DBA xPress Schema Surf

Overview

IconDescription
DBA xPress Schema Surf IconSchema Surf allows you to visualize the schema of your databases by tracking the dependencies between objects even if those dependencies are run-time dependencies.

Feature Highlights
  • View how objects in a database are related
  • Generate entity views of objects

Use Cases

Consider the following example: 

You want to modify a table, and you need to see which objects rely on that table including any references by foreign keys, views, stored procedures, functions, and even triggers on other tables. With Schema Surf, you can create a new surf in the database that you want to surf, then select the object you're interested in to display a graph of the connected objects. Select any object in the graph and surf the inter-dependencies within your schema.

Creating a New Surf

Create a new surf by completing the following steps:

1. Select Schema Surf on the SentryOne Workbench to open the Connect To Database window.DBA xPress select Schema Surf

2. Select a database for your connection. Enter a SQL Server connection or select a previous connection from the drop down list. Enter your connection credentials, then select a database for the comparison. Select Next to load your Schema Surf.

DBA xPress Connect To Database select SQL Server
Select SQL Server

DBA xPress Connect To Database select Database
Select Database

Note:  Schema Surf automatically starts a search for local servers when it starts. Select Find Local Servers if you know a new server has appeared since the application started, or the dialog opens before the initial search completes.

Note:  Selecting SQL Server Security gives you the option to enter a username and password. Select a server and select OK to surf space usage on the server as a whole, or select a database to surf space usage on that single database.

Success: You can now navigate your Schema Surf.DBA xPress Schema Surf Welcome prompt

Navigating Schema Surf

After successfully making a connection (and creating a surf), Schema Surf loads into a blank graph. 

Select to expand an object category in the Task pane. 

DBA xPress Schema Surf expand object category
Expand category

DBA xPress Schema Surf object category expanded
Category expanded

Select an object in the Task pane to display a graph of any connected objects.DBA xPress Schema Surf select object in Task Pane

Hover over an object in the graph to display a tooltip that lists the number of inbound and outbound references for the object.DBA xPress Schema Surf Hover over graph object

Select an object in the graph to change the focus of the graph to the selected object and its dependencies.

DBA xPress Schema Surf select graph object
Select object in graph

DBA xPress Schema Surf graph focused on selected object
Graph focused on selected object

Schema Surf Context Menu Options

DBA xPress Schema Surf Context Menu

Schema Surf allows you to customize the appearance of your graph with a variety of options. The following context menu options are available in Schema Surf:

OptionDescription
Remove NodeRemoves the selected node from the graph.
Remove Node & Immediate Referencing DependentsRemoves the objects that make reference directly to the selected node.
Remove Node & All Referencing DependentsRemoves the objects that make either direct or indirect reference to the selected node.
Remove Node & Immediate Referenced DependentsRemoves the objects that are directly referenced by the selected node.
Remove Node & All Referenced DependentsRemoves the objects that are directly or indirectly referenced by the currently selected node.
Color NodeChange the color of the currently selected node to one of the following colors:
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Cyan
  • Blue
  • Purple
Note:  Select User Defined to open the Choose Color window and create a personal color.
Color Node & Immediate Referencing DependentsChanges the color of the selected node and the objects that make reference directly to the selected node.
Color Node & All Referencing DependentsChanges the color of the selected node and the objects that make either direct or indirect reference to the selected node.
Color Node & Immediate Referenced DependentsChanges the color of the selected node and the objects that are directly referenced by the selected node.
Color Node & All Referenced DependentsChanges the color of the selected node and the objects that are directly or indirectly referenced by the currently selected node.
Show ScriptOpens the view script window for the selected node.

Coloring your Graph

Schema Surf provides you with multiple customization options to help you navigate your server. Right click a node and select Color node to change the color of the node. DBA xPress Schema Surf Color Node

Note:  As you hover over colors, the selected node displays a preview of the color.

Selecting a Color Node & dependent option and hovering over a color displays a preview of all of the affected nodes in the color. DBA xPress Schema Surf Color Node & Immediate Referencing Dependencies

Removing Nodes

Right click a node to open the context menu. Select Remove node to remove an individual node. 

DBA xPress Schema Surf Remove Node
Select Remove Node

DBA xPress Schema Surf node removed
Node removed

Remove a node and all its dependent nodes by selecting one of the Remove Node & Dependents options. 

DBA xPress Schema Surf Remove Node & Immediate Referencing Dependents
Select Remove Node & Immediate Dependents

DBA xPress Schema Surf Nodes removed
Nodes removed

Note:  }The nodes that will be removed are highlighted with the dashed outline. Individual nodes can also be deleted by selecting them and selecting the 'Delete' key. When deleting using one of the dependents options, the currently selected node will never be deleted.

Schema Surf Toolbar Options

DBA xPress Schema Surf Toolbar

File Options

Toolbar buttonDescriptionImage
DBA xPress Schema Surf New Surf toolbar buttonOpens the Connect to Database window and allows you to create a new Schema Surf.DBA xPress Connect To Database window
DBA xPress Schema Surf Open Surf toolbar buttonOpen a previously saved surf. Select a surf (.ssd) file, and then select open to load the surf. DBA xPress Open Surf window
DBA xPress Schema Surf Save Surf toolbar buttonSave the current surf as a (.ssd) file. Enter an appropriate surf name, and then select Save to save your surf.DBA xPress Schema Surf saving surf
DBA xPress Schema Surf Save Surf As toolbar buttonSave the current surf as a (.ssd) file. Enter an appropriate surf name, and then select Save to save your surf.DBA xPress Schema Surf Save Surf As window
DBA xPress Schema Surf Save Surf Image toolbar buttonSave the current graph in your Data Surf as one of the following image files (.bmp, .jpg, .png). Select Save Surf Image to open the Export image window. Select an image Width, Height, and format, and then select Ok to open the Save Image window. Enter an appropriate name for your image, and then select Save to save the image.
DBA xPress Export Image windowDBA xPress Save Image window

Navigation Options

ButtonDescriptionImage
DBA xPress Schema Surf Back toolbar buttonGoes back to the previously selected node in the Schema Surf. Note:  You can also go back by selecting CTRL + Left.DBA xPress Schema Surf select Back
DBA xPress Schema Surf Forward toolbar buttonGoes to the next selected node in the Schema Surf. Note:  You can also go forward by selecting CTRL + Right.DBA xPress Schema Surf select Forward
DBA xPress Schema Surf Filter toolbar buttonOpens the Choose Filter window and allows you to add a filter to your Schema Surf. For a detailed description of using filters in DBA xPress, see the Object Browser Filter Tree  section. Note:  The Filter button displays in gold when a filter is active.DBA xPress Schema Surf Choose Filter window

View Toolbar Options

DBA xPress Schema Surf View tab toolbar

View Options

ButtonDescription
DBA xPress Schema Surf Zoom In view buttonZooms in on the selected graph area.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Zoom Out view buttonZooms out of the selected graph area.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Layout view buttonOrganizes the Data Surf graph in one of the following layouts:
  • Force Directed
  • Circle
  • Grid
  • Spiral
  • Horizontal Hierarchy
  • Vertical Hierarchy

See the Layout Algorithms table below for a depiction of each view.

Dependency Levels Options

ButtonDescription
DBA xPress Schema Surf Show More view buttonDisplays more dependency routes for the selected object. Note:  You can display a maximum of ten dependency routes.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Show Less view buttonDisplays less dependency routes for the selected object.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Show Initial Only view buttonDisplays the direct dependency route when selected. Note:  This option is active by default.

Dependency Categories Options

ButtonDescription
DBA xPress Schema Surf Executable view buttonWhen selected, displays dependencies between objects based on T-SQL references.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Key view buttonWhen selected, displays dependencies between objects based on foreign keys.
DBA xPress Schema Surf Schema view buttonWhen selected, displays dependencies between objects based on schema references.
DBA xPress Schema Surf XML view buttonWhen selected, displays dependencies between objects based on XML references.

Layout Alogorithms

Schema Surf arranges the nodes in the surf graph based on the currently selected layout algorithm. Change the layout of your graph by selecting the view tab, and then selecting the Layout button. DBA xPress Schema Surf select Layout

Note:  The default layout algorithm for surf displays can be specified in the preferences screen.

There are six available algorithms to use in Schema Surf:

LayoutDescription
Force DirectedDBA xPress Schema Surf Force Directed graph
CircleDBA xPress Schema Surf Circle graph
GridDBA xPress Schema Surf Grid graph
SpiralDBA xPress Schema Surf Spiral graph
Horizontal HierarchyDBA xPress Schema Surf Horizontal Hierarchy graph
Vertical HierarchyDBA xPress Schema Surf Vertical Hierarchy graph