Is it possible to create help files from XML only (no assmeblies)?

Topics: Developer Forum, User Forum
Jun 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM


I am trying to figure out a simple way of building SQL XML documentation for stored procedures, UDFs and such within MS SQL Server environment, but using Sandcastle as a tool to build documentation.

I have read some posts on the net like the one here that is under code project: which seems good but a little too complex to install and use (at least for me).

There are some other discussions on this topic and one I found very useful with some real smart ideas is the one here: http:// (see the post with idea of using DDL Triggers and extended properties).

My question for this forum is: if I can create a XML file from SQL Server objects, similar to the file Visual Studio creates out of VB, C++, C# code during the build, is it at all possible to create a help document using Sandcastle out of such file without any assemblies (i.e. executable files included in the project)?

Thank you,


Jun 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Using XML comments would imply the existence of a reflection.xml file with which to match up the member comments.  That's probably why the referenced CodeProject article generated a .cs file to compile since then it could match the comments up to the members of the generated classes.  Another alternative would be to bypass the reflection data and XML comments and generate MAML topics instead.  That might be an easier approach.  The code from the Additional Content Only plug-in could be used to bypass all the assembly-specific steps and build just the MAML topics.  I believe the XML Schema Documenter takes a similar approach.  I see in one of the SHFB reviews that somebody else has tackled this issue using that approach.  You might try contacting them to see if they are willing to share their solution yet.