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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Q&A : Data modeling tools?

Forum OpenACS Q&A: Data modeling tools?

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Posted by C. R. Oldham on
Greetings,

Has there been any thought to using a data modeling tool like
ER/Studio to help us with the development of OpenACS?  Do any
OpenACSers have favorite commercial or free (are there any?) tools?

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Posted by Don Baccus on
There aren't any free or Open Source tools available that are any good, AFAIK.  There's a schema browser tool for Oracle that's Open Source and uses Gtk and it looks really nice, but it doesn't do any of the fancy stuff you're talking about.

If there *are* any good Open Source tools it would be great to hear about them.

The OpenACS Scheme Browser (which works under Oracle with my repaired ora8.c which I've not gotten around to making available yet) at least lets you find out which tables have foreign keys pointing to your table, triggers on your table, etc.  Not much but it does help some...

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Posted by Roberto Mello on
I don't know of any good open source ones. There's Dia, but it's basically for documentation purposes only.

The proprietary one I know of (besides the popular ERwin and PowerDesigner) is DataArchitect, from thekompany.com, and they support PostgreSQL very heavily.

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Posted by Daryl Biberdorf on

The problem with the data modeling tools is that the common ones -- ERwin, PowerDesigner, ER/Studio -- are all expensive ($3,000 or so) and surprisingly mediocre. I spend a lot of time in ERwin (and I used to teach PowerDesigner as a certified Sybase instructor), and it's just amazing how many bugs, unintended "features", and missing features are in them. (Not a one of them can do a decent job doing an automatic layout of a reverse-engineered database, even though reverse-engineering was one of the top uses of the tool in every PowerDesigner class I taught.) I suppose we could do one of the "web publish" deals, but I don't know if that's really helpful.

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Posted by Don Baccus on
Hmmm...data architect's only $30 for the download version.  Their first screenshot looks like it was taken from a machine called, ironically enough, "freeware".  They have a no-cost demo you can play around with.

I just typed "dataarchitect" into google, hit "feeling lucky", and there I was, on the product page.

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Posted by Daryl Biberdorf on

I'm downloading theKompany's DataArchitect now to try it out, although I admit that my expectations are not high when it's selling for 1/100 of the competition's price. And I wonder how long before Sybase's lawyers give the Kompany guys a call about using "DataArchitect" as a name, since Sybase has called the ER-modeling piece of PowerDesigner "DataArchitect" for a long time. (Even back when it was called "S-Designor".)

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Posted by Daryl Biberdorf on
Hmmm...I'm reverse engineering a 30 table Oracle schema, with a dozen or so views. It's giving me an error message: "da.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program." That's a GPF in my book.
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Posted by Don Baccus on
You'll notice that there's no claim that it's production software at this point ...
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Posted by Daryl Biberdorf on

Don, perhaps. However, nothing says it's beta, either. :) I liked the looks of what I saw in the demo, but it's not ready to replace ERwin for me yet.

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Posted by Don Baccus on
I must be suffering from an inability to comprehend the written word.  Here is the quote from the product page that led me to believe that they're telling you upfront that it isn't quite ready for prime time.  I've emphasized some things that triggered my opinion so you can tell me why I'm wrong:
<blockquote><i>
Data Architect <font size=+1><b>will</b></font> be available for Linux and Windows platforms.
</i></blockquote>
Here's a statement from their Changelog page which makes it clear they're concentrating on PostgreSQL and even there have a ways to go:
<blockquote><i>
The plan was to get 100% of PostgreSQL support done for this release but the Linux World show in San Francisco caused that to be pushed back. However, this release does contain much better PostgreSQL support and better ODBC support.
</i></blockquote>
OK, the release in question was at the end of August but this certainly makes me feel that they're being upfront about the fact that the product's a preliminary version.
<p>So, sure, it breaks now (so does OpenACS 4.x alpha in many horrible ways) but that's why it's not done by anyone's standards - including theirs.
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Posted by Daryl Biberdorf on
Don, this hardly worth arguing over, and I can agree that words like "will work" point to an unfinished state. However, the Kompany folks never really say that the software is or is not beta (on any platform). Overall, I think numbering the current version 1.3.x, while mentioning a coming 2.0 release, makes it sound like this product is further along than it is. Of course, it's not open source, so I'm unsure how I can help them fix the code. Who knows what the production version's price will be, either? Certainly they're not oblivious that their competition sells for $3,000!
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Posted by kapil thangavelu on
people using oracle should check out http://tora.sf.net

its gpl and uses the qt toolkit and works for nix and win platforms.

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Posted by Jun Yamog on
Tora is ok.  So far its the best tool that I have encountered that is open source.  The funny thing about Oracle is that why does 817EE for windows comes with DBA Studio?  817EE for Linux does not?  This DBA Studio is Java.  Oh well write once run all?  I haven't tried to run DBA studio in Linux though.  Has anybody tried to run DBA Studio in Linux?

Jun

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Posted by Rafael Calvo on
ObjectsbyDesign.com has an interesting list of UML tools. Not sure which one I would use for OACS,
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15: Re: Data modeling tools? (response to 1)
Posted by Ciaran De Buitlear on
We use TOAD and Oracle Designer (with Oracle).
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16: Re: Data modeling tools? (response to 1)
Posted by Info ModelRight on
We are introducing a new exciting, state of the art, Oracle modeling product. Check the free version at www.modelright.com.
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17: Re: Data modeling tools? (response to 1)
Posted by Mee W on
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18: Re: Data modeling tools? (response to 1)
Posted by ovidiu capmare on
try SQLPOWER tool, power*Architect
is open source.......

you'll like it.....