SQL Anywhere 17 documentation is available to everyone, everywhere, anytime
whether you’ve purchased, installed, or used the SQL Anywhere 17 product or not. It’s just that good to read.
Finding and using it can be tricky, though, so we’ve compiled some links and tips to help you. This post should be enough info, but feel free to write me if you think of additional tips or resources you think should be added.
Handy links for you
If you didn’t install the documentation when you installed the software, you can still install it. You can also install it on machines where SQL Anywhere is not installed. Here are a few ways to find SQL Anywhere documentation:
- What’s New in SQL Anywhere 17 (lists of new features – there’s a lot!)
- Access the docs online and comment on topics (DocCommentXchange – DCX)
- Get the PDFs
- Get the HTML Help file (CHM)
- Access docs for previous releases
Tips to make you a doc power user
Sometimes when I am helping someone find or do something with the docs, they say “Hey! I didn’t know you could do that!”. Here are the 10 top discoveries by help type (DocCommentXchange (DCX), HTML Help, and PDF):
- DCX – View a topic as HTML only (no other panes). Handy if you want to copy/paste the entire topic, view its source, or just have more screen real estate. ACTION: Click the icon that looks like a little chat bubble at the top right, and select View This Page As Plain HTML. When you want to come back into DCX, just use the handy link at the very top of the topic.
- DCX – Copy links from the table of contents. Handy if you want to email a list of topics that are together in a chapter. ACTION: Highlight portions of the table of contents and paste it into an email, Microsoft Word or Excel doc, or any application that supports links.
- DCX – Search only the books you care about. Handy when you want to search for a feature that is mentioned in components you don’t use or care about. ACTION: Click the Scope tab and deselect books you don’t care about. Later, if you aren’t finding topics you think you should, remember to check your scope setting (can’t tell you how many times I forget to do this). Oh, and scope settings are applied to results in the Comments tab, Index tab, and even the list on the Contents tab!
- DCX – Find your comments or someone else’s comments. Handy when you can’t remember where you put the comment you posted, or want to see what replies are there. ACTION: Go to the Comments tab and start typing your DCX alias in the Enter User Alias to Filter By. You can further narrow your scope for the list of comments by setting exactly which books you want to see your comments for on the Scope tab.
- DCX – Subscribe to topics, chapters, or books to get posted comments. Handy for receiving notices of corrections on the content you use a lot and care about. ACTION: Click the icon that looks like a little chat bubble at the top right and select Subscribe/Unsubscribe.
- DCX and HTML Help (CHM) – Find esoteric information related to a feature or component. Handy when you are learning about a feature and you don’t yet know what you don’t yet know about it. ACTION: For example, go to the Index tab and search for ‘upgrading’. There’s a secondary index entry called ‘distributing new privileges after an upgrade’. Did you even know you might have to do that? It’s certainly not something a simple string search for ‘upgrading’ on the Search tab would have told you…
- DCX and HTML Help (CHM) – Get rid of highlighting when copy/pasting content. Handy when you’ve searched and found some content and want to copy/paste it into an email, but your search terms are highlighted in your pasted copy. ACTION: Before you select and copy the content to clipboard, hit <F5> on your keyboard to refresh the content. This removes the offending highlighting, making it ready for copying.
- DCX and HTML Help (CHM) – Reducing noise in your search results using syntax like NEAR and NOT. Handy when you have want to weed out the majority of hits you are going to get when you search. ACTION: Put the word NEAR between two words to indicate you only want instances of where the words are closer together (within 10 terms of each other). Try it by searching for database wizard, then database NEAR wizard. Also, play around with NOT, AND, an OR!
- DCX and HTML Help (CHM) – Find where you are in the collection. Handy when you’ve finally found a topic but want a better idea where you are in the collection, and what the surrounding topics are. ACTION: You could look at the breadcrumbs at the top of the topic for the exact path to where you are, but if you want more context in terms of the whole collection, click on the Contents tab; it is always adjusting wherever you go in the collection.
- PDF – (sound of crickets in the distance)