Note: This blog is based on ApexSQL Search, download it and play along with is this blog post.
ApexSQL Search is a Free SSMS and VS add-in for SQL object and data text search, and it shows visual relationships between objects – in SSMS called “view dependencies” but here it is fully utilized and functional. A powerful feature indeed.
Beside visual representation of relationships it also has useful features for managing extended properties and smart renaming without breaking dependencies, and an automatic SQL query editor renaming feature
Using the Database object search feature you can find all SQL objects containing the specified phrase
Choosing the Database text search feature you can find data in tables and views that matches the specified phrase
You can customize the sorting by clicking the appropriate column name, or right-click to filter results using the Filter row.
You can also use the same wildcards supported by the LIKE operator in SQL Server and the search text with regular expressions. You can find all supported wildcards here. And read about text search text with regular expressions here.
The edit extended properties feature allows customizing extended properties stored in your database by calling the Edit extended properties from the ApexSQL Search menu. The Automatic query editor renaming feature has automatically named SQL query windows based on their contents.
With the smart rename feature you can rename your SQL objects without breaking dependencies between them. To open the Smart rename dialog select an object in the Object Explorer and choose the Smart rename command from the ApexSQL Search menu or right-click the object in the search results and choose the smart rename command
Enter the new name of the object and click Generate preview to see the generated script. In the Warnings tab you can see all warnings. The Sequence tab you can see the actions in the order they will be performed. The Dependencies tab is a list of dependent objects that refer to an object which will be renamed.
To see dependencies of an object, right-click an object in the SSMS Object Explorer, and choose the View Dependencies command. Another way is to select an object from the Object Explorer and select the same command from the ApexSQL Search menu
The View Dependencies feature visualizes all objects’ relationships, and allows customization of the arrangement of the dependency diagram. You can control how this feature will arrange generated dependency diagrams with the Dependency layout option
Circular – objects are displayed in a circle around the object to which they are associated
Force directed – the most commonly used objects are closer to the center of the diagram
Hierarchies – objects are organized by generations, so that parents have at the top of the diagram and all objects of the same generation the same hierarchical level
Orthogonal – objects are set at a right angle relative to one another in the diagrams
This blog is based on ApexSQL Search, download it and you can experiment with the concepts which I have discussed in this blog post.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)