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It must say that in my opinion the design and functionality related to generating universe documentation from within the Information Design Tool (IDT) is severely lacking. I am sure that I do not have everything figured out with respect to this topic, but I have found bits and pieces here and there* so I thought I would take the time to bring it together. Perhaps someone will comment on this revealing something bigger and better for us all.

If you right-click on the Data Foundation and choose Save As… from the context menu…

You will get the following dialog box which allows you to pick your report location and to specify which metadata elements you want included in your report which will be generated as a PDF.

Here is a snapshot of the General Information metadata section…

This metadata report will contain something a basic data diagram in the “Joins” section provided you left that checked.

You can also right-click on the Business Layer and choose Save As… from the context menu which will bring up a similar dialog box with slightly different metadata elements listed.

Here is a snapshot of General Information metadata section…

You can also choose Print from the context menu rather than Save As… and if you have a printer driver installed that allows you to print to PDF you will get what seems to me to be a similar results without the option to select which metadata elements you want included.

You can also export something sort of like a data diagram on its own from within the Data Foundation by clicking the Save View As Image… icon highlighted in the screenshot below.

I have two basic complaints about how the documentation generation functionality is designed.

  1. Features  available via a context menu or button/icon should also be available in the menu structure.
  2. The context menu item to generate universe report does not have an intuitive name. I would never expect a menu item called “Save As…” to generate a report. How about calling it “Generate Metadata Report…?”

I should mention that this is written from the perspective of version 4.1 SP06 Patch 4. Hopefully you find this helpful.

Enjoy,

Noel

*Some of this information came from this thread and its commentsHow do I print a diagram in IDT

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