SQL layouts

As a developer, what is a good way to learning database tables layouts? There are multiple db, tables and views. What should I focus on first?
VBdotnet2005Asked:
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PortletPaulfreelancerCommented:
choose one db at a time
investigate those tables
then look at the views

is this what you are looking for?
ps: I'm not sure what you mean by "layout"

+edit: what tools do you have to access the dbs?
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VBdotnet2005Author Commented:
I just started my new job. There are many tables, views and store procedures. I just a need good good way to approach them.
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VBdotnet2005Author Commented:
I am using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio for 2008r2
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PortletPaulfreelancerCommented:
Diagrams are often a nice way to start with unfamiliar dbs.
Perhaps there are already some diagrams - ask your co-workers

Try looking at this youtube vid (esp. the beginning 2.5 minutes or so)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMbPRHeYvMU
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nemws1Database AdministratorCommented:
I like to start with the views.  It'll give you a few ideas on how tables are joined.  Identify which tables require a foreign key from other tables.  Reports are a good source for this as well.  *Hopefully* there is some sort of consistent naming convention.  Also, look at any code that accesses the database (either stored procedures or client-side code).  The goal is try to identify the relationships, not just what data is where (that'll come to automatically later).  Use 'EXEC sp_help <object_name>' a LOT.  (EXEC sp_helptext 'proc_name' for stored procedures).
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David ToddSenior DBACommented:
Hi,

If in a MS shop, grab a copy of Viso and create a diagram or two per database and print it out. Viso can "reverse engineer" a database and show the relation between tables based on the foreign key attributes etc.

Once you get that then take a look at a small sample of whats in the table. ie select top 100 * from dbo.sometable order by newid()

HTH
  David
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