[Video] Get to Know SQLDocKit – Webinar

Welcome to the webinar session where we discussed our new tool, SQLDocKit. In case you missed it, we bring a recap of the introductory webinar in which Sara and Toni guide you as you “Get to Know SQLDocKit.”

For starters, let us introduce ourselves.

Acceleratio is a software development company from Zagreb, Croatia. We specialize in developing various tools and solutions that help SharePoint administrators, Office 365 administrators and consultants, and system administrators to monitor their Windows Remote Desktop Services, Citrix server and software. With 7 years in the business, we’ve acquired more than 2000 satisfied clients worldwide and won their trust with our three products: SPDocKit, SysKit, and CloudKit 365.

Now, if you’re wondering whether you’re on the right page when it comes to SQL Server auto-detection or how any of this might be of use to you, here’s what you need to know:

IT management is a critical when it comes to financial management.

SQL represents a great deal of company resources.

Successfully keeping track of your resources leads to decreased revenue loss.

If there were only a tool that would manage those resources in just a few minutes. Well, luckily, now there is, and it’s called SQLDocKit.

Webinar summary

On today’s webinar agenda, we’ll cover SQL Server housekeeping, SQL Server and IT inventory management, a brief SQLDocKit overview, and then Toni’s SQLDocKit demo. Afterwards, we’ll share some of our plans for the future of our product with you. Be sure to check our Q&A section at the end of the webinar, or scroll down if you’re inquisitive and want the answers to your questions right away!

Table of contents

01:43 Agenda
02:12 SQL Server and IT Inventory Management
05:28 SQLDocKit Overview
07:55 Features Overview
14:52 Requirements and Licensing
16:22 Demo
40:33 Roadmap

SQL Server and IT inventory management

When discussing SQL Server and IT inventory management, we would like to focus on our demo SQL Server environment. Microsoft SQL Server is an everyday, go-to enterprise database solution. With SQL come a lot of responsibilities, like complex licensing with multiple editions, which is now simplified with the latest release. The issue is that it’s a challenge to manually oversee your entire SQL Server environment with all these editions. Things tend to get out of hand pretty quickly and without a warning.

For example, there’s a slim chance that a SQL admin will be able to figure out which team deployed which server instance and where. Not to mention how many databases they have, which editions are being used, or who the database owner is. At some point this leads to maintenance problems and costs your company way more resources and money than it should. Now, before the realization of the state of your SQL Server environment hits you like a ton of bricks, let’s talk about our solution.

Your solution to SQL Server environment nightmares

SQLDocKit is a Windows-based application developed for database administrators and consultants to ease their daily routine around server instances.

The idea behind SQLDocKit was born not long ago—to be precise, the winter of 2016. After pondering the success of our previous documentation tool, SPDocKit, which was designed for SharePoint admins, we came up with the idea of developing a similar tool for SQL admins. Instead of documenting and managing SharePoint farms, we targeted the SQL Server environment. The idea gained even greater momentum when our system admin left the company and we were left in the dark about what was going on in our own SQL Server environment.

The question we were faced with was: how can you even start managing SQLs when you don’t have a clue where they are? That’s how the first feature of SQLDocKit was born–the ability to autodetect all SQLs and instances deployed in one environment. Once that feature was completed, we gradually added others, and now SQLDocKit has a wide range of tricks up its sleeve:

  • Auto-discovery
  • Topology and inventory
  • License compliance
  • Validation to best practices
  • Documentation
  • Tracking and comparing changes

Inventory and reports

The Autodetect feature crawls through the entire domain and auto-discovers all SQL Servers and their instances; then it can create different reports, based on your company’s needs. All of those reports can be exported to a DOCX or PDF file containing server info, instances, databases, and databases files. They can be delivered to you via email after, saved to a SharePoint site, or stored on your File Share system. In addition to these reports, you can generate full SQL inventory documentation.

SQLDocKit reports can be divided into Usage reports (Disk, DB, Logs, Storage Metrics) and Cleanup reports (Orphaned and Unused DBs).

Best Practices

With Best Practices, you can compare environment configuration settings to the ones suggested by community best practices, and at the same time be alerted to any potential misconfigurations. Some of these reports include valuable information about:

  • Configuration
  • Databases
  • Hardware requirements
  • Maintenance
  • ModelDB and TempDB
  • Updates

In cases where you don’t agree with the suggested threshold values, you can customize thresholds and configure them to meet your company’s unique demands.

Snapshots and Compare

SQLDocKit generates reports based on information gathered from snapshots that contains all the configuration settings. Snapshots can be taken manually or adjusted to be taken automatically. Once you have two snapshots from different points in time, they can be compared, allowing you to track any changes made in the period in-between the two selected snapshots. Of course, if things go south you can easily notice and pinpoint why and where it all went to smithereens. The feature is enhanced with the Mark as a good configuration option, making sure you don’t lose sight of properly configured settings.

What makes SQLDocKit great is the fact that you can even compare different SQL Servers. This is an especially helpful feature when you have live, production, or test environments and need to make sure they are compliant with your company requirements.

Before heading out to the demo section of this webinar, let’s check out the requirements for SQLDocKit.

SQLDocKit is an agentless tool and needs to be deployed on one application server or workstation in your domain. No agents need to be installed on the monitoring SQLs. SQLDocKit supports all versions and editions of Microsoft SQL. To use SQLDocKit you must have adequate permissions.

To see SQLDocKit in action, skip right to 16:15, where Toni Frankola, the co-founder and CEO of Acceleratio, will guide you through the demo on a demo Windows Server 2012 R1. Join Toni on a detailed, step-by-step video tour of SQLDocKit features and capabilities.

To our pleasant surprise, we’ve wrapped up this webinar with quite a few questions. Here’s what we were discussing in the Q&A section:

Q: Does SQLDocKit support multidomain environments?

A: This feature is in development. We support manually adding the multiple domains, so if you know the exact name of your domain controller, you’ll be able to connect seamlessly.

Q: Does it work with Azure SQL DB?

A: Unfortunately, not in the current version, but our engineering team is evaluating this for the next release.

Q: Can you run the SQLDocKit on an Azure VM?

A: You can run SQLDocKit on any other of VM you might have in your system, including Azure. It SQLDocKit is deployed on any Windows server or workstation with Windows 8 or 10 on it, you’re good to go.

Q: I’m wondering if there is a consultant license activation option, like there is with SPDocKit?

A: Yes: as with SPDocKit, we offer multiple licenses. For in-house admins there are server and site licenses, and for consultants, we offer consultant and team licenses.

Q: What does the consulting license support?

A: The server license and the consultant license have the following differences: the consultant license has unlimited installations and is focused on project work, where you only need to take one or two snapshots at the beginning and end of a project.

Q: Does this application use integrated security (e.g., the account of the person who opened the app)?

A: For automatic snapshot and subscriptions, yes. But you can create a service account for it.

Q: You mentioned that SQLDocKit is agentless. Would you please talk through the steps and dependencies involved in installing and using the tool, what the foot-print is, how it collects data, etc.?

A: The data is collected by an API. SQLDockit detects whether there is a SQL service running on a particular server that is crawled from your domain. If so, the data collection is enabled by doing a simple load, which can be done manually or automatically. For an automatic load, and any automatic features, we use a regular Windows service that is run by a service account, which can be a particular user account or a dedicated service account.

Q: So agentless means it doesn’t run a service, correct? Does this mean that it schedules Windows tasks for automatic snapshots?

A: Agentless means you don’t need any agents installed on the monitored servers: you just deploy the app on the workstation of some Windows server. The service account running the app, which can be a user account as well, is used for automatic snapshots, subscriptions, etc. So it’s using the service account to run a service.

Q: Are there other things that can be reported on, like deadlocks or index fragmentation? Or is it just a canned set of reports?

A: For now, the reports are preset, but we are open to receiving feature suggestions.

Q: Does it save the snapshot data in flat files or inside a SQL database?

A: Snapshots are by default saved in an SQL DB. You can use Express, no problem. Once you are using the console, you can export a particular snapshot and use it as a removable file.

Q: Do you need an Enterprise Admin service account to schedule snapshots when you’ve added SQL servers from multiple domains?

A: You need to have sufficient permissions to use SQLDocKit. For the SQL Server, sysadmin rights are required.

What’s next?

Some new features are lined up for the future and we’re currently working on further expanding the SQLDocKit features list. Here are some of the features we have in store for you:

  • Database level permissions
  • Multi-domain support
  • Email alerts – Best Practices
  • Licensing reports
  • Improved documentation
  • Additional best practices reports
  • Brand-new inventory reports

Write to us!

We are hoping you’ll take a few minutes of your time and give us some feedback about your experience with SQLDocKit. You are also welcome to share your thoughts about new features or any particular set of features you would like to see in future versions of SQLDocKit. For any additional questions, inquiries, or comments, write us and our support team will be in touch.

While it’s still fresh on your mind, download SQLDocKit for a 30-day trial and get a glimpse into the chaos-free SQL Server environment.