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Free Tools for the SQL Server DBA Part 2 Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 12:55 AM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Free Tools for the SQL Server DBA Part 2

David Bird

My PC Quick Reference Guide
Post #613458
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 4:42 AM


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I read your article with great interest, hoping beyond hope to find a search and replace tool.

I've been using Black Moshannon Systems program called Speed Ferret 4 for many years. They haven't updated it since 2002, so it can only search SQL Server 2000 and earlier. It's a real shame because it's one of a kind, as far as I know. It could search Access MDB's and ADP's, VB projects, and most importantly, multiple SQL Server databases simultaneously. It's a great tool for finding all instances of an object's usage across multiple DB's. Want to find every VIEW that has a TOP n PERCENT statement in 20 DB's, just do a wild card search for TOP*PERCENT.

The greatest part about it, though, is the replace feature. Say you inherit a DB or set of DB's developed by someone else who can't spell. Customer_ID is spelled Cutsomer_ID throughout the project. Just search for Cutsomer_ID and replace it with Customer_ID. Review the list of "hits", and exclude whichever ones you want, then save replacements. The changes are made on the server objects and your done.

I frequently use this tool in conjunction with RedGate's SQL Compare. I find and replace, and then do compare between the dev copy and a staging copy of the database to generate a script to run on the production server.

I believe SQL 2005 may have some built in object renaming capabilities, where if you rename a field in a table, for instance, the dependencies that use it will also change (I'm pretty new to SQL 2005 so if that's a 2008 feature oops). But I'm not sure that works across multiple databases. But searching for all object instances across multiple DB's is very powerful, especially if you don't want to change stuff just yet. Maybe you need to put together an impact analysis for changing the data type of a field, etc. Also, RedGate's Dependency Tracker falls far short. It's difficult to search for a single string and print out the first "level" of hits, or copy/paste "used by" list into OneNote or some other program. It creates a nice "graphical galaxy" of large complex db systems with multiple db's and cross db object usage, but beyond that it's difficult to use for those purposes. SQL Doc also will provide Used By hyperlink lists allowing for multiple db searching, but still kludgy to use and you can't do a find and replace. I have the entire toolbelt and don't see a tool like Speed Ferret.

So anyway, great article and if you, or anybody else on this board knows of a similar type of program that will work with SQL 2005 (I'm not using 2008 yet and my corporate clients will not adopt it for a few years - they're just starting to migrate to SQL 2005). I don't care if it's free. Speed Ferret cost several hundred dollars and was worth every cent. I still use it today for SQL 2000 databases.


Jerry Boutot, MCAD MCP
Owner, AppDataWorks, LLC
AppDataWorks, LLC
Jerry Boutot Music
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Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 7:59 AM
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Just a quick fix: The link to DTaskManager is incorrect.

A link to all the utilities by this developer is: http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/
Post #613706
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:02 AM
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Good collection of freeware. Will definitely try couple of them in Administration and Monitoring.
Thanks for all the info.


SQL DBA.
Post #613712
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:07 AM
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Also the link to PicPick is broken.

A better link is: http://picpick.wiziple.net/
Post #613717
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:23 AM


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This is a great list. A couple of utilities that I use:-

TreeSize - shows where hard disk space is being used.

Agent Ransack - searches content of certain file types.




www.abbstract.info - my blog
www.sqlsimon.com - my experiences with SQL Server 2008
Post #613733
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 8:25 AM


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For anyone who is interested, I found what looks to be a decent Speed Ferret replacement program:

It's called SQLServerFind 3.3.2. It isn't free, but close. $11.00 US or 10 EURO.

Looks good, you get a 30 day trial.

You can purchase from http://sqlserverfind.geniusconnect-distribution.qarchive.org/

or if you want more info and some screenshots, check out the official site:

http://www.geniusconnect.com/articles/SQLServerFind/2/13/

This program works very similar to Speed Ferret but only works with SQL Server, not VB projects or Access MDBs.


Jerry Boutot, MCAD MCP
Owner, AppDataWorks, LLC
AppDataWorks, LLC
Jerry Boutot Music
Post #613735
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:13 AM


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xSQL has some free tools too
http://www.xsqlsoftware.com/Product/Index.aspx


xSQL Object
FREE LITE EDITION
Compare and Synchronize SQL Server Database Schemas
generates SQL scripts too, closest to RedGate SQL Compare IMO

xSQL Script Executor
Free tool that provides for transactional execution of T-SQL scripts

xSQL Object Search
Free tool for SQL Server 2005 that locates database objects the name and/or definition of which meet a search criteria.

xSQL Script Executor
Free tool that provides for transactional execution of T-SQL scripts

RSS Reporter
Generate standard RSS feeds for SQL Server job status, ad-hoc queries, database size and space usage. (FREE for 1 server)

xSQL Data Compare
FREE LITE EDITION
Compare and Synchronize SQL Server Database content



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Post #613810
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:14 AM
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betsy.mendenhall (12/4/2008)
SQLServerPedia.com is also a fgood go-to source for free information and advice from MVPs.

I met their editor, Brent, at PASS last month. Nice guy. Best thing about him: he runs a laptop like I do; a MacBook Pro running Windows/SQL Server through a VM. Only I'm running Parallels, he's running VMWare. (which apparently lets you take server images from your corporate network and move them over to your Mac....)

SQLServerPedia looks like it's going to be an excellent resource. SQLServerCentral will always be my #1 go to place, but I have a feeling that the 'Pedia will be #2.
Post #613814
Posted Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:29 AM
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Good list. Thanks you all for providing a great list. :)


Post #613841
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