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I have a database diagram for my database, but when I open it in SQL Server, I almost immediately get a message saying some permissions changed or tables in the diagram were dropped or renamed, and tables in the diagram vanish before I can even scroll over to see what or where they were.

Basically, it's saying, "Hey, you know all that time you spent laying out tables in this diagram... half of them are going to vanish when you view it, and I'm not going to tell you which tables vanished or where they were in the diagram. You're just going to see a bunch of random empty spaces where tables used to be ;)" Ridiculous.

So I thought that maybe if I look in the dbo.sysdiagrams table, I could look at some plain text definition of the diagram to get a clue about the names of the tables that went missing (because thier names were probably only changed slightly) or their coordinates in the diagram (because their spatial location would give me a clue as to what they were), so that I could re-add them, but I can't, because it's a binary definition.

So, is there some other program I could use to view the existing database diagram that's not going to just drop and forget the missing tables without telling me what they were, or is this information lost and at the mercy of some SSMS-proprietary database diagram format and viewer which refuses to cooperate with me.


migration rejected from Oct 27 '13 at 0:03

This question came from our site for system and network administrators. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by Jon Seigel, Max Vernon, RolandoMySQLDBA, Mark Storey-Smith, bluefeet Oct 27 '13 at 0:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Shopping list question - questions about which tool, library, product or resource you should use are off-topic here because they quickly become obsolete and often are just about the preferences of the answerer. If you have an issue with or a question about a specific tool, please revise your question to conform to that scope." – Jon Seigel, Max Vernon, RolandoMySQLDBA, Mark Storey-Smith, bluefeet
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is called "vendor lock in"; it's like my data is literally imprisoned by SSMS. They really need to fix this feature so that renaming tables doesn't destroy all the diagrams that reference them -- you'd think there would be some kind of referential integrity or cascading updates inside the database's own proprietary diagramming solution. – Triynko Oct 23 '13 at 20:53
Why the close vote? How is this not a supremely legitimate question to ask about how to work around a serious flaw, a problem experienced by many, in a major database engine? SURELY, hundreds if not thousands of people have encountered this issue, and having a solution or workaround here would benefit many. – Triynko Oct 23 '13 at 21:39
If it doesn't get answered here (to those of you who like to close good questions), I've already propagated this question to the ends of the internet. For example, read the copy here:… – Triynko Oct 23 '13 at 23:33
The close vote is because this is not a QA site for databases. – Jenny D Oct 24 '13 at 11:33
Help me understand. You have created database diagrams in SQL Server. You then change your structure outside the diagramming tool. You open the diagram and ... expect the diagrams to have stayed synchronized with the changes? Also, how does is your data "literally imprisoned?" With SELECT statements, you can retrieve all the information about the tables and relationships in your database. You won't have an ugly picture, I admit, but it's all there, black and white, clear as crystal – billinkc Oct 25 '13 at 2:58