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ApexSQL, publisher of a wide range of SQL Server support tools, offers ApexSQL Doc to fulfill the needs of documenting databases. Documentation of a database should provide the scripts for all the objects, as well as the relationship between all the objects. For example, if we documented a table, that documentation should contain all the linked tables, all the views that are using that particular table, all the stored procedures that are used by that table, etc.
Documentation is very helpful to a DBA and or a developer when he needs to make any changes to the database. Before making a change, he needs to know what the consequences of that change will be. For that, he needs good documentation of the database.
If no documentation is available, a DBA will find it extremely difficult to find the relationship between objects. Hence, it will be hard to understand the implications of a change.
Let’s find out how ApexSQL Doc can help you document your SQL Server databases.
You won’t find any difficulties installing ApexSQL Doc. It requires a Pentium-class processor (450 MHz), 256 MB of RAM, and 30 MB of free disk space. (512 MB of RAM and 100 MB of free disk space are recommended.) This tool will run on any Windows operating systems from NT 4.0 SP3+ to Windows 2003. In addition, ADO 2.7 or later, Microsoft SQL Server version 7 or later, and Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 or later are required for this product to operate.
ApexSQL Doc does not have a lot of difficult screens to decipher. In fact, it has only one extensive wizard and one option screen. The wizard will take you through all the necessary steps, and ask you for all the necessary information, to document your database.
As usual, you have to provide database authentication details to start the documentation process. You have the option of saving the settings in a profile so you don’t have to reconfigure the settings for later use. When you need to create documentation with the same settings, you just open the profile.
ApexSQL Doc has the ability to create one document for several databases at the same time. This screen shot below shows the flexibility available when selecting databases.
Next, you will be asked whether you want the documentation in CHM or HTML format. The CHM format is helpful when you need to search through many databases. The HTML format is helpful when you need to publish your database on your organization’s intranet.
ApexSQL Doc is unique in that you have the option of documenting server properties and jobs (see the screen shot below). This feature is missing in other documentation tools.
When a CHM file is created, it will follow the format seen in screen shot below. Using the tree, you can select needed objects easily. The search tab gives you the option to search objects using a given string.
The screen shot below shows the documentation for a table. All the objects that depend on the table are shown. You can view the details for any of the objects by clicking the link.