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In a word – wonderful.

I’m doing some work on a project where somebody had a bit of a fetish for nested views.  I’m not talking about one view inside another.  I’m talking about one view that joins a couple of other views that each join to other views as well. 

I needed to add a value to the output of the outer-most view and before I added ~another~ join I wanted to know if the table in question was already joined in one of the nested views.  Drilling down into them would have taken time.  I remembered that I had SQL Dependency Tracker installed on my machine so I loaded up the database.

It was very fast.  In just a few seconds the entire database was mapped and I was looking at the view in question.  There is a great panel (Dependencies) that shows what the selected object uses as well as what it is used by in a tree view.  I just drilled down into the ~uses~ tree and in seconds I had my answer.  The table was already joined so all I had to do was bubble up the column that I needed at the top.

The various views of your database objects and how they relate to each other are very cool as well.  There are five different layouts available:

  • Balloon Tree groups objects together in balloon-like clusters

    This is a fast layout, which is good for grouping related objects together. It is suitable for diagrams that contain a large number of objects.

  • Hierarchic organizes the objects in a hierarchical structure, from top to bottom
  • Orthogonal places objects so that the connections between the objects are straight lines that are as close to vertical and horizontal as possible

    The objects form small clusters. This is ideal for diagrams that contain a small number of objects.

  • Smart Organic links objects into sets of clouds or lattices

    This layout is good for grouping related objects together.

  • Circular lays the objects out to form the boundaries of circles, with connections that cross the centre of the circle

I have a suspicion that this is done in WPF as the animation of the layouts is very fast and smooth.  Zooming is also very smooth and it’s obvious that the display is vector based as everything looks great at any zoom level.

All in all, this saved me a bunch of time and hassle and allowed me to accomplish my task in a minimal amount of time.

Just because I can…

posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:52 PM