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Do you have a database?   Then you should be using SQL Doc!  http://www.red-gate.com/products/sql-development/sql-doc/

 

SQL Doc scans the data dictionary and associated metadata to produce the documentation for your database.    You can output this documentation in several different formats depending on your needs: 

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You can also explicitly pick and chose which components to include and save these selections in a project file to make it easy to refresh the documentation:

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Now for the kicker, you can easily update the metadata for the objects that you are documenting.   Tables, columns, Views, Stored Procedures, Parameters, Indexes all have extended metadata where you can enter a comment.  

If you have entered such comments, they will be incorporated into the resulting documentation.   

This is nice because this metadata is not necessarily easy to get to, and it is cumbersome to update in Management Studio.    This is where SQL Doc truly shines.

When reviewing the documentation created for a table, you can easily update this metadata.  

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Simply click on the Edit button and then type away to your heart’s content.

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Instead of hitting Update Database, click Next or Previous and move through the columns.   Once you have entered all of the comments that you want for this table, hit the Update Database button and all of your comments will be added to the database and incorporated into the documentation.

This is a huge advantage compared to what you would have to do in Management Studio.

As much as I like this tool, and I do there are still a few things missing:

  • We really need spell checker in the edit box.
  • Be nice to draw attention to components that are not yet documented.
  • There are some documentation that the tool should be able to figure out and add on its own.    I should never have to write a comment that a field is part of a foreign key or a primary key.   I should not have to list out

 

The other problem that I have is that I wished I had more control over the generated output.    It would be nice if the HTML was structured with rebranding in mine or if you could associate a style sheet with the generated output.     Never fear though, we can easily add the style sheet our selves af2ter the fact and in future blogs, we may explore how you can rebrand this output to meet our needs with style sheets and maybe a little bit of jquery.


Posted on Friday, February 15, 2013 3:28 PM Documentation , Red Gate | Back to top


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