SQL Server Documentation Tools


By:   |   Updated: 2019-03-28   |   Comments (19)   |   Related: 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 write 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 where 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 [email protected], so we can add them to the list.


Last Updated: 2019-03-28


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

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Comments For This Article




Friday, May 31, 2019 - 10:03:58 AM - T Hanig Back To Top (81274)

SQL Help Builder (http://www.sqldelta.com/index?page=helpbuilder) 404, not available when I checked.  Guess it's just sqldelta, sql DXP.


Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 10:49:02 PM - Richard Back To Top (80180)

Thank you, with your help, I have found just the tool I need and at a price, I can afford.


Monday, May 13, 2019 - 6:17:22 AM - Nimit Jivnani Back To Top (80056)

Thanks Greg! Looking forward to your updated list. :)


Monday, May 06, 2019 - 9:21:29 AM - Greg Robidoux Back To Top (79951)

Thanks Nimit.

I will take a look at update the article.

-Greg


Monday, May 06, 2019 - 6:04:13 AM - Nimit Jivnani Back To Top (79949)

Hello Greg,

Thank You for your efforts towards making such a productive list. However, I feel one of the highly recognized documentation tool in the UK and USA market is missing from the list - Visual Expert for SQL Server. 

Here is the link for your kind reference: https://www.visual-expert.com/EN/stored-procedure-t-sql-server-mssql-tsql/sqlserver-code-function-impact-analysis.html

This tool is already in use by the big financial organizations. In fact, the latest version VE 2019 is just released. I am pretty sure you would recommend Visual Expert as well. 

Best Regards,

Nimit


Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 1:31:15 PM - Greg Robidoux Back To Top (79415)

Thanks Chaser and Ameena.  The above links have been updated.

-Greg


Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 11:37:24 AM - Ameena Lalani Back To Top (79412)

Hi Greg,

Looks like the link in this post for DOCxPRESS is not working.


Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 10:36:07 AM - Chaser Back To Top (79411)

 Check your links for DOCxPRESS as it goes nowhere.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 10:50:44 AM - Joginder Nahil Back To Top (43838)

 Hi Greg,

Can you please find time to look at one our products SQLserverPrint that we developed to produce professional style schema printouts? Here is the link to our website www.starprinttools.com. If you need any sample outputs etc please let me know.

 

Regards,

Joginder Nahil

Author/Owner

www.starprinttools.com

 

 

 


Tuesday, February 02, 2016 - 1:04:46 PM - Jody Roberts Back To Top (40574)

 Hi Greg,

Thanks for the article. Here is another great tool that I use often to help me understand and visualize SQL code. Please add TSQL Unscrambler to your list. http://www.genesisonesolutions.com/ . Its adds great value to any data professional. They also offer NFR licenses to Microsoft Data Platform MVP’s.

 

Thanks

Jody


Friday, March 06, 2015 - 11:52:28 AM - Piotr Back To Top (36461)

Hi all,

Please have a look at Dataedo - powerful free database documentation tool. What makes it differetnt is that it doesn't just export what's in your database but it enables you to describe every object (and store it in shared repository) - which is way beyond DBMS capabilities.

It supports Oracle and SQL Server and other DBMSs in the future.

www.dataedo.com

Regards,

Piotr


Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 12:57:59 AM - Bruce Dunwiddie Back To Top (32813)

http://www.sqldatadictionary.com/


Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 5:43:46 AM - John Back To Top (22294)

 

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 Back To Top (20573)

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 Back To Top (17471)

Consider/look at...

http://sqldoc.codeplex.com/

http://turtle.codeplex.com/


Monday, March 05, 2012 - 11:35:02 AM - Zar Shardan Back To Top (16251)

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 Back To Top (14665)

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 Back To Top (14343)

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

Thanks


Monday, August 08, 2011 - 10:41:59 AM - FQR Back To Top (14342)

Greg,

It would be a good idea to update this tip



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