As SQL Server professionals we all rely on up to date documentation from clients as a way for us to get to know their environments quicker. More often than not it is either outdated or they don’t have any, which makes our task a bit more difficult as we now have to go through their servers and databases individually which adds days to the engagements.
Recently I faced this situation again but I was prepared. I have recently started using GenisiOne Solutions T-SQL Source Code Unscrambler to help me understand and document client environments within hours instead of weeks. GenisisOne is also the first partner chosen by Redgate to be part of its SSMS Ecosystem.
Why I decided to use GenisisOne?
My client is in the financial services industry. They had a tight deadline and a very limited budget. After showing my client the results they handed me more work J
The database while not big is used by their main application.
832 other database objects including stored procedures, views and functions
And for good measure add one week to learn the environment and make recommendations on how to improve database performance … did I add no documentation?
Enter your product key and click on activate
Now enter your server name(s) then click add server. You will notice that we support both SQL and windows authentication. You will notice on the right side pane you are able to remove servers you no longer wish to document
In the left pane you can view the database objects and on the right you are able to see a graphical view of your table and its dependencies
Next expand the view tree and select a view. As you can see there are four tabs each giving more insight into your view(s) . 1st is the data flow chart , its gives you a visual flow of your view as well as which objects make up the view
Next is the property tab showing you everything in a tabular form
I like the next tab , the summary tab its tells in English the story of you objects code !!! Awesome!! This save a hell of a lot time having to explain to people what the code does
The next tab is the dependency viewer in a tabular form. It tell what makes up your object in my case I chose a view and as you can see it tells me which schema.table.collumn makes up my view.
Last but not least is the dependency diagram which gives you a high level view of your object. As you can see the each colour represents a different object.
On the top right hand side of the pane you have the option to export your object to either .PNG , PDF or SVG formats or if you do not want to export objects individually you can document your entire database within seconds into PDF format. To do this simply right click on the database and click generate report as shown below.
Now select a location to save the pdf to and click save. At the bottom of the left pane you will see a progress bar indicating how long it will take to complete your document. Once completed (very very quick) you will get the download completed screen
After which you can now open the documentation for your entire database.
To help you get out of the block quicker please watch the demo video below
I managed to finish within 5 days and make the required recommendations. I have also asked .NET MVP Dirk Strauss (T|B) to give GenesisOne a go . His feedback “As a developer GenisisOne allows me to learn my client(s) environment fast allowing me to produce results faster.
What I would like to see
The ability to generate reports for entire instances instead of per database
The option to save generated files in a custom location
From all the tools that I have used in the past T-SQL Unscrambler is different as it is not a traditional documentation tool but a visual aid for SQL professionals.
Should have any suggestions on how we can improve on the product drop us a mail at