Forum OpenACS Q&A: Data modeling tools?
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?
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...
The proprietary one I know of (besides the popular ERwin and PowerDesigner) is DataArchitect, from thekompany.com, and they support PostgreSQL very heavily.
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.
I just typed "dataarchitect" into google, hit "feeling lucky", and there I was, on the product page.
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".)
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.
Data Architect <font size=+1><b>will</b></font> be available for Linux and Windows platforms.
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:
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.
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.
its gpl and uses the qt toolkit and works for nix and win platforms.