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 write queries and reports, but why bother when there are so many documentation products already available.
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.
- ApexSQL Doc (see sample)
- DTM Schema Reporter (see samples)
- dbdesc (see sample)
- DBScribe 1.4 for SQL Server (download samples)
- Document! X
- Red-Gate's SQL Doc (see demo)
- SchemaToDoc (see sample)
- SqlSpec (see samples)
- SQL Data Dictionary
- SQL Documentation Tool (see sample)
- SQL Help Builder
- T-SQL Source Code Unscrambler
- turtle SQL
Analysis Services Documentation
Reporting Services Documentation
Integration Services Documentation
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can add them to the list.
Last Update: 7/11/2016
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