Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: PowerBuilder

PowerBuilder: Article

Embarcadero's Rapid SQL Version 5.7

Embarcadero's Rapid SQL Version 5.7

There's nothing more tedious than having to type out SQL. While the glory of PowerBuilder rests primarily within its DataWindow technology, which saves us from most of this horror, we still need to write our own stored procedures, triggers, and other SQL logic.

The database painter does have a SQL painter in its ISQL pane, but it's limited when it comes time to write stored procedures, triggers, and other objects. We may be able to use it to write some relatively complex queries, but then we have to play games to get it to work in another database object, such as a stored procedure, let alone all of the procedure syntax we still need to code.

The database painter also allows table data manipulation, which is hard to come by in DBMS tools. You can even do some DDL painting as well, but what we're mostly concerned with here is DBMS development from an application developer's point of view. (I know. I write DDL, too. But some shops leave that to the DBA.) What tools out there not only assist developers by offering better ways to create, test, tune, and debug database SQL and its related objects, but also offer enough functionality that we don't have to flip back to the PB database painter for obscure features?

The product I've found to be most complete in DBMS development features is Rapid SQL by Embarcadero. Rapid SQL is geared primarily to application developers, so it doesn't have DBA functionality, such as database backup and restore or object migration. Whether you're coding stored procedures, triggers, or complex queries, Rapid SQL makes the job substantially easier. Its interface is exceptionally rich and intuitive. Rapid SQL also offers debugging modules for Oracle and MS SQL Server, although these are add-ons that must be purchased for use.

Besides some of the product's basic functions, I'm going to concentrate on four features that will be most beneficial to PowerBuilders. Mind you, this product comes with a plethora of functions that you'll no doubt come to love and depend on in your development efforts. I've tried to focus on the most enticing features, although what entices me may differ from what entices you. To give a more rounded overview of Rapid SQL, I've also provided a quick list of great features at the end of this article.

Installation and General Information
Let's start by discussing what Rapid SQL requires and what it supports. To run Rapid SQL, you need at least 64 megabytes of memory and 40 megabytes of disk space. It's a client-only installation that can run on Windows 9x, NT4, or 2000. Currently, it supports four DBMS versions running on Windows NT or Unix-based servers, and each one must be paid for. You can select one, all, or any combination of the four DBMSs. Regardless of the number of DBMSs you want to work against, you need to run only one instance of Rapid SQL. It supports cross-platform concurrent connections and allows you to develop against these via workspaces.

To install Rapid SQL you must be logged on with administrator privileges. The installation is standard, offering you choice of program location, etc. One piece of the install you need to pay attention to is when you're asked if you'd like Rapid SQL to automatically register your "datasources." By this we mean your server and database connections as you've defined them through your DBMS clients. If you choose to not allow the installation to handle the registration, you can do it manually later.

All the work you do in Rapid SQL will be applied to the server and database you've selected via the "Managed Datasources" treeview in the Explorer pane of the IDE (see Figure 1). You can connect manually and enter a user ID and password each time you connect or you can opt for an automatic login and default database.

In the Explorer pane, you can expand databases and specific object types. For instance, in Figure 1 I've expanded Procedures and can now see all of the procedures in that database. From here you can perform many functions via the right-click popup menu, such as extract the procedure for editing, list out the procedure's dependencies, rename the procedure, and describe the procedure's signature.

Code Generation Facility
The Code Generation Facility is a quick-and-clean way to hammer out straightforward stored procedures or, if you're using Oracle, functions and packages. By straightforward, I mean no table joins or computed columns will be generated in this utility. But fear not, it will still save you a ton of coding.

When you open the Code Generation Facility, you're presented with the screen shown in Figure 2. Here you select the datasource that contains the table or view you'll be creating the procedure to act against. After selecting the table, go to the Generate group box and select the type(s) of procedures you want generated: Select, Insert, Update, or Delete. You can choose one or many. The system will generate separate procedures for each type and name them accordingly. If you opted to create a Select procedure, you'll need to check off the columns you want in the result set in the Output Columns group box.

The Where Clause Columns group box determines what variable arguments will be generated in the procedure signature. These are automatically coded into any Where clauses throughout the code for Select, Update, and Delete. For Insert procedures, these are the columns and variables used in the Insert statement.

The Grant Execute group box allows you to choose what users and/or groups should have a Grant Execute statement generated.

Finally, you need to provide a file name into which the Code Generation Facility will place procedure scripts. You can check the Execute Immediately checkbox to have the new procedures immediately loaded into the database when you click OK. If not, the generated file is opened for your review and editing in the SQL pane. Let me tell you, this is quick and clean. The code is as professional as they come. All of your Rollback and Commit statements are there, and the structure is perfect.

Query Builder
This is one feature that PowerBuilder developers will feel right at home using. It's akin to the graphical SQL painter in PB. We've all opted to use the PowerBuilder SQL painter over our database tools because they're so slick. Too many times I've had to bounce between PB and other editors cutting and pasting, just to save time coding, and more importantly, to avoid syntax errors. While not as feature-packed as the PowerBuilder SQL painter, Rapid SQL offers its own graphical Query Builder that alleviates the pain of this scenario.

Once you're in the Query Builder, select the database and owner of the tables and views you'll be using for your query. To begin creating your query, click-and-drag tables from the Tables/Views tab into the design area. Select the columns you want in your result set by checking them in the graphical area. Once you start, you'll see your query being built in the SQL tab. Joins are automatically created based on relationship, but you can remove or add joins as you please.

From the DML tab, you can easily design all of the standard query clauses: Where, Order By, Group By, Having, and so forth. Again, as you do this you'll see the query being modified within the SQL tab.

If at any time you're having doubts as to the syntactical worthiness of this automatically generated SQL, you can hit the ever-present Check-Syntax button for a review. When your query is ready, you can execute it right from here by clicking the Execute button. If you're using this as a starting point from a more complex query, you can switch into SQL Edit mode by trying to modify the query in the SQL tab. Rapid SQL will prompt you into Edit mode. If you need to abandon your query for another day, you can save your work in progress to a Query Builder File (*.eqb) and open it some other time.

Projects and Version Control
Whether you've got a version control product in-house or not, you'll love the Projects tool in Rapid SQL. A project in Rapid SQL is basically a file repository of your entire database's object DDL, DML, etc. This can be initialized by reverse engineering the objects out of your existing database or existing scripts or you can choose to not initialize a project and start from scratch. Let's be realistic and start with an existing database.

When creating a new project, you'll be prompted to select a drive and folder for the repository as well as a name for the project. Select Initialize New Project from Database and press OK. This brings you into a wizard that lets you get as selective as you want in choosing database objects to be loaded into the project folders. Rapid SQL extracts all of the selected objects and stores the scripts in nicely arranged folders. As you work within the project, you can add or remove scripts, specify object build orders, and build the project to completion if you so choose.

Rapid SQL currently supports the following version control products: Merant/Intersolv PVCS Version Manager, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, MKS Source Integrity. It seamlessly integrates with these products allowing you, from within Rapid SQL, to check-in, check out, show history and differences, and so forth. Again, you can stay in Rapid SQL to do your work!

Data Editor
For PowerBuilders who've gotten accustomed to the database painter allowing table data manipulation, this will be a sight for sore eyes. Have you ever needed to fudge data for a test you're running? No more writing scripts!

Rapid SQL lets you jump right into your table data in a nice grid format in which you can add, delete, and modify rows (see Figure 3). You don't have to retrieve every row in the table, either. When you enter the Edit Data module, you're prompted for any filter criteria you might have. The selected columns and rows are returned and you can start editing data live or in batch mode. If you choose live, the changes are executed immediately. If you choose batch, the scripts are generated and await your command! Either way, you can watch the scripts in the SQL tab as well as all of your changes in the History tab.

Quick List of Other Great Features

  • Database Search: Powerful search tools will traverse multiple servers, databases, and object types to find your criteria.
  • Visual Difference: These are cross-database, line-by-line comparisons of database objects, whether in the database or through script files.
  • Debuggers: These are add-ons that are DBMS-specific - debug procedures, triggers, functions, and packages.
  • Favorites Tab: Keep all of your frequently run scripts neatly organized and easily executed.
  • Workspaces: These are three multithreaded workspaces so you can keep working while executing long-running scripts.
  • Java Scripting: This rapid SQL includes a Java file editor.
  • HTML Scripting: It also includes an HTML editor.
  • Find-In Files: Allows you to search multiple files for specific data under any given folder.
Two Thumbs Up
Space doesn't allow me to continue telling you how great this product is. I've worked with a lot of good tools and a lot of bad tools, and nothing has impressed me in the same manner as Rapid SQL. It definitely has room for improvement, specifically in the Query Builder and Code Generator. Overall, though, it's an invaluable product that should be on every developer's PC.

Embarcadero offers a free 15-day full-version trial that can be downloaded from its Web site. But beware, once you use this product for 15 days you'll be hopelessly hooked.

Embarcadero
425 Market Street, Suite 425
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-834-3131
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web:
www.embarcadero.com

Specifications
DBMS Support
Rapid SQL supports the following DBMS versions
running on both UNIX and Windows NT-based servers:
Sybase 11.x & 12.x, MS SQL Server 6.5, 7.0, 2000,
Oracle 7.x & 8.x, and IBM DB2 UDB 5.x, 6.x & 7.x

System Requirements
Windows 95/98/NT/2000,
32MB memory and 37.5 MB disk space
*The Profiler is only available for installations
of Oracle version 8.1.5 or higher.

Price: Negotiated based on DBMS support,
number of users, and any add-ons.

More Stories By Tom Peters

Tom Peters is director of online applications for Sherwood International in Armonk, NY, an ISV that specializes in insurance software. Tom is a CPD professional with over 15 years' experience.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...