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SQL Server Documentation Tools

MSSQLTips author Greg Robidoux By:   |   Read Comments (8)   |   Related Tips: More > Tools

Problem
Maintaining documentation about your SQL Server databases is a big task.  No matter how many developers or DBAs you may have, keeping documentation current is a challenge.  In most cases you only need view a portion of the database defined in an easy to view format, but if this is something you don't keep up with on a constant basis your efforts will never yield up to the minute documentation.  In addition, SQL Server stores all kinds of meta data about your database objects, so it makes sense to utilize this data since it is easily accessible.  You could take the time to right queries and reports, but why bother when there are so many documentation products already available.

Solution
There are so many different products on the market for all different aspects of SQL Server and SQL Server documentation tools is another one of those product segments.  I knew there were a few tools that existed, but once I started digging in and searching the internet I was surprised to find so many tools.

These tools allow you to document your database from top to bottom in various formats CHM, HTML, XML, PDF, etc...  In addition ,these tools create built-in hyperlinks for easy navigation through your database structures.  To build the documentation there is not much that needs to be done; a couple options to set and then a click to generate the files.

The cost of these tools starts around $99.

Here is a list of tools based on different components of SQL Server you may want to generate documentation.  The tools are listed in no particular order.

Database Documentation

Analysis Services Documentation

Reporting Services Documentation

Integration Services Documentation

DTS Documentation

Infrastructure Documentation

Next Steps

  • If you have the need to generate documentation for your SQL Server components take a look at these tools to see if they meet your needs.
  • If you come across additional tools that generate documentation for SQL Server, please send to tips@mssqltips.com, so we can add them to the list.


Last Update: 5/24/2007


About the author
MSSQLTips author Greg Robidoux
Greg Robidoux is the President of Edgewood Solutions and a co-founder of MSSQLTips.com.

View all my tips
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 12:57:59 AM - Bruce Dunwiddie Read The Tip

http://www.sqldatadictionary.com/


Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 5:43:46 AM - John Read The Tip

 

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the post. I was wondering if there is anything you know a script that creates SQL Server documentation. My supervisor wants me to create tables, in stead of spreadsheet which I used from Brad McGehee's template, so that he can easily query against the table. Do you know how I can go about or any suggestions you may have is greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks,

John. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 6:12:06 PM - Howard Simpson Read The Tip

XIA Configuration can document SQL Server.

It automatically documents SQL Server instances, including detailed information about databases, tables and stored procedures. It can detect code changes within a stored procedure between database versions or environments and expose incorrectly configured SQL servers or security vulnerabilities.

There is a free version available for small networks.

The home page is here: XIA Configuration


Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 3:44:49 AM - Amit Read The Tip

Consider/look at...

http://sqldoc.codeplex.com/

http://turtle.codeplex.com/


Monday, March 05, 2012 - 11:35:02 AM - Zar Shardan Read The Tip

There is now - at least one :)

Try my new LiveDoco - it's a web app that can be installed on an intranet IIS or even on a local IIS server and then you can just use your favorite browser to connect to a SQL Server database and see its structure/metadata, edit object descriptions or even search in DB object names (tables, columns, functions and their parameters etc.) and in the extended properties where the descriptions are usually stored (under “MS_Description”). And finally there is an export feature you can use to export all extended properties to a SQL file that you can run on a different DB of the same/similar structure to import/update your descriptions/notes there.


There are several advantages over the usual DB documentation process:
- Since the documentation is generated on the fly (hence Live in the product title) – it is never out of sync with your DB by definition. Any changes to the DB schema are immediately seen in LiveDoco.
- LiveDoco supports deep linking, so you can just email a link to say a column in some view your colleague is asking about.
- It only needs to be installer once on an intranet web server and is immediately available to all your devs/dbas/support etc.

There is a fully functional (but read-only for obvious reasons) online demo on the www.livedoco.com website so please have a look yourself!


Friday, September 16, 2011 - 4:37:08 AM - Tom De Roover Read The Tip

Maybe just a confirmation that after 4 years there are no newcomers on the market:-)


Monday, August 08, 2011 - 11:08:48 AM - Greg Robidoux Read The Tip

Hi FQR, please let me know what should be updated.

Thanks


Monday, August 08, 2011 - 10:41:59 AM - FQR Read The Tip

Greg,

It would be a good idea to update this tip




 
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