Restoring the latest backup set

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Recovery models
Main backup types
Backing up the database files by copying
The transaction log
Transaction log restore sequence
Log sequence numbers
Truncating and shrinking the transaction log
Backing up the tail
Inside the transaction log
So, what's in a backup file?
Test: A full backup does not contain deleted data
Verifying backup files
Verifying backup files on a budget
Cumulative backups
Recovering individual tables
Backup and restore history details
Backup reads and writes
Speeding up backups
Backup speed details
Speeding up restores
Restore state affects speed too
Backup and restore rights
Log shipping
Log shipping in SQL Server 2000
Setting up log shipping using Enterprise Manager
Checking the set up
Log shipping in SQL Server 2005
Setting up log shipping using Management Studio
Checking the set up
Log shipping status report
Log shipping in SQL Backup
Using the CopyTool utility
3rd party backup applications
VDI versions
VDI errors
SQL Backup - beyond compression
Restoring a chain of transaction log backups
Restoring to the latest possible state
Backing up multiple databases
Backup retention
Making a copy of the backup file
Backup file naming conventions
Restoring the latest backup set
Network resilience
Integrated database verification
Database file relocation
Improved backup retention
High-availability group support
Common SQL Backup issues
Installation checklist
Setting up rights
Configuring service rights
Backup data
Hanging issues
Common backup and restore errors
Error 3201 - when performing a backup to a network share
Full database backup file is larger than database size
Error 3205 - Too many backup devices specified for backup or restore
Error 4305 - an earlier transaction log backup is required
Bringing a database that is in recovery or read-only mode online
Using bulk-logged recovery model but transaction log backup is still large
Error 14274 - unable to delete SQL Server Agent job
Error messages when restoring from different versions of SQL Server.
vdi error codes
Restore speed details
Help, my transaction log file is huge!
Mirror or log ship

It's a common scenario to have to look in the folder where your backup files are stored to find the latest backup set.  So say you have a folder containing only full database backups of the AdventureWorks database:


Usual practice is to sort the files by the modified date, copy the newest file name, and paste it into Management Studio to perform the restore.  Now what if your backup tool could identify the latest backup set for you?  What if you could simply add an option to the RESTORE command to tell it to pick up the latest full backup set, like this:


The LATEST_FULL option is all you need to restore from the latest full backup set for the AdventureWorks database in the 'e:\backups\' folder.  The usefulness of this becomes more apparent when you want to restore the database on a reporting or secondary SQL Server instance.  Instead of writing reams of code to determine the latest backup set, or setting up linked servers to the source SQL Server instance to query the backup history tables, you simply use the LATEST_FULL option and SQL Backup does the rest.

And why stop there?  There is also a LATEST_DIFF option, which will identify and restore the latest differential backup set for you automatically.

Simplicity at its best.

Document history
8/13/2010    Initial release.    
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