Visualizing Your Databases

By Eric Foster-Johnson, ITworld |  Opinion

DbVisualizer provides a graphical tool, built with the Java programming
language, for viewing data in databases, as well as executing
Structured Query Language (SQL) commands. DbVisualizer uses the Java
Database Connectivity (JDBC) interface to work with any database for
which you can get a JDBC driver. This includes all the major commercial
players such as Oracle, DB2, and Sybase. You can also get JDBC drivers
for free databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and McKoi SQL.
DbVisualizer runs on many platforms and works with virtually all
databases, making it a truly generic tool.

To connect to a database, you need the JDBC driver for that database
(see your database documentation for details) and a URL that specifies
how to talk to your database. You also need a user name and password to
connect to the database. After connecting DbVisualizer to a database,
the program presents a tree view of all the tables in the database. You
can then select a table and query or modify data in the table by
executing SQL commands, saving the results to HTML for CSV (comma-
separated-value) files. DbVisualizer also displays the structure, or
schema, of the database table by showing you the primary keys, indices,
and row counts. I really like how DbVisualizer shows the structure of
the entire database with the tree view.

Unlike many database tools, DbVisualizer also supports BLOB and CLOB
data types, binary and character (text) large objects.

To run DbVisualizer, you need a Java runtime engine version 1.2.2 or
higher, which you can get for Linux from Sun at
http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/download-linux.html, from IBM at
http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/jdk/linux130/?dwzone=java,
and from Blackdown at http://www.blackdown.org/. Blackdown provides
Java runtime engines for more than just Linux on Intel. So if you run
Linux on PowerPC or other non-Intel platforms, check Blackdown first.

DbVisualizer is a commercial product but is freely available from
http://www.minq.se/products/dbvis. You simply need to fill out a
registration form at http://www.minq.se/products/dbvis/download.html to
download the software.

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