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Choosing a MySQL CASE Tool, Page 2

  • By Voja Janjic
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Which MySQL CASE Tool to Use

As I mentioned previously, there are many CASE tools on the market. Among those that aren't free, I would point out MicroOLAP. Its price is not high ($125) compared with some other CASE software solutions, which can cost more than $1000. Also, MicroOLAP allows you to create stored MySQL procedures, a feature that is not supported by most other database modeling tools.

For free CASE tools, the best known products are MySQL Workbench and DBDesigner. Their features are pretty similar. However, I prefer DBDesigner slightly because it doesn't require the installation of Visual C++ Studio and it is a bit simpler to use.

When you have installed and opened DBDesigner, you will get a new blank sheet. On the right side you will see the data types, which can be grouped by type and edited. You can also add your own data types that you use frequently in your applications (e.g. it is good to add int(10) as a new datatype, as it is the most common primary key type in MySQL). Below the data types you will see the table list. You can sort the tables alphabetically or by region (useful for large database structures).

On the left side, you can see the database table relations. Just click on the desired relation, select the first table and then the second, and DBDesigner will create the appropriate foreign keys or new tables if necessary. By going to file tab and selecting export, you can generate the MySQL create code, or save the database diagram as an image or an XML file.

You can also use reverse engineering: create the EER diagram from a database that is already built. Go to the database tab and click reverse engineering, enter your database connection info and you will get an EER model created automatically. After making changes, there is a feature to synchronize the database and insert new changes.

The Risks of MySQL CASE Tools

Although I have pointed out many advantages of MySQL CASE tools, there are also some risks associated with them. However, these risks affect mostly business users. My advice is to use CASE tools from only one company, and make sure the first project you use them on does not have a tight deadline, as they require organizational changes and additional training for your programmers and database experts.

Apart from these caveats, I recommend everyone to start using MySQL CASE software to increase their speed and productivity when creating MySQL databases.

Originally published on https://www.developer.com.

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This article was originally published on December 12, 2011

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