Idera SQL Column Search is a free tool designed to make it easy to search SQL Server tables to find column names that match a user-defined set of strings. By default, the application comes pre-configured with 45 search strings to help you find potentially sensitive data by identifying common sensitive data column name definitions. Users can select, edit, and even delete the pre-configured strings and create new strings depending upon their search needs.
In order to perform a search, a search profile needs to be defined and set as the active search profile. The application does not limit the number of search profiles that can be created or the number of strings that can be defined. All search strings that have been defined, including the pre-configured strings are shown in the list.
Creating a Search Profile
To create a search profile the user simply selects the checkboxes next to the search strings in the list and then saves that profile. If no profile has been created yet, the application only allows for the Save New Profile option. After at least one profile is created you can use the Save Profile to update a profile or the Save New Profile to create a new one.
Active Search Profile
Once a profile is created and saved it is set as the Active Search Profile and is what the application will use when the Perform Search is selected from the main screen. There is a text box on the main screen that also notes what the currently active search profile is.
To change the active search profile you return to the search settings and either Open a different profile, update the existing profile, or create and save a new profile.
Creating a New String
New search strings can be created at any time by selecting New String. Selecting this opens the configuration screen where you can define a Category, Search String Name, and Definition for the string. All fields must be completed before being able to save the string.
Search String Syntax
The search syntax conforms to the commonly used SQL Server LIKE syntax. That is, the percent sign % refers to zero or more characters, the underscore _ refers to a single character, the square brackets [ ] refer to any single character within the specified range, and the square brackets with a circumflex [^ ] refer to any single character not within the specified range.
Refer also to Microsoft technet note.
Editing and Deleting Strings
To edit a string select it in the list and select Edit String. Make the desired edits and save. To delete a string select it in the list and select Delete String.
Restore Default Settings
To restore the application to the settings when it was first installed select Delete Profile, then Restore Default Settings option. This will delete all profiles and return the search string list to just include the pre-configured search strings with none of the items selected.
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