TeamId], [SqlClonePrincipalId]) VALUES (3, 2)
PRINT(N'Operation applied to 2 rows out of 2')

PRINT(N'Add constraints to [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings]')
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] WITH CHECK CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings_SqlClonePrincipals_SqlClonePrincipalId]
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings] WITH CHECK CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamSqlClonePrincipalMappings_Teams_TeamId]
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamImageMappings] WITH CHECK CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamImageMappings_Teams_TeamId]
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[TeamInstanceMappings] WITH CHECK CHECK CONSTRAINT [FK_TeamInstanceMappings_Teams_TeamId]
COMMIT TRANSACTION
GO

and success! Everything has been replicated as we expect:

I also tried this on a VM that does not have the same AD access as I do locally and the users were imported successfully, but because they can’t be resolved they don’t show in the Clone dash so it doesn’t cause us any dead or invalid relationship issues.

2. & 3. Script from one DB to the other or SSIS load

Another simple-ish option would be to write the INSERT INTO SELECT FROM statement, or create a very simple SSIS package if you can connect to both – you would have to take care of the Constraints and Identity Inserts yourself, but it would be equally effective:

Important Note(s)

You will have to manually tie up any differences if you have already started using the new install with Teams and Permissions as THAT will get MUCH more complicated, especially if you have already assigned images and instances and users to teams – so this process is best done at the very start of life for the new SQL Clone Server.

Also. You will have to restart the SQL Clone Server Service after loading the users and teams in, as SQL Clone won’t recognize they’re there straight away.

Conclusion

This is going to be a rare occasion for most – the SQL Clone Server is not designed nor intended to deal with being duplicated many times. Although there is a relatively easy method for MOVING SQL Clone Servers simply moving a part of the Config like Users & Teams is definitely possible, but is not 100% fool-proof, so on said rare occasion, just be very, very careful!

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