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Is there a way to perform a differential copy that will add only the changes in the structure from the local database to the new database?

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Are you only interested in structure? If so you may need a third-party tool like Redgate's SQL tools (SQL Compare.) They're quite expensive but a really decent investment if you use SQL heavily.

If you're more interested in differential backups, SQL handles those in the maintenance plans.

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Merge replication?

We've not had much luck with it in a OLTP configuration (sometimes it reorders the commands, resulting in inserts trying to merge BEFORE the structure changes that they depend on, which then causes catastrophic failures on the side receiving the changes). However, for JUST structure changes, where you're not actively submitting data at the same time it might be OK.

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