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  1. #1
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    Answered: Questions about ExtendedProperties

    Why is it that sometimes on tables you go to extended properties and there are no descriptions and other times you'll have cryptic codes in there and some descriptions. It seems this is system generated at times but I am not sure. I have never set up a database from scratch in an enterprise, only came into them functioning already.
    Last edited by VLOOKUP; 07-21-15 at 16:38.

  2. Best Answer
    Posted by Thrasymachus

    "
    Quote Originally Posted by VLOOKUP View Post
    Why is it that sometimes on tables you go to extended properties and there are no descriptions and other times you'll have cryptic codes in there and some descriptions. It seems this is system generated at times but I am not sure. I have never set up a database from scratch in an enterprise, only came into them functioning already.
    I am not aware of any system generated values for the description Extended Property. As far as I know you have to explicitly add those. I do like them when they are done well. Programmers do not always have the greatest command of the written word, so sometimes like all documentation, they are useless."


  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by VLOOKUP View Post
    Why is it that sometimes on tables you go to extended properties and there are no descriptions and other times you'll have cryptic codes in there and some descriptions. It seems this is system generated at times but I am not sure. I have never set up a database from scratch in an enterprise, only came into them functioning already.
    I am not aware of any system generated values for the description Extended Property. As far as I know you have to explicitly add those. I do like them when they are done well. Programmers do not always have the greatest command of the written word, so sometimes like all documentation, they are useless.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  4. #3
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    Thrasymachus

    Thanks for the follow up. For some reason some of our tables have 3 lines of information, some seem like a sequence code maybe to a stored procedure? Then there are some lines of code with variables etc which look to be a part of the stored procedure. Very strange, I asked our developer today after deleting one of the descriptions out that I should put it back in there from the dev environment database. I just cut and pasted it back in to notes.

    Just curious, I am trying to build a data dictionary dynamically utilizing the fields, but with this garble in there it's going to be pointless to add comments with that code etc in there.

  5. #4
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    SQL Server doesn't put anything into the Extended Properties on its own, but many packages (notably report writers and database documentation tools) https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/...=SQL.105).aspx is Microsoft's own documentation on Extended Properties. http://blogs.lessthandot.com/index.p...ver-databases/ is a blog by Jess Borland that describes one excellent way to use Extended Properties.

    The short answer is that you can't really control what gets stored as Extended Properties. By using a short, unique prefix you can make it simple for your code to identify the Extended Properties that are "yours" and that would allow you to only collect the Extended Properties that interest you for your Data Dictionary view.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  6. #5
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    That is really bizarre and deviates from what I orginally thought. I thought those fields were there solely for clearly identifying the tables and columns. Now .net applications or whatever can write to these fields which at times seems to be junk.

  7. #6
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    True, but this is kind of like complaining that manual transmissions have a clutch... It is something to learn and needs to be handled a little differently than what you expected and are accustomed to, but it is what it is and there isn't much you can do to change that. If you choose to ignore the clutch then "interesting" things will happen!

    Just filter down your Extended Properties data and you ought to be just fine!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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