When working within a complex environment, SQL Server Aliases can make it increasingly difficult to document the lineage between one object and another. Often times, DOC xPress will detect object dependencies to items that are external objects currently not within the solution. These items appear as "Implicit Items" () within Lineage Analysis.
Sometimes, these implicit items are actually a part of the solution, but the links could not be detected due to Server Aliases. The below picture shows an example of an Analysis Services database that references the AdventureWorksDW2014 located on FL-WS-QA-TR01 through the server alias "localhost":
DOC xPress' Manage Alias feature provides you with a quick and easy way to organize aliases into an easily manageable list to help simplify these external links.
How to setup solution aliases
1. While inside of a solution within the DOC xPress feature, click the "Manage aliases" button to launch the "Manage solution aliases" window
2. The "Manage solution aliases" window has several buttons:
1. OK - Saves all changes to solution aliases and closes out of the window
2. Cancel - Cancels out of all changes made to solution aliases and closes out of the window
3. Add - Allows the user to begin configuring a new solution alias to add to the solution
4. Edit - Edits an already existing solution alias
5. Delete - Deletes an already existing solution alias
3. Clicking on the "Add" button will launch the "Add Solution Alias" window
1. Source solution item - designates which solution item(s) this alias will applied. Setting the "Source solution item" to "Global" will apply this alias to all solution items.
2. Target technology type - designates which technology this alias will be applied. Setting the "Target technology type" to "None" will apply this alias to all technologies.
3. Source - Designates the string the user wishes to search for within the target technology.
4. Replacement - Designates the string the wishes to replace the "Source" with
5. Match Case - Designates whether or not DOC xPress will match the "Source" part exactly or whether it will ignore case sensitivity.
It is important to be as specific as possible with an alias so as to not unintentionally match an alias to an object that should not be redirected. Each row represents the alias' object path, with the first object being the root object and each subsequent object(s) being a child object of the one above it. The less precise the alias the more items that could be redirected.
In the above example, only "localhost.AdventureWorks.dbo.DimCustomer" will be redirected to "FL-WS-QA-TR01.AdventureWorks.dbo.DimCustomer". While if the solution alias merely contained "localhost", this would redirect all objects with the root object of "localhost" (instead of just "localhost.AdventureWorks.dbo.DimCustomer") to "FL-WS-QA-TR01", which may not be intentional.
Additionally, changing aliases can affect the output of the dependency analysis that occurs during the solution snapshot process, so you may need to snapshot your solution again before a newly added aliases is displayed within Lineage Analysis.
4. After all solution aliases have been added, creating a snapshot will fully extract all dependency links and display them showing a complete Lineage for the object.