Just a heads-up on part of the merge replication behavior that you need to be aware of, if you are not already :).
Suppose we have three tables – Region, Company and Sales. These are related by Primary Key-Foreign Key relationships such that Regions have Companies and Companies have Sales.
In the publication we create a filter so that Subscriber “Sub_North” gets the North Region records and subscriber “Sub_South” gets the “South” records.
Suppose we change the ACME company from the North to the South region….what happens? Well first of all subscriber Sub_South will now get the company ACME and all the associated ACME sales. Meanwhile, subscriber sub_North will have the ACME company deleted and all the associated ACME sales will be deleted. It is like all the data is moved from one subscriber to another. If you are new to merge replication this might catch you by surprise and we have to be aware that such a change near the top of a hierarchy can result in the same volume of traffic as a reinitialization.
It is all controlled by a parameter to sp_addmergepublication and sp_changemergepublication “@allow_partition_realignment”.
By default this parameter is set to ‘true’ meaning that deletes are sent to the subscriber when modification of the row on the publisher causes it to change its partition. ‘false’ leaves the data from an old partition on the Subscriber for historical purposes. However this is not any longer possible in practice to set it as ‘false’ as in this case you’ll have to redesign the whole publication and reset all articles to disable uploads.
So – although it isn’t practical to reset we just need to be aware of this behavior in our design :).