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MySQL Workbench v5.2.34 – First Contact

Early experiences with the MySQL Workbench IDE version 5.2.34, revision 7780

Export of ER diagram from Story Schema

Export of ER diagram from Story Schema

First impressions:

It’s easy to install.

The download and install on my XP machine went without a hitch, including the necessary pre-requisites – in this case a Visual C++ re-distributable run-time and .NET component.

It’s pretty.

Neatly laid out and with exceptional quality export of diagrams – very important in my case – I love pictures!

It works – mostly!

I found the non-object-oriented interface arcane, with little indication of context, and use was accompanied with choruses of alerts that were as oblique as they were unhelpful. Invitations to load the VC++ debugger were several, and where exceptions were handled, the messages were distinctly unhelpful.
It simply isn’t good enough to report that ‘an external component has caused an exception’.

Despite this clunkiness, I succeeded (eventually) in completing the very limited tutorial, although this was also flawed, not warning me about closing connections open for a table edit, before I attempted to query the table for data. (which causes the above exception message)

Attempting to report bugs is a nightmare in itself, and if the developers want meaningful feedback, this facility should be made far easier, with facility to cut/paste the silly alerts and submit these.

Well, that was yesterday. This morning I did a little bit of modelling, managing to avoid most of the problems, and the picture at the head of this post is a PNG export of what I did, so you can see how pretty the output is.

Conclusions.

Will I use it? Yes, I will, and encourage anyone else to give it a try also. For a zero-priced design tool, it is excellent, but some remedial work needs to be done.
I will continue with my model, and attempt to use it to create a database of references for one of my novels, so that the second in the series doesn’t involve me in hours of page turning to check what I have already written in the first.
I will report on my results in a later post.

Downloads

The Story MySQL Workbench file is here: http://joebrown.org.uk/images/MySQL Workbench/Story.mwb

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