Is there a term for what I clumsily call "learning the database?" I am not talking about learning how to develop or use SQL Server, I mean how to learn how particular database application works, what code does what, what tables serve what function.
IE I get handed a ginormous SQL database application chock full of objects with 0 documentation (what a shocker) and told "get familiar with this and then we will meet with stakeholders sometime yesterday"
Is there a word for this? Analysis seems to vague. It's more like an autopsy, or "getting to know you". Are there apps that help?
I've come up with some scripts that help. There are 2 DMVs
the first shows all objects that touch an object, the other all the objects an object touches, which give me a good idea of what code does what.
Also the DMVs that read the Execution plan data can reveal what code is used frequently.
Armed with all this I can get a general sense of what tables and code are core and peripheral.
Is there a best practice for this? And what is this task called?
Even well developed app has can have a large number of pieces and sprawl. Years of revisions by numerous designers can also confuse things.
In my experience even the poorly designed or developed stuff, if I dig around I find the developers where doing the best they could given the situation. I've had a number of experiences where I was handed something by "Bob" that was a mess, and when I asked Bob I learned he was handed a mess by Mary, who was handed a ridiculous deadline by Frank, who was under the gun because of Susan, who had a regulatory date changed abruptly.