Documenting your SQL Server

Maintaining documentation about your SQL Server databases is a big task.  No matter how many developers or administrators 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 right queries and reports, but why bother when there are so many documentation products already available.

Today I did a survey on different SQL Server documentation tools.I have discovered that most of these tools allow you to document your database from top to bottom in various formats such as CHM, HTML, XML, and PDF. The following are my findings:

Database Documentation

    * ApexSQL Doc
    * BI Documenter
    * DTM Schema Reporter
    * Database Documenter
    * dbdesc
    * DBScribe 1.1 for SQL Server
    * Document! X
    * Red-Gate’s SQL Doc
    * SchemaToDoc
    * SqlRaptor
    * SqlSpec
    * SQL Server Documentation Builder / SQL Scribe
    * SQL Documentation Tool
    * SQL Help Builder

Analysis Services Documentation

    * BI Documenter

Reporting Services Documentation

    * BI Documenter

Integration Services Documentation

    * BI Documenter
    * SSIS Documenter

DTS Documentation

    * dtsdoc
    * DTS Documenter

Of all the tools, I would highly recommend BI Documenter which is so far the best SQL Server documentation tool that I have discovered till now.

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