Tip: Maintaining a Data Dictionary

Extended properties are a great way to store business and technical definitions for tables and columns if you need to create a data dictionary for your database. However, extended properties aren't especially helpful if you don't have an easy way to add new properties and edit their definitions. Query Analyzer provides a simple but relatively unknown mechanism for working with properties.

In Figure A, I created a property called MS_Description on the au_id column of the authors table. Figure B shows how to edit this value through Query Analyzer in a few easy steps:

  1. Open Query Analyzer and launch the Object Browser.
  2. Navigate to the au_id column of the authors table.
  3. Right-click the au_id column and select Extended properties.

A simple dialog box lets you create new extended properties or edit existing ones.

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