AquaFold Adds DB2/400 Support to Database Tool
October 21, 2008 Alex Woodie
i-based Power Systems shops looking for a power tool to supercharge their database development and maintenance tasks may want to check out the latest release from AquaFold. Last week the Silicon Valley company unveiled Aqua Data Studio version 7.0, which adds support for the DB2/400 (DB2 for i) database, brings a new entity relationship modeling component that should help developers better understand how their applications consume data, and support for seven languages.
AquaFold bills its Aqua Data Studio as an integrated development environment that provides programmers, database developers, and systems administrators with a single, consistent interface to work with for all major database management systems. The Java-based product was created in 2002 by company founder and CEO, Niels Gron, as freeware, and it soon went commercial. But that hasn’t stopped the growth of the tool, which today costs $399 and has more than 300,000 users around the world.
Before ADS version 7, the software focused on three areas of functionality for relational database management systems (RDBMs). The first was graphical database administration and query. Users can browse and modify any database from the product’s GUI and create SQL scripts. The second area was a collection of comparison tools that allow users to view the differences of files, directory structures, source control files, and databases and schemas. The third area of focus was source control. Full clients for Subversion (SVN) and CVS source control systems enabled users to track all development and maintenance activity.
With the launch of ADS version 7, AquaFold has expanded into the “fourth estate” of database maintenance: database entity relationship (ER) modeling.
AquaFold says the new ER Modeler enables developers to create, explore, detail, and modify database schemas to create fully editable diagrams of database relationships and objects. What’s more, developers can modify an ER diagram and then have these changes applied to the database schemas (and the relationships they have with objects) by simply activating the automated scripting function in the product. This greatly reduces development time and can vastly improve a developer’s understanding of database schemas and relationships, the company says.
Another major new feature in ADS version 7 is support for DB2/400. (The folks at AquaFold labeled this database as “DB2 iSeries (formerly known as DB2 for i5/OS).” Technically, IBM calls it “DB2 for i,” but if you just use the informal “DB2/400,” everybody will know what you’re talking about.)
Like it does for other databases, ADS provides a way for developers or administrators to manage the DB2/400 database and write queries. From the schema browser, users can visually edit many elements of their DB2/400 database, including tables, views, indexes, packages, sequences, stored procedures, triggers, aliases, nicknames, user-defined functions, materialized views, and user-defined datatypes.
The product’s query window is where the developers write and fine tune their SQL scripts. The split-paned and tabbed interface of the ADS query window gives SQL developers all kinds of shortcuts, including automated formatters, syntax coloring controls, auto completion, and auto describe features. Developers also select the format of their results from this view (data, INSERT statement, XML, HTML, or XLS are the options), view the SQL archive, or pull up the table-data editor for previewing the SQL changes before committing.
The version of ADS for DB2/400 includes most of the other editors and tools, including the ER modeler, comparison tools, import and export tools, script generators, and source control functions.
AquaFold has made many other enhancements in ADS version 7, including: support for English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Japanese (to go along with localization for simplified and traditional Chinese, Russian, and Korean); support for the integrated debuggers for DB2 for LUW (Linux, Unix, and Windows, otherwise known as DB2 UDB) and Microsoft SQL Server; the introduction of new tools for monitoring and managing the configuration, storage requirements, and security controls of DB2 for LUW and MySQL databases; support for pivot charts; new filters and sorting in the visual table editor; and support for character-level comparisons, among many other enhancements.
ADS version 7 is available now. Single-user commercial licenses start at $399. Developers actively participating in open source projects may be eligible for a free copy of ADS as part of its recently introduced open source developer license. In any case, free 14-day trials are available from the company’s Web site at www.aquafold.com.