SPEED Ferret is one of those little find and replace tools that can help programmers by reducing the time it takes to find the properties of objects, search for strings and find and replace program code. This is a global search and replace tool that takes the place of the sequential searches that are built into SQL Server itself. You'll find that SPEED Ferret works as well in SQL Server as it does in Access and VB. A free download of this product lets you try it before purchasing a full version.
This tool is meant to let you find instances in source code, property values and references. Settings in SPEED Ferret allow you to modify your search so that you can apply filters such as specific object types, properties, sorts and so forth. With SPEED Ferret you perform the search and get back a datasheet of matches. You can review the matches and edit the replacement values as you go along. Then you save your changes.
You can use the program to make changes such as renaming objects to all of the found instances at once. Also, you can step through the changes one at a time, previewing each change prior to implementing it. Should you decide to discard your changes, SPEED Ferret has an undo feature and can also rollback your code to its previous state.
As any programmer knows, it is time consuming to find all occurrences of a property or value in code. A single unchanged reference can be embarrassing, troublesome, or sometimes even fatal to an application. So although this simple tool has limited utility, it will save most SQL programmers a lot of time.
The working demo of SPEED Ferret can be found at a number of sites. The developer site, Black Moshannon, has the demo download here.
Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield, Mass.). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.
This was first published in February 2005