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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19

    Do you prefer graphical tools or DDL for DB definition?

    I've been using Sparx Enterprise Architect for a while, to draw DB diagrams and generate DDL code. I prefer writing DDL to drawing in Sparx, because it's faster and gives you better control, but I put up with Sparx and generate the DDL with it, because that way the diagrams will always be in sync with the DB.

    DB programming and design is a rather small part of my work, so I'm curious what those of you who are more or less full time DB jockeys prefer, DDL code or graphical designer tools?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    20,002
    not fulltime any more, but 30+ years in database design

    much prefer DDL

    graphic interfaces are all crappy, each and every one
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19
    I half expected a few differing strong opinions on this subject, but from the absence of posts, I assume that everybody agrees with Rudy. That would pretty much mirror my experience with OO code vs UML tools - the graphic tools are great for drawing the big picture, but IMHO painful to use as code generation tools.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    For large or complex problems, automation is the only way I know to solve the problem so I use a tool like ERWin to help me manage the schema. At least for me, "Large" starts somewhere between 200 and 300 tables and complex starts with about five hundred relations.

    For small to medium problems, I like the speed and the relative simplicity of writing my own DDL.

    As a side note, when you need to build a schema that can be implemented across multiple database engines (such as DB2, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, and Oracle) or multiple database models (such as SQL, Eifel, PICK, and MUMPS) a modeling tool is also a great help. There are many ideas and modeling approaches that don't work across all database models.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,367
    I don't use any GUI tools to do DBA type of work and never will.

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