Before I was systems consultant for Quest, I was a technical support engineer for the Toad database management solutions. I fielded hundreds, maybe thousands of support calls during that tenure. One particular call stands out, especially when I talk about the Log Reader feature in Toad for SQL Server.
I had a regular customer. A very intimidating guy who some of the other support engineers would shy from. Eventually he started requesting for me specifically.
One day, I get a level-1, high priority ticket. It was him. I pick up and he's in a frenzy, huffing and puffing. An end user just deleted hundreds of rows of critical data from their ERP system.
"Can you restore from a backup?" I asked.
"No! We're in the middle of a very important process, I can't bring the database offline."
"Have you used the Log Reader before?" I suggested.
"No, what is that?"
"It's a feature in Toad that lets you roll back specific SQL transactions. We can see if we can recover that data" I replied.
"Alright, walk me through it." We fired up a WebEx session, launch Toad for SQL Server's Log Reader.
It enabled him to browse his online transaction log file and parse the information in a way that was easy for him digest. In seconds he found the rows that were accidentally deleted.
"There! Right there, I need this!" I could almost hear his eyes widening on my side of the phone.
Clicking on the undo SQL tab, Toad gave him the SQL code needed to run and re-insert those rows of critical data back into the table without down time.
"That's it! You saved my job! If you're ever in town, I'm buying you dinner!" he exclaimed.
He was in Texas and I was in California, so I never took him up on that offer. He's influential in the SQL Server community, writes blogs and speaks at SQL Server events. Maybe he was exaggerating in the moment, but I always wondered if I really did save his job and if he would remember me.
Here's a short video of the Log Reader in action.