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Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture and Internals, The by Ken Henderson

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Recap

Transactional replication strikes a nice balance between enhanced functionality and straightforward administration. It provides more flexible and full-featured replication options than snapshot replication affords but is much easier to set up and manage than merge replication.

Architecturally, transactional replication is implemented by three agents—the Snapshot Agent, the Log Reader Agent, and the Distribution Agent—as well as by code implemented internally by SQL Server. The Snapshot Agent creates the initial snapshot for a transactional publication, just as it does with snapshot publications. The Log Reader Agent then reads changes made to the publication's database and writes change information for published articles to the MSrepl_commands ...

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