How to contribute to SQL Server Documentation

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO: yesSQL ServeryesAzure SQL DatabaseyesAzure SQL Data Warehouse yesParallel Data Warehouse

Anyone can contribute to SQL Server documentation. This includes correcting typos, suggesting better explanations, and improving technical accuracy. This article explains how to get started with content contributions and how the process works.

There are two main workflows you can use to contribute:

Edit in your browser Good for small, quick edits of any article.
Edit locally with tools Good for more complex edits, edits involving multiple articles, and frequent contributions to docs.microsoft.com.

Edit in your browser

The following steps provide an overview of making simple edits to SQL Server content in your browser. The complete process is documented in the article, GitHub contribution workflow for minor or infrequent changes.

  1. Every article, including this one, has an Edit button on the right. Find an article you want to change, and click the Edit button to get started.

    Edit button for SQL article

    All of the content on docs.microsoft.com is managed in various GitHub Repositories. When you click the edit button, you are taken to the article in the sql-docs repository. Or, if you are editing a SQL article in the Azure documentation, you are taken to the azure-docs repository.

  2. Next, click on the pencil icon at the top-right of the article in GitHub.

    Edit button

    Note

    You must be signed in to GitHub to edit an article. If you do not have a GitHub account, see GitHub account setup. After creating a new account, you must also verify your email address with GitHub before you can edit.

  3. Edit the article in the browser. All of the articles are written in Markdown. If you need help with Markdown, you can review Markdown basics. You can also learn by observing how published articles render existing Markdown.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the edit window, enter a title for your change, and click the Propose file change button.

    Propose pull request

  5. On the next page, click Create pull request.

    Create pull request

  6. Enter a title and description for the pull request. Then click Create pull request again.

    Create pull request

At this point, you should be guided through the rest of the process in the comments of the pull request. The complete process and additional details can be found in the contributor guide.

Edit locally with tools

Another editing option is to fork the sql-docs or azure-docs repositories and clone it locally to your machine. You can then use a Markdown editor and a git client to submit the changes. This workflow is good for edits that are more complex or involve multiple files. It is also good for frequent contributors to docs.microsoft.com.

To contribute with this method, see the following articles:

If you submit a pull request with significant changes to documentation, you will get a comment in GitHub asking you to submit an online Contribution License Agreement (CLA). You must complete the online form before your pull request can be accepted.

Recognition

If your changes are accepted, you are recognized as a contributor at the top of the article.

Content contribution recognition

sql-docs overview

This section provides some additional guidance on working in the sql-docs repository.

Important

The information in this section is specific to sql-docs. If you are editing a SQL article in the Azure documentation, see the Readme for the azure-docs repository on GitHub.

The sql-docs repository uses several standard folders to organize the content.

Folder Description
docs Contains all published SQL Server content. Subfolders logically organize different areas of the content.
docs/includes Contains include files. These files are blocks of content that can be included in one or more other topics.
./media Each folder can have one media subfolder for article images. The media folder in turn has subfolders with the same name as the topics that the image appears in. Images should be .png files with all lower-case letters and no spaces.
TOC.MD A table-of-contents file. Each subfolder has the option of using one TOC.MD file.

Applies-to includes

Each SQL Server article contains an applies-to include file after the title. This indicates what areas or versions of SQL Server the article applies to.

Consider the following Markdown example that pulls in the appliesto-ss-asdb-asdw-pdw-md.md include file.

[!INCLUDE[appliesto-ss-asdb-asdw-pdw-md](../includes/appliesto-ss-asdb-asdw-pdw-md.md)]

This adds the following text at the top of the article:

Applies to text

To find the correct applies-to include for your article, use the following tips:

  • Look at other articles that cover the same feature or a related task. If you edit that article, you can copy the Markdown for the applies-to include link (you can cancel the edit without submitting it).
  • Search the docs/includes directory for files containing the text "applies-to". You can use the Find button in github to quickly filter. Click on the file to see how it is rendered.
  • Pay attention to the naming convention. If there are x's in the name, they are usually placeholders indicating the lack of support for a service. For example, appliesto-xx-xxxx-asdw-xxx-md.md indicates support for only Azure SQL Data Warehouse, because only asdw is spelled out, whereas the other fields have x's.
  • Some includes specify a version number, such as tsql-appliesto-ss2017-xxxx-xxxx-xxx-md.md. Only use these includes when you know the feature was introduced with a specific version of SQL Server.

Contributor resources

Tip

If you have product feedback rather than documentation feedback, provide feedback on the SQL Server product here.

Next steps

Explore the sql-docs repository on GitHub.

Find an article, submit a change, and help the SQL Server community.

Thank you!