If you are like me, you have spent many many hours creating database layouts on legal pads, notebooks, and whiteboards, only to have to recreate the layout again to actually create the layout in the database. This process can consume many hours of additional time in a development project. But thanks to Malcom Hardie we can streamline our SQL database creation process with the use of SQLEditor.

SQLEditor provides the best interface that I have seen to create your database layout in a very visual format. It allows you to build your

tables specifying the column types, linking with foreign keys, and dragging the table layouts around the canvas so that you can easily understand what you were building at a glance when you come back to a project after an extended period.

But the best part comes after the database design is complete, you can export it to a PDF for distribution around the office, send it to a plotter to print a large wall size copy for reference.

But then comes the fun part, after you have made all of your changes to the database layout you can either export the contents directly to a txt file in the SQL dialect of your choice (MySQL, Oracle, Postgresql, etc…) or even connect directly to a database using JDBC drivers and propagate your changes directly to the running database server.

SQLEditor has full support for Mac OS X 10.6 and is ready to run on your Mac Development System.

Although this solution is not freeware or open source, it is an essential tool for every developer who designs or develops database integration strategies. I highly recommend this product and it is well worth the expense to purchase it for the time it will save you. But don’t worry like most software applications it comes with a hassle free 30 day free trial period so you can see how effective it will be in your development workflow.

Here is an extended list of features:

  • Visual editing, including drag and drop
  • Live source view – the SQL source changes as you edit the diagram
  • Ruby On Rails Migrations – SQLEditor can export them and now (in v1.4) import them too!
  • With SQLEditor’s reverse engineering you can import existing databases to diagram and SQLEditor will create an ER diagram for you.
  • Once you’ve created your diagram you can export it directly via JDBC to one of several supported database systems including Postgresql, Oracle® and MySQL®.
  • You can save your database to an SQL instruction (DDL) file for immediate use on remote servers or with other tools.
  • Import existing DDL files directly into SQLEditor
  • Copy and paste to import and export supported SQL to and from SQLEditor
  • You can print out designs so that you can see your database up on the wall.1 SQLEditor also supports PDF output for easy sharing.

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