ApexSQL Restore can attach native or natively compressed backups and backup sets created in SQL Server 2000 and above to any edition of SQL Server 2005 and above, including full and differential database backups as well as transaction log backups.
ApexSQL Restore uses the ApexSQL Restore Service which starts automatically on Windows startup. This service encapsulates the backup restoring capabilities of the SQL Server itself using proprietary algorithms to reduce the physical size of the restored backup up to 125 times and makes the restore process up to 25 times faster in some cases.
The ApexSQL Restore Service has some, albeit rather minimal, impact on the overall system performance. Please note that changing that behavior, although possible, isn’t advised. If the service isn’t running, the tool won’t function properly and the data stored in the mounted virtual databases will be inaccessible. However, all operations affecting the objects stored in the attached backup sets, including the creation new objects will work without problems in that scenario.
The entire process is transparent to the user as the backup set will be attached as a fully usable online database, which is accessible via SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio or any third-party tool; in a way this is an equivalent of restoring the backup set with the WITH RECOVERY option.
Please note that although the data and the objects stored in an attached backup set can be manipulated just as if they were stored in a live database (i.e. can be read, changed and even deleted), any changes made will not be preserved in the backup set itself.
Upon attaching a backup set, ApexSQL Restore creates files which names correspond to the names of the physical .MDF, .LDF and .NDF files of the database the backup set was taken from. Those files, located in the specified restore path take only the fraction of the space the original files take.
The restore path of a selected, previously attached backup set is displayed under the Restore path label in the main window of ApexSQL Restore .