SQL Doc by RedGate

SQL DocI recently was on a call where a technical unit indicated they did not receive any form of documentation around the vendor database that was created. Now, seeing that I fall into the database profession it sparked my fancy. I began to ask a few questions to the individual who was asking for this documentation; these are important questions in that you have to determine if there is a need for what was running through my mind. Sure enough, the technical team, was just needing some guidance on overall structure and what they were dealing with in terms of tables, procedures, and so on. This group was trying to review and write a process around information they were not privy to.

My mind went straight for the SQL Doc utility that RedGate has available. It’s a simple utility really to utilize and often times can save the day for such cases like the one above. Check out the steps below on how easy the utility allows you to document a database on the fly:

Step 1: As you open the application you will be prompted to enter a server location followed by how you’d like to connect to it (Windows or SQL authentication). In this case we’ll just hook up to a local instance I have on hand.

image

Step 2: Once connected you’ll have some default settings. There will be a cover page option along with the databases that you want to document.

image

Step 3: Looking at the project you’ll begin to review some of the following information:

  • Database Selection
  • Server Properties
  • Server Settings
  • Advanced Server Settings
  • Sections that are included in the report

For this specific test I’m just going to take a look at the TempDB

image

The screen capture will note that under Object Types you are able to drill into and get as granular as you can. The below example will show you a snippet from a table in the TempDB and will also show that you can enter a description of what the field is utilized for in the far right hand column under Description.

image

Step 4: If you have to save this documentation out for any meetings or other purposes you can create a cover letter along with any logo information and description. Simply click on the cover page option on the left menu and complete the following:

image

Step 5: After all the choices are made you can click on the General Documentation Go button on the menu and be prompted for the following:

image

image

Give the location and file a name and BOOM; you’re done.

Summary

You may find yourself in a situation where you are needing a quick hit for documentation purposes. If you are an avid RedGate user and enjoy using their SQL Doc product; or maybe you had this product and didn’t even know what it was then you can benefit greatly from documenting multiple databases in a matter of minutes. This post is to show you what type of utility SQL Doc is and what it can actually be used for in a real life circumstance. In the end it was the right product and right time to use it for a technical team in need. Well done RedGate, well done.

SQL Prompt 7 by RedGate

SQLPrompt7UpdatedRedGate unleashed their newest version of SQL Prompt recently. It is no secret to those of you who know me that, where I work, we are a RedGate shop. Needless to say, even if I was not at my current employer I would still want this type of utility in my arsenal.

A lot of data professionals are always looking for ways to “save time” or “get ahead” in their day-to-day activities and this is one utility that will help provide some lift in those areas.

Why would I want to use this utility you may ask? Below are some of the highlights that this product offers that have helped me streamline some of my day-to-day activities:

  • Tab History – being able to save or preview work that was done in SSMS allowing me to jump right back into where I left off is a huge benefit.
  • Actions List – this new feature that allows you to select your code and provide hot keys so-to-speak if phenomenal
  • SQL Formatting – enough said on this one. That’s right; I don’t have to go into detail; ever find that nasty code and you wonder who anyone can read it. Quick and easy option to format the code base you are working with.
  • Auto Complete – if you’ve ever used something similar to this you’ll learn quick that this auto complete feature of joins etc. are pretty awesome. I always hear colleagues, co-workers, other community members that when this portion becomes unavailable they quickly realize how good they had it.
  • Snippets – sharing snippets with other team members is huge.

I’m proud to say that I’ve worked with this utility greatly and would recommend it as a viable option to improve efficiency. Don’t take my word for it though; as with anything try it out.

Go check out the product here you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Headache + Pain <> Red Gates SQL Search

Recently, I started diving into my utility belt. There are tools that I’ve had at my disposal for some time, some that I have tried and not gone back to, and ones that I use everyday. This has a definite potential to start exploring these utilities over the next couple of months and one that I touched on last few weeks that I want to expound a bit more on today is Red Gates SQL Search utility.

I’ve come accustomed to this utility as being my quick hit Sherlock Holmes style of investigating all sorts of issues that a common data professional may encounter throughout the work day.

The Utility

SQL Search is a “free” tool that is an SSMS add-in that pretty much allows you to scan across all databases for a plethora of information for all objects. How do you access this utility?

Once downloaded and installed within SSMS you will find it on your tool bar as indicated below:

SQLSearch1

By clicking on the SQL Search icon or by utilizing the hot key of (CTL+ALT+D) you will open the SQL Search Tab in your current listed session below:

SQLSearch2

The Search Begins

Once you have this open I’d like to point out a few items.

  1. In the last image shown you will notice that in my Object Explorer I have my (local) instance selected and highlighted. If I had multiple instances in my Object Explorer SQL Search would open the tab on whichever instance I had highlighted.
  2. I can now begin my search. I have multiple options at my disposal on what I can check for and I can set limitations or filters if you will by selecting what type of object I’d like to filter on as noted below:
  3. The last two options are self explanatory with what database you are searching in, but I do want to point out the last option where I have (local) in my drop down. Currently, I do not have a second instance fired up in my Object Explorer; if I did then you could click this drop down and hop over to the other instance. This feature is offers nice compatibility when you have to work with multiple instances at once time.

SQLSearch3

By Jove Watson We’ve Found It

Now here is where the magic begins. For example, I know that I have a table called Release but I cannot remember where I saw it at, or maybe you’ve been in a meeting before and you leave with schema names but you’ve never seen the lay of the land before. Well here you go; if I type in the term Release and set it for all objects, scanning all databases my results are below:

SQLSearch4

…but it gets better. If you look at the link that says “Select object in Object Explorer” it will take you directly to the location inside the DB where the object is located for review

SQLSearch5

Fancy but now what?

SQL’s version of Scotland Yard says this is all well and good but can it do more? Let’s step back and think about this a moment. The whole goal, with any business I hope, is to make processes and procedures more efficient. This utility makes a strong case for the data professional to add this to their arsenal. Here are some real examples on what I utilize this tool for that haven’t been mentioned thus far:

  • Off and on code reviews are done. Have you ever ran across the infamous /* TO DO */ comment? Heck I’ve put those comments in before in my own sp’s noting I need to finish something at a later time. I can quickly scan a DB and easily find these gaps in seconds
  • Select *; don’t fool yourself. While these are frowned upon they are still used. Utilizing this tool has helped me pin point such code in seconds which then proceeds my conversation with the author of the code or update
  • I’ve utilized this utility as my central hub for branching out when I know parts of names to objects. Gives me quick insights into the schematics of the database and what dependencies objects have prior to making any changes
  • Efficiency – this one word carries so much weight. I wish I had this utility when I was first starting out; for me this product is definitely a game changer and did I mention it is free? Why not take advantage of it > go check it out now you know you need it in your data professional tool belt

Are You Using SQL Search Already?

If you already are utilizing this utility then drop Red Gate a line and let them know what your thoughts are on the subject; Red Gate always enjoys getting feedback and I have never seen a more thorough company in taking use cases and every day occurances by the user and figuring out how they can make their products better.

Contact Red Gate

More utilities from Red Gate

If you like what you’ve seen thus far; than you haven’t seen anything yet. This will become a mini series I’m proud to work on with some other individuals that are part of the Red Gate family. To see their twist please check out:

Julie – SQL Tools Review: SQL Search
Mickey – On a SQL Quest Using SQL Search by Red Gate
Jeffrey – How SQL Search saves you time

SQL Prompt What Is It Good For Absolutely…

SOSEverything. If you’ve never had the opportunity to use Red Gates SQL prompt utility then you are missing out. Recently, I went without it for a day by some circumstances that I decided to create for myself. Of course these actions were not intentional but then it got me thinking somewhat on if I was stranded on a desert SQL island what would be the one utility I would want most in my survivor tool belt.

I posed this question over at SQL Brit’s Forum (if you haven’t been over there yet check it out; there is some good stuff going on over there) and got some really good responses back.

Back to the subject at hand, SQL Prompt, and why do I like it so much. I am a heavy Red Gate user; have their bundle and enjoy using all their utilities. Makes my job a lot easier; one of these is SQL Prompt.

What Is SQL Prompt?

SQL Prompt is an add-in for SSMS and Visual Studio, and according to Red Gate, has been designed to strip away the repetition of coding.

Features

There are many features about SQL Prompt but I won’t cover all of them. I want to focus on just a few that have helped me tremendously fight the good DBA fight.

Summarize Script Option – as you can see below the script that is in the query window for my test database called release I have 3 insert statements. If I had a very huge query I was working with, or perhaps even going through highlights of an SP I can get a quick summary of what I’m dealing with:

RedGate1

If you click on one of the Insert Scripts you will see that it is highlighted in your query window for quick review:

RedGate2

Just how do you get to this Summarize Script Option?  If you look at your toolbar inside SSMS you will see the SQLPrompt option available. From there it is as simple as selecting the summarize script feature:

RedGate3

Snippets – these are nice hot keys to allow you to get to code quicker. You can save your own snippets for frequently used code. For example some of the snippets that are quick to learn are

  • SSF which is select * from
  • DF which is delete from
  • CT which is create table
  • II which is insert into

RedGate4

The list and possibilities could go on but the mere fact of having this at my finger tips has cut down on a lot of coding and “repetition” that occurs on a daily basis.

Conclusion

What I’ve shared are just two features that SQL Prompt has to offer and we haven’t even begun to scratch the service. The more I think on it the more I believe I will be doing an in depth over view of my bundle. I believe I have features that I am not taking full advantage of that are at my disposal.

Just this utility alone has formatting short cuts, navigation short cuts (Summarize Script is Ctrl+B, Ctrl+S), Code-completion Shortcuts, Refactoring, and much more.

Check out SQLPrompt for more information at RedGates website.

What’s your go to utility? If you were stranded on a SQL Desert island what would you want to have with you that you could not survive without?