About DBDesigner 4


I am one of those people – maybe because I am not a real programmer – that arrived late at the scene using DBDesigner 4.

While we were working in the design of our MPD (that includes Eliot, who recently moved to MPD from Logistics and has never coded, and me, the marketing guy so agitated by our IT people neglect that decided to take on RoR) after our pre-alpha presentation. We felt we had a great app, and then the sales and product line managers started to ask for all the specifications they could think of. Basically stuff they never even bothered with before the existence of our database project.

ArielAnd all of the sudden my carefully drawn database schema in pen and paper (real nice Cambridge quad ruled paper) did not look so good. I started to add attributes and types, and the space was not enough. A couple of days later I added some coffee stains, and the database schema looked downright depressive.

I imagined someone had already done some program to map MySQL databases (or any relational database for that matter.) I used Google to search a little bit and found DBDesigner 4, which looked beautiful and was open source. Good enough for me. Ten minutes later I learned how to start using it, which is pretty good timing for a marketing guy.

The problem is that DBDesigner 4 doesn’t get along well with MySQL 5.0. Nor does it get along well with version 4.1 either… It has something to do with the new and old password system. And it’s a shame, because the program looks and feels great. I decided to keep using it, since it’s a snap to just design a database and then have it create the code to create the database apart. I can easily paste it into Notepad or similar and voila!

In case you haven’t been up to the news, the DBDesigner 4 team is now working for MySQL AB in the development of the MySQL Workbench. The support forum for the DBD4 is closed down for alleged attacks. This is straight from their site:

“Due to several attacks against the DBDesigner4 forum it has now been closed down.
We simply cannot understand the sick motivation of people to attack Open Source projects. So please understand that we will not provide any support from now on.

We will continue to host the DBD4 download till the release of the MySQL Workbench, its successor application that will be an official MySQL product. Then this project will rest in peace.”

Maybe it’s me, but I can’t use MySQL Workbench. I have seen posts saying it works great, and others who say it doesn’t work that well. In my case, I can’t even get started. No matter what icons I press, nothing seems to work or I am missing far too many modules or libraries to make it work.

If anyone reading knows anyone from the DBDesigner 4 or MySQL Workbench send them my regards. I love the first product and certainly hope they get the second one working 100% soon. And I say this from the heart. You should have seen our IT folk here, proud of their Oracle databases, when we showed them our full-color database schema complete with 1:n and n:m relationships. It made us look like the MIS experts (and I admit I learned a great deal while using DBD4!)

Now, does anyone know a way to make DBD4 working with MySQL 5.0? I heard something about changing password mode to the old mode (sorry, I am not that knowledgeable on MySQL password and security modes… Panama is a country where my worst competitor and I have lunch together all the time.)

It also made me wonder what could go wrong in MySQL Workbench for the delay. DBD4 has problems under the new MySQL security model connecting and synchronizing table schemas. But you can still use the program without that (much appreciated) option. I would have originally thought that it was basically changing the UI look and feel, fixing the connection code, and changing the logo. Maybe it’s a lot more complicated than that.

At least I don’t have to use PowerPoint to recreate the schema…


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