So far in this series about the IBM Data Studio integrated development
environment (IDE) thats new with DB2 9.5, Ive shown you how to set up database
connection objects and the actions that you can perform on them. In addition,
I introduced you (in Part 2)
to some of the features available in the Database Explorer view, and in Part 3
to the concept of overview diagrams. In this article, Ill finish my tour of
overview diagrams and introduce you to some powerful features you can use with
them to make them even more useful than simple, quick visuals.
Assumptions if youre starting here...
I recommend that you start with Part
1 because we have been building on the concepts and objects created in this
series sequentially. For this article, I assume that youve created an overview
diagram and populated it with the DJCOUNTRIES and DJFRIENDS tables, as I showed
you how to do in Part 3.
Furthermore, I assume youve selected all of the display options that you want to
apply to the overview diagram as a whole. (Right-click the white space to get
At this point, your overview diagram should look similar to
the following figure:
The palette and formatting options
IBM Data Studio provides you with an overview diagram
palette that you can use to add annotations, objects, and other identifiers to your
overview diagrams that can help in the understanding of the generated topology.
The Select tool is used to select objects in the
With the Zoom tool, you can select an area of the
overview diagram to enlarge. A zoom icon appears () when
you select the Zoom tool. Click and drag to create a bounding box (), sometimes
called a marquee, around the area that you want to zoom into, and release the
mouse button as shown on the left side of the figure:
You can see in the previous figure that the Outline view
has its own bounding box (shown in blue) that you can use to navigate large
overview diagrams. The Outline view is especially useful when you have zoomed
into your overview diagram. To zoom out, ensure the Zoom tool is
selected, press Shift, and release the mouse button.
Alternatively, you can right-click anywhere in the overview diagram and select
one of the Zoom options in the pop-up menu:
Note: You can access all the overview diagram functions
available in the Palette and some that arent available from the palette
by right-clicking and selecting an option from its pop-up menu.
The Note option allows you to add notes to your overview diagrams. This
is especially useful when you want to share or discuss your overview diagrams
with colleagues. You can see all of the note options by selecting the drop-down
arrow () beside the
I added a note and some text (using the corresponding icons
in the Palette) in the following overview diagram:
Note: Pressing Enter when you are typing
the text for a note closes the note. As you type, the text displays in one long
line. I recommend that you type all the text you want in the note, press Enter,
and then resize the note using a control knob when its highlighted. (The text
will adjust automatically and flow within the new size.)
You can use the Note Attachment icon ()
to attach a note to an object in an overview diagram. Whenever you move the
object, the note, once attached, will follow.
The Intellectual Property tool adds a note to your
overview diagram with a set of predefined fields about the creation and
ownership of the diagram. This can be useful for ownership meta-data that you
want to follow the overview diagram throughout your enterprise or beyond. You
can see in the following figure that Ive added this kind of information to the
lower-right corner of the overview diagram:
You can also attach intellectual property notes to objects
in the same manner as you attach other notes. These objects (notes, text, and
intellectual property notes) all appear in the Outline view:
The Geometric Shapes tool lets you add various shapes
to your overview diagram. These can be useful to group together objects or to
represent different aspects of your system, among other things. To see all of
the geometric shapes in the Palette, click each drawer to expand its
You can click any of the Geometric Shapes drawers (indicated
with drop-down arrows) to see subcategories within them:
Alternatively, right-click, click Add, and select a
In the following figure, Ive added a Cylinder to my
overview diagram and labeled it with the name of the actual storage device
where the respective DB2 data files reside on my file system:
As with notes and intellectual properties notes, you can also
click a geometric shape and connect it to objects in the overview diagram.
Once youve added a geometric shape to your overview
diagram, formatting options are available when you right-click a selected
object. In the following overview diagram, you can see that Ive added a 3D
Rectangle and labeled it with the name of the table space where the
DJCOUNTRIES and DJFRIENDS tables reside in the SAMPLE database:
In the previous diagram, you can also see that Ive used some
formatting features that are also available from the pop-up menu. You can
experiment with all the options, as shown below:
Using the Properties view, you can also adjust the
display characteristics of the objects that you add to an overview diagram:
Most of these options are self-explanatory so I encourage
you to experiment with them.
Some configuration options and other tricks that help you get the job done
A number of configuration features are also available. For
example, you can right-click in the Palette and configure its display:
You can use the Settings option from the pop-up menu
to change the way the Palette looks. (Some of these options are
available in the menus Ive already shown you, and some options can only be set
from the Palette Settings window.)
For example, perhaps you want the Palette to always
expand all of the objects within a drawer. If you recall, I had to click to expand
the contents of Geometric Shapes and there are more shapes that can only
be viewed when expanded within the Rectangle Types and Polygon drawers.
If you always wanted the Palette to display all available geometric
shapes, you could select the Never close option.
When you have a large overview diagram, it can become
difficult (and inconvenient) to select the objects you want to format. IBM Data
Studio has a number of features (available from the pop-up menu) to help you
manage large overview diagrams and their respective operations:
You can also add new columns, keys, triggers, or indexes to an
overview diagram and associate them with a specific table. To do this, simply
double-click a table and a menu will appear with these options:
A number of formatting options are also available from the View
menu. You can use these options to add gridlines and rulers, to set up snap-to-grid
operations for your mouse pointer, and to display page breaks (especially
helpful for larger overview diagrams). In the following figure, I added a ruler
and grid lines to the view, which helps to properly place objects:
Wrapping it up...
In this article, I took you through a number of other
features that are available with the overview diagram feature in IBM Data
Studio, which is included in DB2 9.5. While I didnt show you all the features,
I hope Ive outlined enough of them to grab your interest and motivate you to experiment
more. In the next part of this series, Ill introduce you to the the OLE DB function creation facilities that are available in IBM Data Studio.
See All Articles by Columnist Paul C. Zikopoulos
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