Chapter 30. Automatically Generating Technical Documentation


Good-quality, reliable, and up-to-date technical documentation on a project is generally regarded as a Good Thing. Technical documentation is a great aid for the developers who are assigned to maintaining the product, once the original development team has been dispersed. Technical documentation can also help new developers come up to speed when they join a project.

However, good technical documentation comes at a cost—the more documentation you have, the more effort you need to put into maintaining this documentation. And the effort that goes into maintaining technical documentation is, of course, effort that could be spent on writing code. In this chapter, we look at three tools that you can use to reduce the time you spend on maintaining your technical documentation, without compromising too much on the quality: SchemaSpy, for database models, and Doxygen and UmlGraph for source code documentation.

Visualizing a Database Structure with SchemaSpy


Relational databases play a key role in a majority of today’s software applications, and database schemas are without doubt one of the most widely recognized and understood models in the IT field. Although they are relatively low-level, and lack some of the abstraction of an object-oriented class model, they can still be an extremely valuable asset when it comes to trying to understand the architecture of an application, both during the development phase ...

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