Version 3.2.0 Published

Main items of interest in this version :

  • Requires at least Java 8 and can be used in a Java 11 environment
  • Improved logging and error handling
  • Improved look and feel for dark themes
  • Bug fixes, mainly related to diagrams saved with the .schemadsl file extension
  • Upgrade Groovy to v2.5.6 (was 2.4.7; note that at the time of writing the most current Groovy 2.5 version is 2.5.8)
  • Help information is now finally complete and up-to-date and the diagram editor is listed on the Eclipse Welcome page (in the Overview section).

See my GitHub repository for a list of all changes.

Make sure you have a look at the Help information, and if all goes well, your attention will be drawn to it in the Eclipse Welcome page after you have updated to this new version :

Knipsel

I have also added the archive version of the new update site on Bintray; look at the bottom of the page in the Downloads section :

bintray_downloads_archive

The temporary ‘snapshot’ update site (https://dl.bintray.com/kozzeluc/dmlj/snapshot) is currently unavailable; once I start developing for the next version, it will be back…

Thanks to all of you for being interested in my project; I hope it is still useful in your day-to-day IDMS work (it is for me) – I’m proud that during the last couple of years it has been installed in a lot of countries :

installs_sept_2019

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Help !

Just a small message to inform you that the next version of the diagram editor will have its help information updated; until now, this was far from complete so if you’re just starting to use the diagram editor then you’ll be very happy to know that you can find a lot of information via the Eclipse Help system.

Now, of course I want to know people that the help information has been updated, so in the future (and after you updated the diagram editor), you’ll see the diagram editor mentioned on the Eclipse Welcome page :

Continue reading Help !

Time for an Update

For the last 2 years or so I have been busy doing interesting things like learning Kotlin, developing Groovy AST transformations, writing a Spring Boot application (in Kotlin) with a UI running in Eclipse and communicating via REST and, more recently, Docker, running containerised versions of my Spring Boot application and MySQL on my Macbook and Synology NAS.

Work on the diagram editor was paused.

Recent years have seen a number of Java versions being released and especially Java 11 is requiring some attention since some packages were removed :  the diagram editor has issues when used in an Eclipse workbench that runs on Java 11 (or 12).

Some bugs with the .schemadsl file extension have come to light and there are areas where error situations are not dealt with in the right way, so there is room for improvement for logging.

The ‘dark theme’ in Eclipse has improved a lot during the last 2 years but diagrams don’t look too good when opened with the latest version of the diagram editor; I simply never paid any attention to this aspect.

It’s time for an update.

I’ve picked up work on the diagram editor again and will publish a new version in the nearby future, focusing on the items above.  I have put a snapshot version of what I already have over here :  https://dl.bintray.com/kozzeluc/dmlj/snapshot.  You can use this URI to define an extra update site in your Eclipse preference so you can update to this new version.

The snapshot version requires at least Java 8 and should also run on Java 11 (and maybe even 12; let’s forget about Java 9 and 10 for now).  This is how the Employee Demo schema looks like with a dark theme :

Screenshot 2019-03-31 at 14.53.04

I haven’t tested each and every feature in the snapshot version on Java 11 (nor on Java 8) so chances are that additional problems arise.

There’s one thing I have been doing during the last 2 years (or, more specifically, since I moved the update site to Bintray) :  monitor the countries in which the diagram editor is used (or installed) and the list has become impressive :

installs_march_2019

(colours are random).

Installations All Around the World

I just wanted to post an updated image showing you WHERE the Eclipse Schema Diagram Editor was installed during the last half year.  I must say I’m both impressed and surprised (ad of course pleased) to see that my software has been installed all around the world.  I’m curious whether you installed the diagram editor because you’re using IDMS or whether you’re in the process of writing a graphical editor for Eclipse with the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF) and just wanted to look at an example… please let me know by commenting on this post ! 😉

installs

Old Update Site Removed

The old update site (http://users.skynet.be/dmlj) has already been removed because with 30 installs/updates last month, I think most of you can find their way to the new update site at Bintray (https://dl.bintray.com/kozzeluc/dmlj/latest).

The following illustration (taken from Bintray) shows where the Eclipse CA IDMS™/DB Schema Diagram Editor has been installed or updated last month :

installs_20170429_122000

The archived update site was downloaded in Germany, but the above map is for the live update site only (that’s why Germany is white).  If your country is white but you would like to see it colored, make sure to install or update the diagram editor somewhere this May 😉

Update Site has moved to Bintray

Because the space I have available from my internet provider is only 50Mb and because we started experiencing problems when installing due to (I guess) a firewall issue, I needed to look for an alternative for the diagram editor’s Eclipse update site.  Bintray offers a lot more space, so that from now on I can publish each new version while retaining the previous ones (the actual update site however only contains the latest version).

Apart from installing through HTTPS instead of HTTP, you shouldn’t notice too many differences when installing the product for the first time via the Eclipse Marketplace Client, nothing has changed in that respect (I hope you don’t have too much trouble because of HTTPS, you might need to talk to your firewall guys or download the archive with your browser).

If you already have installed the diagram editor and you would like to continue to receive updates, you should change the update site in the Eclipse preferences.  Look for the update site definition and change the URL from http://users.skynet.be/luc_h/dmlj to https://dl.bintray.com/kozzeluc/dmlj/latest :

new_update_site

If you make this modification and run ‘Help/Check for Updates’, you can update to the new version 3.1.0.  The only new feature is the ‘Copy to Clipboard‘ menu item, which lets you copy your entire diagram to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it in the graphics program of your choice (Paint, …).  I think this can be of help when cutting up your diagram into several pages (because printing large diagrams is still problematic in the diagram editor).

For now, version 3.0.2 will stay for some time at the old update site URL, but I won’t put any new version there.  So you really should change your update site definition.

The installation manual has been updated.  You can now download the update site archive from Bintray and stash it on your local file system; this wasn’t possible in the past.

Managing Diagram Versions with GIT

You have several options for versioning your IDMS diagrams, but I think Git is one of the most interesting today, because it allows you to do versioning WITHOUT the need for a server AND it is free 😉 On top of that, Eclipse comes with a fairly easy to use interface for Git. This blog post shows you how to start versioning your IDMS diagrams on your local machines TODAY.

In the following example, all IDMS diagrams are kept in a project called ‘Getting Started’. That project is located in the Eclipse workspace folder and is visible in both the Package Explorer and Project Explorer views.  The goal is to create a local Git repository and move the diagrams into that repository so that each committed change leaves a trace in the repository and can be used for comparisons or to be restored should the need arise.

First of all, make a backup of your Eclipse workspace folder.

Next, open the Git perspective by selecting the Window/Perspective/Open Perspective menu item and then selecting it in the list of available perspectives :

01_open_git-perspective

The leftmost view (the Git Repositories view) in the Git perspective allows you to create a new local Git repository; which is (just) a folder on your file system containing your project(s) and Git’s own folders and files needed for managing your files and versions.  Click on the Create a new local Git repository link :

02_create_new_local_repo_1

Select an empty folder on your file system AND, for performance reasons, make sure that folder is NOT a subfolder of your Eclipse workspace folder :

03_create_new_local_repo_2

After pressing the Finish button, the Git Repositories view shows you your new local repository, with the ‘NO-HEAD’ indicator next the folder name (‘IDMS’ in our example). That indicator will change to ‘master’ later on and represents the name of the branch you have checked out (I won’t discuss branching and merging here).  Apart from a folder called ‘.git’, the ‘Working Tree’ is empty because you have not yet committed any diagrams yet.

04_local_repo_created

I suggest you create a general Eclipse project in your new IDMS folder (i.e. outside the Eclipse workspace); start the Eclipse General project creation wizard via the File/New/Project… menu item.

05_create_new_general_project_1

Give your project a name (e.g. ‘diagrams’) AND make sure to uncheck the ‘Use default location’ checkbox; select the ‘IDMS’ folder on your file system :

06_create_new_general_project_2

The new project will now be visble in the Package Explorer and Project Explorer views (despite the fact that it is not stored in your workspace folder).

Copy (or move) your diagram files in either the Package Explorer or Project Explorer views.  There are several manners to accomplish this, if you want to move them, just select your diagram files and drag them to your newly created ‘diagrams’ project :

07_copy_diagram_files_1

Your Package Explorer (or Project Explorer) view should now look like this :

08_copy_diagram_files_2

You are now ready to commit your diagram files to your local Git repository.  Switch to the Git perspective by pressing the Git perspective’s toolbaar button on the top right of your screen :

09_switch_to_git_perspective

In the Git Staging view you will now see your diagram files in the ‘Unstaged Changes’ section.  Drag them to the ‘Staged Changes’ section, which represents the so-called Git index (or staging area); this is where you prepare your commits.

10_about_to_commit_1

Finally, enter a commit message in the appropriate section; press the Commit button :

11_about_to_commit_2

You have now successfully committed your first diagram in your local Git repository.  You will notice that a file called ‘.project’ is now shown in the ‘Unstaged Changes’ section; this file is needed by Eclipse and contains your project name.  Drag this file to the Git Index. We could create a separate commit for this file but Git allows you to add (and modify and remove) additional items, so press the Amend (Edit Previous Commit) button

12_about_to_commit_3

You have the chance to modify the commit message before you press the Commit button :

13_about_to_commit_4

Unless you rename your project, you will not have to go through the .project file hassle again.

Switch back to the Java perspective to reveal the Package Explorer view again :

14_switch_to_java_perspective

The nice thing about having your diagrams versioned is the fact that you can compare 2 versions, e.g. the Package Explorer (and Project Explorer) view’s context menu have a Compare With menu item, offering several options.  If you want to compare your workspace version with the last committed version, select the context menu’s HEAD Revision menu item :

15_compare_with_1

For demonstration purposes, I’ve added an email address field to the EMPSCHM schema’s EMPLOYEE record (without committing yet); when comparing the workspace version with the last committed version, a compare editor will open, showing you the differences between the 2 :

16_compare_with_2

Note that comparing 2 diagram versions will only be practical if you save your diagrams with the .schemadsl file extension; the original .schema file extension contains fairly complex XML, so comparing files with that file extension will be challenging.

The Git perspective also has a History view.  If you select the History view and then select your local repository in the Git Repositories view, you will get a list of all commits for the current branch (‘master’ in our case).  Just play around with this; you will see that you can open previous versions of your diagrams…

17_history

(note that I added some commits for demonstration purposes).

If you want to learn more about Git, you can find a lot of tutorials and books on the Internet.  This blog post was just to inform you about the possibilities it offers for you as an IDMS DBA.

by Luc Hermans