Review: dtsdoc and dbdesc
page 1 of 5
Published: 05 Dec 2007
I am a fan of simple tools which work well and save me a lot of time. Two of my "new best friends" are Logica2's sister programs dtsdoc, which documents SQL Server DTS packages, and dbdesc, which documents SQL Server schemas. The documentation is complete and generated quickly, and both programs have found a lasting place in my SQL Server toolkit.
by Richard Dudley
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Writing documentation is one of the most tedious tasks in the development process, and is usually pushed off to the end, if done at all. In Visual Studio, documentation is often added as inline comments, and compiled using a tool such as Ghost Doc or NDoc. Databases, however, are very difficult to document, since they do not have very good capabilities to hold textual metadata.

Two tools I have discovered recently take a lot of the pain out of documenting databases.  Developed by Logica2, dbdesc takes the pain from documenting database schemas, and its sister program, dtsdoc, produces comprehensive documentation for your DTS packages.

Whether you have a Microsoft Access, Firebird, SQL Server 2000 or 2005 database, in only three simple tabs and a few mouse clicks, dbdesc can produce documentation in either PDF or XML format. The XML format can then be transformed using the included XSLT, or ones you create yourself.

Since DTS packages are specific to SQL Server 2000, dtsdoc works only with SQL Server 2000.  Since SQL Server 2000 has recently entered the last three years of its support lifecycle, migration to more recent versions is imperative. Not all DTS's can be automatically upgraded to SSIS, so having good documentation will be a great asset in recreating the packages. 

In this review, we will use dbdesc to document the sample Northwind database from SQL Server 2000, and dtsdoc to document a simple DTS package.

Dbdesc can be found at and dtsdoc is found at

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User Comments

Title: SqlSpec is also worth a look   
Name: Jesse
Date: 2007-12-05 4:55:15 PM
SqlSpec is a shareware documentation generator that works against SQL Server as well as 10 other DMBS platforms (oracle, mysql, etc).

You can check it out here:


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