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How to document an SQL Server 2005 Database...


Hi guys...
I need to know how to make a good documentation of my DataBases.

Currently I'm starting what will soon be a tables and stored procedures mazze,
and I need to have it well domented to allow future dev's get into it as smoothly as possible.

I need best practices, software links... everything you may have.

Many thanks!

Alex :p
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Alexandre Simões
Asked:
Alexandre Simões
3 Solutions
 
MikeWalshCommented:
Alex:

Well first you need to understand the difference between a logical and physical design. You need to understand what your design should look like and understand database principles there... Look Up "Data Model", "Database Model", "Relational Database Design", "Normalization" etc. etc.

I would reccomend some books for this.. Database Design for mere mortals, SQL Server 2000 Database Design..

Once you understand those concepts, you can begin the design and build.

After you are done designing and building the following information will be key for the handoff:

1.) The actual data models

2.) A "Run Book".. Explain everything that they will ever need to know to rebuild the server. How you configured the OS, how the drives were configured, what SQL version and service pack level was installed, advanced memory options, SQL Server Server settings.. Screen shot all of this information, write about it and put it in a few places..

3.) Explain the database and application. Write a document about the database itself. Go through the physical design in the document talk them through it. Explain the entities and how they tie into the application. Talk about any data access layers. Do an informal talk-through of a use case.. Describe who is who and how they will use the database. Describe the security model and any considerations.

4.) Talk about the jobs on the server. How to restore your backups, talk about your backup/recovery model, etc. etc.

Basically give as much information as possible.
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Racim BOUDJAKDJICommented:
For database design you need to get some serious books about design...The vast majority of books written are publication of authors who have no clue about relational model and therefore correct design: in a word, don't throw away your money on buying books written by ignorants...

Avoid at all costs books such as 'learn design in 21 days' or 'design for dummies' type of cookbook approach...They have no value at all...Database design is a complex issue if you want to it right... Some good reading....

Introduction to Database Systems (CJ Date)
Practical Issues in Database Management
Check out third manifesto...http://www.thirdmanifesto.com

Look for publications from CJ Date, Darwen, Pascal, Mc Goveran...on Amazon or equivalent...

Hope this helps...
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MySt1kCommented:
Hi Alex, if its tools that you want, there is vision from microsoft or rationale rose from that can be used to create models.

there is also a tool made by apex that is worth looking if you want to autogenerate a CHM.
http://www.apexsql.com/sql_tools_doc.asp
there is also SQL SCRIBE From ag software... http://www.ag-software.com/Content.aspx?Doc_id=1001

i used apex + visio on a couple of projects,
with apex, you can add tags to your ddl scripts that will be inserted in the documentation when it'll be generated.


hope this helps...
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Alexandre SimõesManager / Technology SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys...
I think it's time to close this one.

Alex
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