Geertjan's Blog

  • September 21, 2007

Visual Database Explorer

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I went through Toni Epple's Visual Database Explorer Tutorial for the first time. I built the whole module, on a NetBeans IDE 6.0 development build from yesterday. Everything worked pretty much as described in Toni's tutorial, except that the Visual Library API is now part of the NetBeans Platform, so that you don't need to take any special steps to include it in the module. No need to download anything from the Visual Library source ZIP, except that the images are useful. The result is that you can choose a menu item, after selecting a connection in the Services node, and then the database structure is visually reflected in a new window:

I'd like to turn it into one of the official NetBeans tutorials. But, I guess, the Database Explorer API would need to be stabilized first, which I don't think it is currently. I needed to set an implementation dependency on it. Also, maybe the final plugin could be included in the Plugin Portal, because clearly this is a very useful piece of functionality that adds real value to the user's database activities when working with the IDE.

In other news. Tried it successfully in 6.0 Beta 1 and got permission from Toni to put it in the Plugin Portal, as a sample. Go here to get it. (By the way, I updated yesterday's Feature Viewer, to 1.5, and now there isn't a problem with dependencies anymore, although the Print Preview is disabled now.)

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Comments ( 17 )
  • Nada Friday, September 21, 2007

    hey Geertjan, i've been in contact with toni since yesterday, and its all been about why the icon doesnt appear. i also learnt that its default for nb 6.0 not to create a toolbar entry in the layer xml when an action is created.The problem turned out to be the transition from 5.5 to 6. anyway, toni sent me this url, and i've read what you wrote but didnt really get the part where u said " No need to download anything from the Visual Library source ZIP, except that the images are useful"? how could this help, and if i may ask what images are the ones of concern:D

    Thx for ur time to look into toniz tutorial (i need this thing to work ASAP)


  • Geertjan Friday, September 21, 2007

    Nada. Please read the following words carefully and follow the instructions:

    1. Go to this page:


    2. Click the Download button on that page.

    3. Install the module that you get from step 2.

    4. Go to the New Project wizard and find the Visual Database Explorer Sample. Complete the wizard.

    5. Now you have all the source code.

    Please follow the steps above before writing to any more mailing lists and before leaving more comments in this blog.

  • Caoyuan Friday, September 21, 2007

    Visual Library API is also an interesting stuff from NetBeans, I'd like to see more examples using it.

  • Geertjan Friday, September 21, 2007
  • Oleg Friday, September 21, 2007


    I think it's already useful plugin as it is. Do you or Toni plan to release it and publish as a real NetBeans plugin to Plugin Portal?


  • Geertjan Friday, September 21, 2007

    It's there in the Plugin Portal already. Just install the sample (http://plugins.netbeans.org/PluginPortal/faces/PluginDetailPage.jsp?pluginid=3658) and you'll have the functionality.

  • Nick Monday, December 3, 2007

    Hi, Geertjan

    I've recently installed the plugin on Netbeans 6.0 and got 1 error when I tried to compile the sample project:

    /usr/local/netbeans-6.0/harness/build.xml:97: Cannot compile against a module: /usr/local/netbeans-6.0/ide8/modules/org-netbeans-modules-db.jar because of dependency: org.netbeans.modules.db/0 = 5

    I'll appreciate any advice.

  • Patrick Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    I get the same error message here. Would be nice if there's any advice on how to fix this.

    Thanks in advance

  • Geertjan Tuesday, December 4, 2007

    Nothing you can do to fix that. I simply need to make another version of the module available. Planning to do that, not sure when.

  • Paul Friday, June 20, 2008

    I just spent the better part of a day trying to figure out what \*I\* must be doing wrong, only to find out that maybe it's not me!

    Has there been a fix in the last 6 months?


  • Geertjan Friday, June 20, 2008

    I don't have a clue what you're talking about, Paul. If you want me to help, you'll need to tell me what's going wrong.

  • Paul Friday, June 20, 2008

    My apologies...

    I've recently installed the plugin on Netbeans 6.0 and got 1 error when I tried to compile the sample project:

    C:\\Program Files\\NetBeans 6.0\\harness\\build.xml:97: Cannot compile against a module: C:\\Program Files\\NetBeans 6.0\\ide8\\modules\\org-netbeans-modules-db.jar because of dependency: org.netbeans.modules.db/0 = 5

    This happens when I install the plugin, or if I follow the tutorial and type it it.


  • Moses Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Hello Geertjan,

    I want to build a RCP where a user can visually design a workflow. For this I need an Icon pallete from where the user can drag and drop the nodes onto the design window to build his workflow(just like the BPEL module). Secondly, and most importantly, I would like the user to save the whole workflow as an XML file containing nodes, connectons and attirbzutes. Lastly I wanna use this XMLfile to store the info ina database which I can again visualize using the database explorer.

    So is it possible to convert my scene to an XML file? and if so how can I go about it?



  • Geertjan Thursday, July 10, 2008

    All sounds doable, Moses. Please join and write to the mailing list dev@openide.netbeans.org, where you'll find all the experts in this area.

  • Ronald Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Still the same error message with building this plugin in netbeans 6.5RC1 and the plugin from the plugin page.

    Has anyone the solution to solve this?

  • Roger Sunday, November 22, 2009

    It has been several versions of NB since the release of this plugin. Has anyone revised this to work for NB 6.7. There are several depreciated libraries, and an error in the build. I would do this - but I am a complete newbie on modules - but I am a java/database developer - and this is a terrific module. Hate to see the end of a good thing.

  • Jaka Ramdani Friday, June 25, 2010

    I've tried these steps:

    - Go to module Properties > Libraries < Module Dependencies,

    - Remove Database Explorer, and

    - Re-add Database Explorer, then edit, change to Implementation Version instead of Specification Version

    Clean & Build with no error, just several warning because some of deprecation methods still used.

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