SQL Server Database Documentation Tool

Documenting Microsoft SQL Server databases is one of the core functions of LiveDoco.
LiveDoco is a SQL Server database documentation tool implemented as an intranet web application, and it is quite unique in that, because other documentation tools are either desktop applications or command line based documentation generators. LiveDoco does not create any files and does not have any databases of its own - it derives all its output directly from the database being documented and stores any notes/comments/descriptions in that very database as MS_Description SQL Server extended properties. This approach is rather standard - Microsoft themselves use MS_Description extended properties quite extensively in their AdventureWorks demo database. Most other database documentation tools, including all market leaders use them as well.

There are several major advantages to the LiveDoco's web application approach:

  • LiveDoco completely eliminates the documentation generation step, thus greatly reducing "access latency" to any database
    For instance it could be a database you have never worked with before and just received from a client - simply open LiveDoco in your browser, select the database - and start exploring your database's structure, or adding notes to objects of interest.
  • LiveDoco supports in-place editing of descriptions
    To edit a description just click on the pencil icon next to it.
  • LiveDoco supports deep linking - so you could bookmark a particular page or send a link to a colleague via email/IM
    This is normally impossible with other database documentation tools (generators) even when they output HTML because they usually utilize HTML frames and this masks the current page's address - all the browser's address bar has is just the address of the IFRAME page. This is one of the main reasons LiveDoco does not use frames.
  • Using a web bowser is probably the most natural way to view documentation nowdays