Data Management

From the forums: What's the best way to document database relationships?

In this thread from TechRepublic's Programming forum, an SQL developer needs a tool to help document the relationships between 800 tables.


One of the biggest challenges in designing datatabase management systems is documenting the relationships between tables. Recently, TechRepublic member MTassin posted a question on that topic with a value of 125 TechPoints in the programming section of the SupportRepublic forums . MTassin awarded those points to fellow TechRepublic member Ravi, who recommended two commercial products.

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Try Visio or ERwin
Here’s the question MTassin posted: “I'm working wth SQL 7 and an 800 table database writing views for Crystal Reports. What I need is a utility that will let me work with the existing tables and views that are in the database to develop a virtual representation of their relationships (similar to how you can do it in Access 97).

"But I would rather not have to link all the SQL 7 tables into an Access database so I can fiddle with the relationships and develop a diagram for my view. This is especially useful when I'm trying to add additional information to the view from tables that didn't preexist within it. Does such an animal exist? I'm currently using Access to develop the relationship graphically and then porting that to the SQL view. I've tried Interdev, but it doesn't give me the multiple lines showing multi-key relationships. Does such a product exist?”

TechRepublic member Ravi suggested two products: Visio 2000 Professional and Platinum ERwin . If you’ve used either product and would like to share your experiences with them, please post a comment below or follow this link to send us a note .

One of the biggest challenges in designing datatabase management systems is documenting the relationships between tables. Recently, TechRepublic member MTassin posted a question on that topic with a value of 125 TechPoints in the programming section of the SupportRepublic forums . MTassin awarded those points to fellow TechRepublic member Ravi, who recommended two commercial products.

Trade TechPoints for answers
You earn TechPoints every time you visit TechRepublic.com. To find out how many TechPoints you have, click the My TechPoints link in our left navigation bar.

Try Visio or ERwin
Here’s the question MTassin posted: “I'm working wth SQL 7 and an 800 table database writing views for Crystal Reports. What I need is a utility that will let me work with the existing tables and views that are in the database to develop a virtual representation of their relationships (similar to how you can do it in Access 97).

"But I would rather not have to link all the SQL 7 tables into an Access database so I can fiddle with the relationships and develop a diagram for my view. This is especially useful when I'm trying to add additional information to the view from tables that didn't preexist within it. Does such an animal exist? I'm currently using Access to develop the relationship graphically and then porting that to the SQL view. I've tried Interdev, but it doesn't give me the multiple lines showing multi-key relationships. Does such a product exist?”

TechRepublic member Ravi suggested two products: Visio 2000 Professional and Platinum ERwin . If you’ve used either product and would like to share your experiences with them, please post a comment below or follow this link to send us a note .

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