You can restore an entire backup set in a single operation. This type of restore is called a full restore. You can also restore a subset of your backups by using an incremental or partial restore. The granularity depends on the backup increment (full, differential, or cumulative) that corresponds to the point in time to which you want to return. For incremental restores, you must apply the increments in sequence.
When you restore data, the restoration software reads the metadata to frame the increment, validates the operation against the backup set, and performs the restore. The restore software associates the increment with a backup set on either the source or the target Storage Management System (SMS) by finding (by default) the most recent backup of the same database from the same source system.