Develop SQL databases with Eclipse, SQLExplorer, and Clay

Robi Sen, friend and fellow IBM developerWorks author, has written a great piece on using SQL databases from within Eclipse. He’s done a great job on what was originally my idea and outline but which I just didn’t have the time to carry forward when the proposal was approved by IBM. The tutorial covers the use of SQLExplorer (my favourite interface) and Clay (which I admit I’ve probably never extracted the best from because I don’t have time to devote to it at the moment). From Robi’s own intro:

Learn how to use Eclipse and the SQLExplorer plug-in to connect to any database that supports a JDBC driver. These tools allow you to view database schemas, view table data, add and edit table data, and write, edit, and execute SQL. You will also learn how to use Azzurri Clay to create Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs), reverse-engineer databases, add tables, edit tables, delete tables, edit relationships, add indexes, and change your underlying data model into different SQL dialects.

If you do any sort of database development using Eclipse you should at least check out the article and better still, add the plug-ins to your environment.

Apache 2.2.0: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Apache 2.2.0 is out and ServerWatch asked me to do a quick write up of the main features and some thoughts on whether you should upgrade to the latest version. I’ll leave my recommendations for the article, but if you use Apache 2.2.0 for serving websites, and even more importantly if you develop Apache modules and components, then you should check out the article to find out the realy differences between the previous stable release and the new one.

Understanding LAMP

I spend a lot of time working with LAMP technology and telling people how to make the best of the LAMP stack. But you’d be surprised about how many people don’t really understand what the LAMP stack actually is. The reality of course is that it is many things to many people – some consider the LAMP stack to be a development environment, others a deployment environment. Some also confuse the technologies in use. Some take LAMP to mean PHP, others Perl, others Python. The truth of course is that all of these are technically correct. I’ve gone into more detail through this article at ServerWatch. LAMP is just one of a number of similar acronyms for development deployment environments based on some of these technologies, and I cover some of those acronyms in the article as well.

Hosting Services and free software

I’ve started a new series, through the Free Software Magazine newsletter, on the use of open source technology by hosting services, including the ready-to-run applications such as WordPress, phpBB and Gallery. The aim is to look at these individual products and how they can provide a quick and easy solution to building your websites, communities and brand. The first in the series, an overview of FOSS technology in hosting services, can be read here. You can also subscribe and get the newsletters sent to you automatically. Subscription is free once you’ve filled in a form

Beyond The Big Three BSDs, BSD Alternatives

A while back I wrote an article for ServerWatch.com that covered the three main BSD distributions; FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD. The article looked at the ‘other’ free software operating system range (BSD) and how it compared to Linux. I also looked at Mac OS X (or more specifically Darwin), which is based on NetBSD.After writing that piece I was contacted by a few people who wanted to point out that there are some other BSD variants available. So I started looking around. BSD variants are much harder to come by in comparison to the hundreds (probably thousands) of different Linux-based distributions available. The resulting piece is available now. I started writing this piece many months ago, and since then OpenSolaris has been released. Perhaps a comparison between OpenSolaris, Linux and BSD is in order – let me know if you’d like to see this.

OpenSolaris and Linux

Regular readers will know I am both a fan of Linux and Solaris, for different reasons and, often, different solutions and environments. Back at the beginning of October I wrote this mammoth piece on my Computerworld blog: Distributions and standardization. It looks at the movement of Linux (an open source OS) towards a standardized base just at a time when OpenSolaris has been released, an OS based on standards that is now open source. There’s the potential here for OpenSolaris to have the advantage over Linux in this regard. I was asked by Computerworld to condense that piece down into an article to appear in the printed magazine, which now appears online as OpenSolaris Has a Leg Up on Linux. The latter has solicited more comments (directly by email) than the blog post, but the common thread is the same – Solaris may have an advantage, but it could be its only one. I’m not here to take sides, merely to point out the situation – I always will choose the operating system according to its target use and environment – but the OpenSolaris/Linux debate is going to be an interesting one to watch.

More New Blogs

As part of the ongoing expansion of the work that I do I am adding some further blogs to the range of titles and topics that I currently write about.Some of the new blogs are merely a way of sensibly dividing up the content I produce so that readers can subscribe to specific areas of interest, without me bombarding them with a single blog covering the wide range of topics I tend to cover and have an interest/expertise in supporting. Some are designed to support new books, and in one case support the content that would have gone into a book if I hadn’t changed my mind about the scope and content. Some are just ways of generating or re-purposing material that I have had for some time, or for which I have had plans to write and develop and never had a suitable outlet. Until now. All of my blogs – under which I have direct control at least – now use a consistent format, if not necessarily a consistent theme, although I’ve tried to use themes that reflect the content of the site in question. All of the sites have an About page (unique to each site), a Contact form, and copies of the About MCslp and About MCslp Projects pages. The latter contains a distilled list of sites and their content. All of them are under the MCslp banner and all of them will, for the moment, be managed and supported directly by me (MC).Many of these sites are still in their infancy – they all have Welcome messages, but may not yet have specific content. Be patient, it’s either already written and not yet posted live, or is coming. As with this site, and indeed all MCslp sites, all of the new blogs are free to use and completely advert free. Please see the About page for information on how you can contribute and support the sites and their continued existence. The new blogs I’m announcing today are:

The Writing BizNew writers and authors often ask questions about the writing business. For example, how it works, the processes behind writing a book, how to promote your book, whether you should have an agent and many others. The Writing.biz condenses and collates all of this information into a single site. Improve Your VocabWords and phrases have interesting meanings, sources and derivations. Improve Your Vocab aims to distill many of the phrases that you hear in films, TV shows, books and other places that you may not recognize and provide information about their definition, sources, and what they mean within the context of the phrase where they were used. The Linux ProfessionalsThere are many professional users of Linux out there, and there are also Linux Professionals – people who make a living for supporting and consulting using the Linux platform. The Linux Professionals provides interviews and articles with these professionals to find out how they make use of Linux, and why they chose Linux as their area of expertise. Change The Way You WorkChange the way you work is a blog designed provide information and guidance on ways in which you can change the way you work to make better use of your time. It looks at different methods, for example project management software, or following a particular methodology or technique designed to simplify your work or improve and optimize your efficiency. MCslp Map WorksGoogle Maps and Google Earth – among other technologies – provide some amazing technology for building customized, map based, information websites. MCslp Map Works provides examples, help and guidance along the way for your Google Maps and Earth projects, along with How-To guides, news and other information. MCslp Virtual ComputingVirtual Computing works at many different levels, from providing separate working zones within an operating system designed to compartmentalize different applications or services right through to emulation technology that provide, in software, the equivalent of a complete PC, including virtual drives, network devices and other components. MCslp Virtual Computing provides information and guides on using these technologies.

If you have any questions or want more information, either us the Contact Us link on the site in question, or ask me a question through the Contact Us form on this site. Thank you for your continued support!