SQLMinus - a far friendlier SQL client

"The SQL Client that sucks far less."-me, circa 1997

What is SQLMinus ?

SQLMinus is an SQL Client with many developer-friendly features including::
screenshot of sqlminus

Who is SQLMinus meant for?

It probably is more programmer friendly, than end-user friendly, although this is less so than earlier.
This tool is meant for fast querying of tables, repetitive querying, quick sorting and linking across tables.
It sacrifices features not used often, for ease of frequently used features. It almost completely eliminates having to type mundane SQL statements to join tables or filter data !
It is inspired by vim, mutt and other "intelligent"Unix softwares.

What are the prerequisites?

You need the following:

Downloading SQLMinus

Download SQLMinus from here

How do I install ?

This is the minimal configuration for the tool. You may study the other
options and configure them later at your own speed.

How to I run the tool?

I give the command "./runnit.sh" or "java isql/SQLForm &" on the
linux prompt in the folder
where the class file are.

When the tool loads (5-7 seconds on a P2 350 with 1.4.2), i press the connect button (unless i have configured ocnnect in the ini). This
loads the tables from the database in the list on the right top.

Clicking on a table, will populate the columns list on right bottom.

I often select a table and press the data button (or alt-D). This
displays the data in a table.

When i select a column, it gets inserted into the input area. I can thus
construct an SQL statement. I could also press the Construct button -
it will make the SQL for me. I then select the SQL with the mouse
and press "Run Selected". Or if there is only one statement
i can press "Run".

I can go to the History area and select a previously executed statement
and run it.
I frequently press "?" on a code field - immediately the related master table row is displayed. Else i am prompted to create a link.
I then keep jumping across tables without ever having to write a query.
I frequently press "o" or "O" after selecting one or more fields to sort or reverse sort on those fields.
I frequently press "y" after selecting one or more fields to save their values in memory. I can then select a table and press "alt-shift-d" to view matching rows for the saved values.
SQLMinus is really useful when it comes auto-construction. Once i set my links, it picks up descriptive fields from related tables and displays them automatically.

What does the name SQLMinus mean?

"SQLplus, minus the pain". I have used sqlplus for many years - it
doesnt provide completion of names, editing of command line etc. I
found it very frustrating. The only advantage was that you could run
sqlplus on telnet.

What about Stability/ Bugs?

Error handling is minimal, but should not affect you at all.

- In some rare instances tab-completion eats up the previous word also.
- When there is an error in command/sql, it says "Nothing selected".
- There are bugs in the metadata information returned by Oracle's drivers, thus i have put hacks in place. (in one instance the java.sql.Types field, doesnt correspond to the typename).
- mysql and Oracle often require different parameters while fetching metadata. You may need to change them if you have a problem on another database, or even on your instance. (fetching table/column/index/constraint info).
- I haven't figured out a way of informing user that a CREATE/DROP/ALTER
or other statement has succeeded.

What about speed/efficiency?

Since this is written entirely in Java, it may be slow if used with very large tables. Usually its best when jumping back and forth between a large number of linked tables, while troubleshooting an application error, or answering a query.

What does it not provide?

This list has reduced dramatically. Database specific features like running stored procedures are one feature.
- running queries in the background - calling stored procedures.

How does it stack up to other clients?

Anyone using SQLMinus?

There have been many downloads from sourceforge. Once in a while i get a mail of appreciation (much welcome), so there are many users.

How can I help?

- Use the tool
- Report bugs to me at rahulkumar at users dot sourceforge dot net )
- Give feedback on features required
- Give suggestions for improving the UI
- Be a vegetarian. Stop killing living beings.

More details on features - see features

How does it look ?

On clicking Meta button
Selected Employee Table
Then click Data button
Select Frame View, select a table, then click Data button
Select Employee and Dept and click Construct
Select department and then List, View Columns
Select department and then List, View Indexes
Autolink example - on Timesheet table, select EMPID fields and press ?. View related Employee Data. Jump to other related tables from there.
AutoConstruct example - Select fields from only TimesheetItems, 3 others tables are linked, and descriptions of selected codes displayed.
Note: This software works fine, but is more or less abandoned. IF yu wish you may take over the source and continue.
See Raining Sockets for a high-performance NIO framework High Performance IO in Java

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