SQLDescribe is a Windows desktop Dot Net (3.0) application that is used to enter and maintain descriptions of your Microsoft SQL Server database objects. It works with Microsoft SQL Server versions from 2005 through 2014 (although it should work quite nicely with 2016 and future versions). SQLDescribe works with the various Editions of SQL Server except the Compact Edition.
The simple user interface allows you to easily select an object and enter (or edit) a description for that object. Our Always Edit interface hides the complexity of the difference between creating a description or changing an existing one.
See screen shots here.
How is this magic accomplished?
Almost all objects in a SQL Server database can have what are called "Extended Properties" attached. Each Extended Property is a named piece of text. When you set up a column, for example, in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) you can scroll down and type in a description for that column. Your description is stored in an Extended Property called "ms_description".
You can put such an Extended Property on other things using SSMS by right clicking on the object and using the Extended Property dialog. It tends to be tedious after a while.
Our interface is different. We give you a category tree on the left and you select the category of object you want to work on. We fill in a list on the right with all of your objects in that category along with any existing description. Chose an object and type away. An example will show this more clearly.
Putting a description on a table:
- Log into your server using SQLDescribe.
- Chose your database.
- Chose the schema that holds your table.
- Click on "tables" in the left tree.
- Find your table in the list of tables on the right.
- Double click on that table. An edit dialog opens.
- Type in your description.
- Click "save".
Of course once you have put a description on one table you are already back at step 5. You might as well go ahead and put descriptions on the rest of them while you are right there.
Putting descriptions on other things:
It's the same thing no matter what type of object. Find it in the list, double click it, type away, click the Save button. This unified user interface is one of the hallmarks of this product. The other is the "hiding" of the complexities of managing Extended Properties.
Aren't there different statements needed for creating, updating, and removing Extended Properties?
Yes, that is true. This is one of the reasons that most folks don't do it. Our product manages this for you. We know if an Extended Property exists or not. If you want to remove a description (although we can't think of why you would want to) you just clear out the text and click Save. We warn you and make sure but you can do it.
What are the kinds of things that you can put descriptions on?
More than just tables and columns.
- Check Constraints
- Default Constraints
- Foreign Key Constraints
- Sequences (*)
- Stored Procedures
- User Defined Types
- User Defined Table Types
- User Defined Functions (Scaler)
- User Defined Functions (Table)
- XML Schemas
- Database Triggers
- File Groups
- Message Types
- Partition Functions
- Partition Schemes
- Remote Service Bindings
(*) Not available with SQL Server earlier than 2012