question

Fatherjack avatar image
Fatherjack asked

DBA activities / "How To ..." library

Slightly off the normal technical type of question for here but I would love to hear about your solutions and ideas about the following:

How do you document and distribute your routine procedures and processes? For our Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plans we are creating documents that should help any technically able person to carry out processes like restoring databases, reinstalling systems, setting security on databases, re-starting systems, etc, etc,. Now we have previously had MSWord documents created with screen-shot images embedded in the documents along with the descriptive text. These are not in any doc mgmt system so duplications and confusion abounds, both when creating a new document about where to store it and then where to look to retrieve it later on. I have found Tiddly Wiki (http://www.tiddlywiki.com/) and that looks like a way that would allow more rapid access but it wont handle images. Dont worry to much about securing the 'repository', we can work on that once we find the right storage method.

How to do keep and distribute your 'How to be a DBA' manual?

dbadocumentation
10 |1200

Up to 2 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 512.0 KiB each and 1.0 MiB total.

Kev Riley avatar image
Kev Riley answered

Have a similar sort of mess!

Some info(probably more dev related than anything else) is stored in a dev wiki: server configs, server locations, useful contacts, build scripts (as in h/w builds)

Some tasks are document in Word docs - generally tasks that could be performed by anyone with a modicum of technical and SQL knowledge. These are often step-by-step, peppered with screen shots overlayed with big red arrows and circles, annotated with 'Click this!'

Pure DBA tasks - rarely documented at all, probably due to the fact that the DBA team is me.

In previous roles where the DBA team has been more than me - we have tended to use a netowrk share directory/folder structure to organize all kinds of documents: Word docs, sql scripts, Visio diagrams, udls, whitepapers, pdfs, etc, but it often fell to the junior member of the team to keep it tidy, as they would always be the one asking 'How do we....?'. If we came across a procedure that wasn't documented, then as part of the mentoring and knowledge sharing, the junior would be required to document it and save it away

3 comments
10 |1200

Up to 2 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 512.0 KiB each and 1.0 MiB total.

Screwturn wiki - I've definitely added images to it
1 Like 1 ·
What wiki do you use? I think this ought to be the best solution but need one that holds images for the "Click here"/Red Arrow part of the library
0 Likes 0 ·
ooh, that looks good. I'll get a copy and see what its like. cheers
0 Likes 0 ·
Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered

For common scripts, stored procedures, etc., we create a database and put all the procedures in there. We also name them in a way that you know they were created by us, for our needs. Most of them are documented in the comments, but that still makes it hard to find what you need. For processes, etc., we keep our documents in clearly defined folders in Sharepoint. We also use the Sharepoint discussion groups to comment on the documents and processes, linking the two together, so that proposed changes can be communicated. Finally, we have a standard project document that describes the systems used by the project, people responsible and deployment methodologies used by the project (since they unfortunately vary).

It's not the perfect all-in-one type of solution, but there are only a few places to look for information and we're pretty disciplined about keeping the right stuff in the right place.

3 comments
10 |1200

Up to 2 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 512.0 KiB each and 1.0 MiB total.

Disciplined - that is the key and has to be a part of the culture to succeed.
0 Likes 0 ·
Thanks, SharePoint is not available to me so thats off the menu sadly. I can see the collaborative side of that working well. When I said procedures I was meaning processes/methods of working not stored proc's. What I'm trying to cover is how to do xyz when I'm not here for a junior **or** How to get the Co. working again if the building has been struck by alien lasers and all staff are now zombies ...
0 Likes 0 ·
Oh, well all that is part of the process documentation and we do maintain that in Sharepoint. It really does help.
0 Likes 0 ·

Write an Answer

Hint: Notify or tag a user in this post by typing @username.

Up to 2 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 512.0 KiB each and 1.0 MiB total.