All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.
We have merge replication in our system and there is a case when we need to deploy our system with subscriber database and time is crutial. I wonder if the is possibility to take configured subscriber backup from working publisher-subscriber pair, restore it on other SQL Server instance without any further configuration and have two working subscribers from it. During my research I found "Allow initialization from backup files" option, but it seems to work only with transactional replication. Is there any way to achieve this something I described withe merge replication?
How to solve :
I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.
I’ve mostly only worked with Transactional Replication so I’m not an expert on Merge Replication, but maybe it’s just a matter of taking and restoring a backup of the Subscriber database?
Here’s the docs on Strategies for Backing Up and Restoring Merge Replication – Backing Up and Restoring a Subscription Database. It doesn’t sound very involved, but make sure to adhere to what it says.
If after you restore the Subscriber database backup to another database and it doesn’t automatically get picked up by the Publisher, you may need to go through the "Add Subscriber" wizard on that specific Publication (on the Publisher’s server).
I’m both cases I’d recommend also re-initializing the Snapshot for that Publication.
Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂