When I came to work for Pragmatic Works, I was naturally given the opportunity to use their (well our now) tools. Of all of them I think BI Documenter is my favorite. Boy is this thing complete.
Of course, like some of the other SQL Server documentation packages it will do a great job of reverse engineering an existing relational database. BI Documenter will output either HTML or a compiled help file (CHM) file. It places your database structure into a drill down tree, with all the expected bits and pieces. Tables, columns, stored procedures, functions, all with the code needed to create it.
It doesn’t stop there though. Got Analysis Services? Not a problem. It will generate the same drill down structure that you are used to seeing for a standard SQL Server database. Cubes, Measures, Dimensions, KPIs, Calculations, complete with all the meta data and MDX you could ever want.
Of all the features though, the absolute coolest is it’s support for Integration Services. You can point it at either your SSIS server, or to a file store, or just to the directory with your solution. Here’s a sample that uses the package from my Intro to SSIS presentation:
Not only does it provide detailed info (it appears below the pic) but it will also reproduce the graphical flow! And if that wasn’t cool enough, you can drill down into the other executable parts, such as the data flow.
Here’s a small sample of the details:
It doesn’t stop there either, providing complete support for SSRS as well. Just point it at your Reporting Services server and away it’ll go!
Now, I realize this sounds a lot like a commercial, and since I now work for Pragmatic Works probably more so. Bu I just think this is an awesomely cool product, I can think of a lot of uses for it too. Providing turn over documentation, running it weekly to create version snapshots so you can track changes to your SQL Server, providing reference material for developers, and probably a zillion other things I haven’t thought of. (If you have thought of some, by all means leave a comment, would love to hear how YOU are using this.)
I’m sure I’m not doing the product justification, so if you want to see some video demos head on over to http://pragmaticworks.com/ for more info. And again, I apologize if this sounds like a commercial but I am blown away by how cool this product is so I just had to share.
Disclaimer: I do work for Pragmatic Works, and received my copy of this really cool software as a result of my employment.