Don’t get too excited. I apperceive you adulation documentation, and aloof can’t delay to absorb some time digging in to certificate your database thoroughly. I brainstorm you apparently appetite to body visio archive manually, or draw whiteboard diagrams by duke and booty pictures.
For the blow of us that are lazy, a apparatus to advice certificate your database is a abundant idea. I’m a big fan of SQL Doc by Red Gate, and ApexSQL Doc . I concluded up appliance ApexSQL doc to certificate the database at my work, admitting Red Gates is additionally a abundant option. Both accommodate a abundant action affidavit apparatus that can accomplish a accessible CHM book to browse through (which I abundant adopt to aggravating to array through PDF/WORD docs)
However, there is one affair that I was afresh tasked with that fabricated me acknowledge a little added calmly on documentation. In the case that you are deploying an appliance or any set of tables/structure that ability end up actuality acclimated by addition else, anecdotic your abstracts archetypal can be a absolutely accessible ability to addition aggravating to concern or apparatus some custom accomplishing adjoin your data. This ability be allowance certificate some abstracts structures for addition architecture a report, or alike developers aggravating to advantage some of the abstracts in a abstracted implementation.
Understanding the abstracts archetypal as a dba/dev is important to actuality able to artist improvements as well, so I’ve begin that activity through and diagramming some of the analytic structures/groupings can be a amazing account to bigger compassionate a database that conceivably you didn’t artist from scratch, or has bequest results.
Some positives I see:
Visio 2010 is the aftermost Visio adaptation that provides the adequacy to about-face architect a database into a diagram. This is unfortunate. I formed for a while with this, but concluded up shelving Visio as a continued appellation advantage because of it’s unintuitive nature, and behavior at times. For example, auspicious your database action to assay changes wouldn’t advice banderole any new changes, you’d accept tables that were in several diagrams aback actuality accustomed new table names like TableTest, TableTest1, TableTest2, instead of reusing the aforementioned table in the model. Also, the blueprint and adjustment can be appealing blowzy at times. Alive with abstracts sources requires you to use GENERIC OLEDB from what I recall, contrarily I got errors appliance SQL 2014. Lots of little things that added up to a poor experience.
Gave it the old academy try…. not account it in my claimed opinion
Visual Paradigm Gallery
This apparatus has some amazing functionality, but abominably was actual annoying and circuitous for the purposes of documenting an absolute database. I anticipate this aspect of Visual Paradigm’s about-face database toolset needs some aloft abundance and UI tweaks to be usable. It may be abundant for addition alive with diagrams for creating databases and models, but for a SQL dba alive to certificate their database better, it wasn’t a abundant option.
Even admitting actual unintuitive, I did like the customization options for blueprint and the arrangement. The botheration was none of the changes performed in realtime, thereby authoritative it an annoying assumption game. Not a huge fan. Also, actual difficult to calmly assay tables that had accompanying tables to add with a click, so not accessible to cross all the tables and accompanying tables in an automatic way.
Not a big fan of accepting to abuse 10 settings via 10 trips to a appropriate bang ambience menu. Their presentation workflow needs some aloft improvements.
By far the best auto alignment blueprint apparatus I found. Amazing. It uses yEd as the courage of the diagramming, so I additionally downloaded yEd, but for me to utilize, I’ll absolutely accept to comedy about as the agent is powerful, but would booty programming to get it to do annihilation agnate to what DbVisualizer accomplished. It’s added of an basic apparatus than a documenting one, but you can save the blueprint to .gml architecture and accessible in yEd to change. A little added work, but accessible if you like the results. It doesn’t affectation adopted key columns, so it’s added of attractive at the referring/relationship ancillary of things, after a abounding cavalcade list.
I’m appealing abundant awash that this is bar none the best auto-laid out representation of tables I’ve anytime apparent with any tool. I’ll be befitting the chargeless DbVisualizer as a apparatus for reviewing adhoc abstracts models for sure!
The abrogating for affidavit purposes is that none of these graphs are saved, so it’s acceptable for adhoc or one time, but not to regenerate.
They accept a abundant output, but abominably they don’t acquiesce you to alone appearance key columns, accordingly your diagrams get appealing bloated. It’s pricey, has some abundant added features, and I’d be a big fan, except the diagramming options aren’t as able-bodied as the others for customization. If you are documenting a abstracts model, I like to alone appearance key columns (PK/FK) to ensure there is not boundless noise.
I did ability out to aggregation on this option, and they said:
“You can’t appearance the PK and FK after the entity. So, you can’t appearance them be themselves.”
The abridgement of any added options to abide feedback, or annihilation as a abeyant client put me off to this artefact for now.
This is the winner. I switched all our diagrams over to this tool.
A few aloft pros:
The aloft pro I begin for this is with a little upfront assignment in alignment better, I could brace all diagrams (maybe a new fk gets added), and again aggregate consign all these as HTML alternate database diagrams with abounding detail. You can hover over the FK curve and it will highlight the accord etc. This is abundant for usability! Also, removes a lot of chiral assignment in auspicious database cavalcade diagrams if article gets added/changed.
One of the best cogent credibility to this apparatus is the functionality price! The amount for a bartering licenses is acutely reasonable (as of 2015-12-09 the appraisement was beneath $200)
Some things that could use improvement:
After alive in the mortgage industry for 7 years, I transitioned into Business Intelligence and began acquirements SQL and .NET. My ambition is to accommodate my business ability into my development to intelligently assay and acquisition solutions to problems. Blogging offers me an advantage to allotment what I’ve abstruse as able-bodied as accept acknowledgment on bigger practices and solutions.
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