Files, directories, and database data can be compared in DiffDog in several ways. The comparison mode is indicated by the icons in the Comparison Mode and Database Data Comparison Mode toolbars. You can change the comparison mode either by clicking a different toolbar icon or by selecting the desired mode from the Diff and Merge menu.
The available comparison modes are described below.
When a File Comparison window is active, or when Quick Comparison Mode is toggled off in a Directory Comparison window, you can select from among the following four file comparison modes:
• File extension: Compares files as text or XML according to settings for file extensions, which you can make in the File Types tab of the DiffDog Options dialog (Tools | DiffDog Options); compares directories with contents treated as text files, XML files, Microsoft Word files, or binary files according to file extension.
When a Directory Comparison window is active, you can choose between Quick Comparison Mode and one of the four file comparison modes described in the File comparison section above.
• Quick comparison: Compares files within directories and sub-directories by size and date modified. This mode is either toggled on or off. When toggled off, the four file comparison modes become available. Selecting one of the file comparison modes causes directories to be compared in terms of their contents as text, XML, or binary files.
When a Databases Data Comparison window is active, you can select either string comparison or native comparison.
• String: Compares the content of database tables as strings with no regard to how the content is stored in the database.
• Native: Considers the data type of a database column when comparing tables. The same data, for example, can be considered different when it is stored in two columns using different data types.
• XML Native: Treats the content of XML columns as XML files. This comparison mode is only available together with the Native comparison mode.
DiffDog uses the concept of the current comparison mode. This is the comparison mode that is current at any given time. For each type of comparison window (file, directory, and database data), a separate current comparison mode exists at all times. The current comparison mode for each type of comparison window is that comparison mode most recently selected by you in any of the open comparison windows of that type. When the application is started, the current comparison modes are the comparison modes that were current at the time the application was last closed.
Every File Comparison window, Directory Comparison window, and Database Data Comparison window has a comparison mode.
When new comparison windows (file, directory, or database data) are opened, they have the current comparison mode for that type of comparison window (file, directory, or database data). Note that the current comparison mode for file comparisons applies to new directory comparison windows if Quick Comparison Mode is not the current comparison mode for directory comparisons.
If you change the comparison mode of a comparison window, then that comparison mode applies to that particular comparison window. The comparison mode of other open comparison windows is not affected. However, the newly selected comparison mode becomes the current comparison mode and is applied to all comparison windows that are opened subsequently.