If it's been a while since you've taken a look at the SQL Server environment documentation software provided by Pragmatic Works, I'd encourage you to take another look. Recently Pragmatic Works has revamped BI Documenter completely and re-released it in its latest incarnation as Doc xPress. What makes Doc xPress so much better than BI Documenter? I'm glad you asked.
One of the issues with the original version of BI Documenter was that generating documentation for exceptionally large environments would often fail or take a very long time. With the complete rebuild to create Doc xPress, gone is that problem.
The documentation process first starts with taking a snapshot of the environment. The environment could include everything from SQL Server databases, Analysis Services cubes, SSIS packages, and SSRS reports. Once the snapshot has been taken, then its possible to generate documentation based on that snapshot.
One of the great things about Doc xPress is that you can easily generate documentation based on any point and time. By selecting a calendar date, you can generate documentation based on the snapshot that was valid at that point in time. So if you're wondering what your environment looked like at this same time last month, no need to wonder! Just generate the documentation in a couple clicks.
Creating the documentation is as easy as dragging and dropping. Simply drag and drop the items included in the snapshot that you want to include as part of the documentation. Then click Generate documentation and you're done.
One of the other really nice features of Doc xPress is that ability to schedule your snapshot and documentation via command line or SSIS! This part is really cool and I've got a great example of this using SSIS which I will post later, so stay tuned!
With the new and improved Lineage Analysis feature of Doc xPress, conduct an impact analysis for even a single column in your database becomes very quick and easy.
Once you've taken your snapshot, you then have the ability to drill down to a column level and determine the implications for adjusting the field's data type. Which procedures will be affected? What triggers might need to be modified? Are there any SSIS packages that will need adjustment? Will any views using the table break? All these questions are easily answered with Lineage Analysis.
If you're still searching for a SQL Server environment documentation tool, I'd highly recommend taking a look at the latest release of Doc xPress. It fast, easy, and allows you to have visibility into your environment like never before. Download the free trial version of Doc xPress to get a taste.