The Data Tools Platform: Development Tools
The Data Tools Platform is an open source project for the Eclipse platform that encompasses three separate but related Eclipse projects. The Agentry Editor plug-in for Eclipse make use of two of these projects: the Connectivity Project, and the SQL Development Tools project. Each of these projects provides perspectives and views to the Eclipse platform that can be useful to Agentry development, implementation, or configuration projects involving a SQL Database back end system.
Of note for the uninitiated developer is the Data Tools Platform User Guide, which is available in electronic form on the Eclipse help site listed above.
Connectivity Project and the Agentry Connector Studio
The connection-management functionality provided in the Connectivity project includes...components for defining, connecting to, and working with data sources.
One of the features provided by the Agentry Editor Eclipse plug-in is the Agentry Connector Studio. Using this tool an Object Wizard is displayed that allows for the definition of various data-related definitions within a module, with the attributes of those definitions set in part based on available information about the back end system with which the mobile application will synchronize data. The Connector Studio itself can be used with SQL Database, Java Virtual Machine, HTTP-XML, or OData system connections. When working with a SQL Database system connection, the connector studio requires the use of the Connectivity Project tools within the Data Tools Platform.
Within this set of tools, there are specific items used by or required for the Agentry Connector Studio functionality when working with a database system. These include Connection Profiles, Driver Definitions and the related Driver Management Framework, and the Data Source Explorer View. To use the Agentry Connector Studio to create the module data definitions, a Connection Profile must exist for a connection to the database from which the data definitions will be defined. A Connection Profile makes this connection using a Driver Definition that encapsulate the method in which the connection to the profile is made. The Connection Profile then represents the connection to the specific database instance or database server. Connection Profiles created in Eclipse are exposed to the developer in the Data Source Explorer View.
The Agentry Connector Studio can then be accessed from within the Data Source Explorer View, when using the Connector Studio to access a database system. Within the Data Source Explorer, the developer navigates to the specific database table for which an object definition is to be created. Right-clicking on this table displays a context menu, which includes the menu item Agentry Connector Studio. Selecting this item will display the Connector Studio Object Wizard, which will walk the developer through the definition of the object and its properties, based on the schema information provided for the database table. It also provides the option for defining transactions for the new object type and SQL step definitions, including basic SQL statements based on the database table. These SQL statements are intended for use by the transaction server update steps, and the object read steps or fetch server exchange steps.
Instructions for creating a Connection Profile and Driver Definition within the Connectivity Project tools can be found in the Agentry Implementation and Administration Guide.
SQL Steps and SQL Synchronization Definitions: The SQL Editor View
The Agentry Editor plug-in makes use of the SQL Development Tools, another component of the Data Tools Platform. Specifically the SQL Editor View is the view used to display and edit SQL statements with in the Agentry application project. The SQL Editor is a view that supports the authoring, editing, and testing of a SQL statement. When a definition that includes a SQL statement for synchronization is defined, the default behavior of Eclipse is to display that statement in the SQL Editor. This editor provides several configurable aides in authoring well-formed SQL logic, including helpers such as adding quotes around values that require them automatically, indentation/tab and other “pretty print” functionality, and other similar behaviors, all of which have default behaviors that can be configured and customized to the needs of the developer and the project. In addition, since the SQL Editor is a part of the SQL Development Tools project, and since this project is a part of the larger Data Tools Platform project, the SQL Editor can make use of the features provided by its sibling Connectivity project.
Specifically, if a connection profile has been created within the Connectivity Project tools, the SQL Editor can use that connection profile to open a connection to the database and execute the query within the SQL Editor against that database. This is a useful testing feature that can help developers verify the validity of their SQL statements within the application.