Visualize Your Data Environment with SolarWinds Database Mapper

By:   |   Updated: 2021-12-01   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Database Design


Problem

Microsoft SQL Server database and Business Intelligence (BI) documentation is very beneficial for technical and business teams to understand the data, code, dependencies and changes in an environment. With the rapid deployment cycles associated with Agile and DevOps, it is very difficult to stay current across numerous databases, reports and ETL processes. How can technology and business professionals get insight into these business-critical assets and securely share them in an efficient manner?

Solution

SQL Server database documentation is critical for bringing new technical and business users up to speed on the underlying tables, views, columns, stored procedures, functions, reports, ETL processes and more. However, there are multiple challenges that need to be addressed. First is change. With constantly changing systems, it is difficult to meet tight deadlines and keep documentation in sync between numerous platforms (Dev, Test, QA, Staging, etc.). Second is technical professionals’ affinity to documentation vs. development. Unfortunately, building and maintaining documentation is not a favorite task for most Developers \ Database Administrators and is very time consuming. SolarWinds recognized these challenges and has brought Database Mapper to the industry to address these needs and more.

SolarWinds Database Mapper is a documentation tool with two main sets of functionality:

  1. Documentation
    1. SQL Server instance, relational database, report, SSAS database, SSIS Package, Power BI report, etc.
    2. 25+ Database Sources – SQL Server, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), Power BI, Oracle, MySQL, Salesforce, Excel, etc.
    3. Security to share across technical and business groups
    4. Visualize relationships, tables, views and more
    5. Custom Data Dictionary to add notations
    6. Automated Snapshot creation
    7. Comparison of code (additions, changes and removals) between environments or snapshots
    8. Search objects, code, metadata, extended properties and Data Dictionary
  2. Lineage
    1. Dependencies and impact analysis across technologies and objects
    2. Platforms - SQL Server, SQL Server Agent Jobs, SSIS, Azure Data Factory, Synapse Analytics, SSRS, Power BI, Salesforce, etc.
    3. Start search at any application and filter based on properties

Database Mapper enables technical and business professionals to visualize data dependencies across numerous applications throughout the entire organization, which is not available natively in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), drill into the detailed properties and code for relational and business intelligence solutions as well as understand changes to database objects that drive decision making and progress. Let’s dive into three video tutorials on Database Mapper to see it in action.

See Database Mapper in Action

SQL Server Documentation

In the first video, learn how Database Mapper provides documentation at the instance, database, table and stored procedure levels within the Documentation tab. Check out the visualization for table dependencies as well as inbound and outbound data usage. Learn how to compare two databases to easily decipher which objects are in sync or not.

Video 1 Relational Objects

Beyond the relational objects, Database Mapper also provides insight into SSIS, SSAS and Power BI projects. See how to navigate these objects, review data access logic and dependencies among objects. Check out the video below.

Video 2 Business Intelligence Objects

Lineage

The Lineage tab in Database Mapper provides a comprehensive visualization for the data dependencies between applications. Based on the object being researched, it is possible to see the dependencies across numerous applications, filter based on inbound and outbound data access, application type, dependency type and more. Let’s checkout this video on the Lineage features of SolarWinds Database Mapper.

Video 3 Data Lineage

Summary

Turn to Database Mapper from SolarWinds to understand the data dependencies across your enterprise, seamless interact with objects among numerous platforms and data visualizations enabling technology and business teams to better understand organizational data and rapidly meet business needs.

Next Steps

MSSQLTips.com Product Spotlight sponsored by SolarWinds, makers of Database Mapper.



About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is the Co-Founder, Editor and Author at MSSQLTips.com, CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six time SQL Server MVP.

View all my tips


Article Last Updated: 2021-12-01

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