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Less and Less Visual Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:13 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Less and Less Visual


Best wishes,

Phil Factor
Simple Talk
Post #1586222
Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014 11:26 PM
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Phil Factor. Great name for a dba.
Post #1586224
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:05 AM
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I dont actually believe that many understand ERDs. Would like to see a survey on what people do know, and the extent.

Last few companies I have worked at none of the DBAs or developers understood what a ERD was. Blank expressions have been the norm. Suggest it as a method of resolving a dispute on the suggested relationships of the schema and they have often not understood or refused it as the "code knowns"; yeah then why the discussion in the first place?

My issue with the diagramming tools that MS provide is that they have such basic notation.




Post #1586251
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:18 AM
Mr or Mrs. 500

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Visio is my favourite tool for documentation and design (and the one available when you work in a restricted Microsoft shop!).
I reverse engineer my databases into Visio Premium to give visual documentation easily.
I started with Visio just at the point where Microsoft bought it and it was a better product in those days, because you could both reverse engineer from SQL Server AND forward engineer your design, but the latter option was removed as Microsoft "developed" the product.
Post #1586256
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 3:43 AM


Mr or Mrs. 500

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@Yet Another DBA
For years, I did all my work in ErWin, which is a good ERD tool, and I very seldom used SQL code for designing databases. Mind you, I was engaged in doing high-level design at the time and the mapping of corporate data, and only did the first cut of the physical model from the ERD, but it has given me a great respect for the power of the ERD. I really would recommend diagramming the database model for as long as possible in the course of development. You can always use the diagrams in the subsequent documentation.



Best wishes,

Phil Factor
Simple Talk
Post #1586326
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:30 AM


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P Jones (6/26/2014)
Visio is my favourite tool for documentation and design (and the one available when you work in a restricted Microsoft shop!).
I reverse engineer my databases into Visio Premium to give visual documentation easily.
I started with Visio just at the point where Microsoft bought it and it was a better product in those days, because you could both reverse engineer from SQL Server AND forward engineer your design, but the latter option was removed as Microsoft "developed" the product.


+1
I used Visio from time to time, but they took out the best features in later editions.




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Post #1586344
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 5:04 AM


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There does seem to be a loss in the community (generalising here so many of you will be exceptions!!!) of using visual tools for anything but documentation. I agree that scripting is, or at least can be, very powerful and shouldn't be overlooked but there are proven psychological reasons why visual representation is a better form of communication over text. Yes, you can argue that text is less likely to be prone to misinterpretation and ambiguity but I do think that we have lost some tools and that is rarely a good thing. In the 80s and 90s there was a lot of effort to bring the power of visual representation to the IT professionals. Sadly, this appears to be discarded now.

Gaz

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Post #1586357
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:39 AM
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Does a whiteboard and a smartphone count as a tool? I agree that some more visual tools would help us be more effective. People who have a great mind for the abstract can "see" the data and relationships more easily than others, especially with experience. Graphical tools allow this meta data to be stored and shared so it doesn't have to only take up space in your working memory and who doesn't want to have more memory available for processing?
Post #1586383
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:58 AM
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Several have commented that the current trend seems to be toward text with the feeling that text is more accurate. I think that the opposite is true, text has become much less accurate in every dimension of communication and is no more accurate in database descriptions. Much has been written about the rise of the "texting" vocabulary in all aspects of communications and it coincides with the general degradation of the written word in society. With mounting evidence that text is less and less precise how can it be a more precise representation of a concept than a visual representation that is prima facie accurate and not open to the interpretation that text is? I have been waiting years for good and affordable graphical tools to use in engineering and reverse engineering databases and applications as both time saving devices and as higher level abstract representations of the code and just when I thought they were arriving they seem to be going away. This is a sorry state of affairs for current work and advancement of the discipline.
Post #1586396
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:11 AM


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charles.green (6/26/2014)
Several have commented that the current trend seems to be toward text with the feeling that text is more accurate. I think that the opposite is true, text has become much less accurate in every dimension of communication and is no more accurate in database descriptions. Much has been written about the rise of the "texting" vocabulary in all aspects of communications and it coincides with the general degradation of the written word in society. With mounting evidence that text is less and less precise how can it be a more precise representation of a concept than a visual representation that is prima facie accurate and not open to the interpretation that text is? I have been waiting years for good and affordable graphical tools to use in engineering and reverse engineering databases and applications as both time saving devices and as higher level abstract representations of the code and just when I thought they were arriving they seem to be going away. This is a sorry state of affairs for current work and advancement of the discipline.


I agree with most of what Charles says here but, at least for my part, executable text is verifiable whereas a non-executable graphical representation is not. A document was certainly not what I had in mind.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1586404
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