ApexSQL Clean: Impact Analysis and Graphical Dependency Viewer tool

The Main Application Window

Probably the first thing to notice is the Outlook-style toolbar on the left. From there and from the context menu of the main grid you can access most of the commonly used functions. That in turn means, just like I’ve said before in my paper on the ApexSQL Log tool, that it only takes one or two mouse-clicks for the most operations to deliver their results. This is a good thing as it makes the whole software easy to handle and to work with.

The “Drops Generation Wizard” is actually what the whole software is working towards. I’ll have a bit more to say about this wizard later on.

The “Refresh Database” doesn’t need much explanation. Clicking this will start a re-analysis of the project for dependencies and an update of the interface. Just like many Windows applications, you can achieve the same by hitting the F5 key on your keyboard.

The “Dependency Viewer” opens a graphical representation of the dependencies in a project. I will return to this mighty and very interesting feature in just a moment.

Options: A click on this entry brings you to the options dialog:

For reporting and, of course, documentation purposes, it is a good idea to enter at least the author name information in the textbox on the first options tab. The reason for this you will see a little bit later on.

The second tab of the options dialog gives you the chance to specify which SQL editor should be launched when you create SQL scripts that are to be executed. You can use either one of the given alternatives or choose another editor. In that case, however, you need to tell ApexSQL Clean the path to the executable file.

Now, let’s come back to the main grid and explore this in more details.

This grid is the main source of information about the dependencies among your objects. You get information about the referential status of an object, how many times it is referenced from other objects in the db, from client source code files and from other databases, if you’ve included the option to analyse referencing by other databases on the same server. You can tailor the information displayed in the main grid by means of filters that you can apply to almost each column. These filters can use regular expressions with single or multi-character wildcards.


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