Rational Data Architect and DB2 9: The Rest of the Database Explorer View

In my latest articles, I’ve
been writing about the IBM Rational Data Architect (Rational DA) integrated
development environment (IDE) that’s specifically designed for those involved
in data server design and schema evolution. So far, I’ve shown you how to add a
database connection, which becomes the basis from which all of your work is
directed. In addition, I’ve detailed how to build SQL statements using the SQL
builder and the SQL editor, and described a bunch of really cool features that
minimize design time errors and lead to faster and more robust deployments. I’ve
also explained how to visualize your database storage using a storage diagram.
In this article, I detail the rest of the features in the Database Explorer
view.

To follow along with this present article, you should have a
connection to the SAMPLE database (created by entering the db2sample –xml command
from your operating system’s command line processor) and have a live connection
to it from the Database Explorer view.

Database Explorer view actions from a database object

You can perform a number of
actions from a database object in the Database Explorer view. You can see these
options by right-clicking your database connection:

The actions that you can perform from a selected database are:

  • Copy – Copies a database connection’s objects into
    the Data Model folder of a Data Design project located within the Database
    Project Explorer view. (You will learn more about Rational DA projects in
    subsequent articles in this series.)

    In the previous figure, you can see
    that the SAMPLE database connection was copied and pasted into the PZDataDesignProject
    and can be viewed within the Data Model folder.

  • New SQL Statement – As detailed in a previous
    article
    in this series, invokes the SQL editor or SQL builder so you can
    create an SQL statement.

  • Generate DDL – Generates the data definition language
    (DDL) required to recreate the selected object. When you select this option
    from a database, you can choose from among several objects and supporting
    business rules available to include in the generated DDL.

    In the following example, you can
    see that I’ve instructed Rational DA to generate the DDL with fully qualified
    names for the database and its existing tables. I’ve specifically left out other
    objects in the schema, and business rules such as referential integrity
    constraints and primary key constraints:

    Rational DA gives you the option to
    run the generated DDL immediately or place the entire DDL into a designated project
    as a script file:

    In the previous figure, you can see
    that I selected a project in which to place the generated DDL script file using
    Browse and a corresponding Rational DA project. (I used the project I showed
    you how to create in a previous
    article.
    ) When you have specified a project and its path, click Next, verify
    the scripting actions you requested in the Summary window, and click Finish.

    All the generated DDL is placed in
    the selected project’s SQL Scripts folder as a script file called script1.sql:

  • Visualize Topology Diagram – Creates a read-only
    visualization diagram of the peer relationships among objects in your data
    server (for example, schemas and tables). You can drill down into these objects
    by clicking to
    expand each object tree:

    You can see in the previous figure
    that the generated topology diagram includes federated tables as well as
    regular tables. For example, the Northwind1 object is actually a
    federated nickname that represents a table that resides in a Microsoft Access
    database, where two other tables, called ORDERS and EMPLOYEES, reside.

    A dashed line in this diagram shows
    peer relationships between source and target objects. A peer relationship line
    can show connections between nicknames (as is the case above), tables, views,
    materialized query tables (MQTs), and table aliases.

    If you right-click an object in a
    topology diagram, you see a pop-up menu with the options that you can perform
    on that object. For example, you can hide a table or schema from the topology
    diagram or quickly navigate to its location in the Database Explorer view.

    Note that if the topology diagram
    is very large, you can navigate it using the Outline view, as discussed
    in my
    previous article on storage diagrams
    . In addition, note the filtering icon
    ()
    in the top-right corner of the database name in this topology diagram. This
    icon indicates that the database has a filter applied to it. (In a previous
    article
    in this series, I showed you how to apply schema filters to
    database connections in the Data Explorer view.)

    You can use the Preferences button
    (shown at the top of the diagram in the previous figure) to configure the way
    the topology diagram looks in Rational DA.

    When you click this button, the
    following window opens:

    Use the Peer relationships controls
    to show or hide relationships between objects in the database. For example, Always
    show peer relationships
    (selected by default) shows the relationship lines between
    related objects (as shown in the topology diagram used in this article). Hide
    peer relationships until the object is selected
    hides the dashed lines until
    you select the object.

    Use the Icon text style controls
    to set how names appear in the topology diagram. Truncate long text,
    selected by default, shortens long object names, as shown in the sample
    topology diagram. Wrap long text shows the full names of these objects:

    The rest of the fields in this
    window can be used to filter the schema (if it isn’t already filtered) and the tables
    in the diagram.

  • Refresh – Updates the objects shown in a view. For
    example, when you create a new table in the database, this option refreshes the
    objects in the Database Explorer view so that the new table appears.

    The Refresh option exists on
    every folder’s pop-up menu in the Database Explorer view. If you select it from
    the pop-up menu of a database object, it refreshes all the database’s folders.
    In contrast, if you select this option from a single folder, only the objects
    in that folder are refreshed.

Paul Zikopoulos
Paul Zikopoulos
Paul C. Zikopoulos, BA, MBA is the Program Director for the DB2 Evangelist team at IBM. He is an award-winning writer and speaker with more than 14 years of experience with DB2. Paul has written more than 230 magazine articles and 11 books on DB2 including, Information on Demand: Introduction to DB2 9.5 New Features, DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Guide and Reference (6th Edition), DB2 9: New Features, Information on Demand: Introduction to DB2 9 New Features, Off to the Races with Apache Derby, DB2 Version 8: The Official Guide, DB2: The Complete Reference, DB2 Fundamentals Certification for Dummies, DB2 for Dummies, and A DBA's Guide to Databases on Linux. Paul is a DB2 Certified Advanced Technical Expert (DRDA and Clusters) and a DB2 Certified Solutions Expert (BI and DBA). In his spare time, he enjoys all sorts of sporting activities, including running with his dog Chachi, avoiding punches in his MMA training, and trying to figure out the world according to Chloë - his daughter.

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