Nip DATA Logo  
 

Contents



ByteDesigner icon Byte Designer

Professional database modeling


Chapter 4

Using the Byte Designer Interface

About this chapter

This chapter describes the Byte Designer interface and explains how to use the different elements.

Managing windows

The Byte Designer main window is divided into different windows with independent behaviour.

Understanding the main window organization

When you open Byte Designer, the following interface appears;

screen


tip
Byte Designer may look slightly different than pictured above because of the platform you are using and/or any user interface look + feel you may be using but the fundementals are the same regardless. Most examples in this book are from the Linux platform with the Motif window manager and the CDE look + feel.

As usual a menu appears along the top of the window, a tool-bar below that and a status-bar along the bottom edge of the window. Dock-windows appear above the status-bar and along the left + right edges of the window. The remaining area is the work area - the area where the documents are edited.

Multiple Document Interface (MDI)

Byte Designer uses the MDI paradigm to allow multiple documents to be viewd/edited concurrently. This is a highly successful paradigm in use by many applications because of the way it eases window management and desktop clutter. Document windows can be easily organized by selecting options from the Window menu. In this way the documents may be quickly cascaded, tiled, or brought into view.

Dock Windows

Dock windows a special type of child window used for interacting with the application. Dock windows provide one of the most valuable means of customizing the U.I. For example; a dock window may be aligned with the edge of the main window, floated, auto-arranged, or hidden based upon the User preference. The following dock-windows are availible;

Dock-window
Description
Tool-bar
In the example above - the tool-bar is found just below the menu. It consists of a number of dock-windows, each containing buttons for quick access to commonly used options.
Browser
In the example above - the Browser is found along the left-edge of the main window. The Browser contains the Workspace, and all of its objects, organized hierarchiely. This is great for browsing the objects.
Output
In the example above - the output window lies along the bottom of the main window. The output window contains a wide variety of messages produced by the application. The messages are categorized using tabs.
Slider-bar
In the example above - the Slider-bar is the top dock-window along the right edge of the main window. The slider-bar contains a sub-set of tool-bar options and is often a convenient alternative.
Property Editor
In the example above - the property editor is the middle dock-window along the right edge of the main window. The property editor contains a sub-set of the properties for the currently selected document object.
Panner
In the example above - the panner is the bottom dock-window along the right edge of the main window. The panner provides a complete view of the current diagram/model with a red box indicating the current  area of the document visible. The red box can be dragged to scroll  (pan) the document. The panner provides a great tool to orient the User and to quickly navigate large documents.

Docking Windows

Click the window title bar ( DockWindowCaption) and keep the mouse button pressed. Drag the selected window to another location in the main window. If you drop the dock-window close to another element of the user interface the dock-window will try to dock along side that element. If you drop the dock-window away from another user interface element (in the work area or out side of the main window) the dock-window becomes undocked.

Hiding Dock Windows

Dock-windows can be hidden to reduce clutter. As you use the application you will get to know which dock-windows are important to have availible and which are not. Click the X on the right side of the dock-window title bar to hide dock-windows you do not use often.

Restoring Dock Windows

You can make a hidden dock-window visible again by use the Window menu option and the Docks submenu option. This will display a menu listing all of the dock-windows. The dock-windows which are visible are checked while those which are hidden are not checked.

Menu And Tool-bar Options

The following table list some of the most important menu and tool-bar options and indicate which document type(s) for which they are relevant;

Icon
Description
SQL Editor
Diagram
Logical Model
Physical Model
file
create a new file
check
check
check check
open
open an existing file
check
check
check check
save
save any changes in current editor
check
check
check check
print
print from current editor
check
check
check check
preferences
application preferences or object properties
check check check check
undo
undo last change
check



redo
redo last change
check



cut
cut selection from current editor
check
check
check check
copy
copy selection from current editor
check
check
check check
paste
paste into current editor
check
check
check check
delete
delete selection from current editor
check
check
check check
indent
indent text in current editor
check



Unindent
unindent text in current editor
check



to front
move selected diagram objects to front

check
check check
to back
move selected diagram objects to back

check
check check
file comment
insert an SQL file comment
check



statement comment
insert an SQL statement comment
check



zoom in
zoom in current editor (make objects look larger)

check
check check
zoom out
zoom out current editor (see more of the diagram)

check
check check
select all
select all in current editor
check
check
check check
select none
unselect everything in current editor
check
check
check check
align bottom
align text to bottom

check
check check
align h center
align text to horizontal center

check
check check
align left
align text to left

check
check check
align right
align text to right

check
check check
align top
align text to top

check
check check
align v center
align text to vertical center

check
check check
align bottom
align object bottom
check check check
align h center
align object horizontal center
check check check
align left
align object left
check check check
align right
align object right
check check check
align top
align object top
check check check
align v center
align object vertical center
check check check
arrow
manipulate diagram objects in the current editor

check
check check
text
add a new Text object to the current editor

check
check check
line
add a new Line object to the current editor

check
check check
arc
add a new Arc object to the current  editor

check
check check
rectangle
add a new Rectangle object to the current editor

check
check check
ellipse
add a new Ellipse object to the current editor

check
check check
image
add a new Image object to the current editor

check
check check
table
add a new Table object to the current editor

 

check
table derived
add a new Derived Table object to the current editor



check
view
add a new View object to the current editor



check
reference
add a new Reference object to the current editor



check
inherit
add a new Inheritance object to the current editor



check
rule
add a new Business Rule


check
domain
add a new Domain


check
sequence
add a new Sequence



check
procedures add a new stored Procedure


check
entity
add a new Entity

check
relationship
add a new Relationship

check
association
add a new Association entity


check
association link
add a new Association Link

check
inheritance link add a new Inheritance Link

check
rule
add a new Business Rule

check
domain
add a new Domain

check
data item
add a new Data Item

check
model properties
edit model properties


check check
show dependenciies
show object dependencies



check
validate
validate model


check check
physical model
create a Physical Model from current document


check
logical model
create a Logical Model from current document



check
create database
create an SQL script, from the current model, to be used to create database objects



check
reverse engineer
reverse engineer an existing database using the capabilities found in the current model



check
run
submits the entire SQL script to the, connected, data source for processing
check



run selected
submits the selected SQL to the, connected, data source for processing
check



schema
returns a list of schema from the, connected, data source
check



tables
returns a list of tables from the, connected, data source
check



views
returns a list of views from the, connected, data source
check



columns
returns a list of columns for the table or view name selected in the current editor
check



indexs
returns a list of indexs for the table name selected in the current editor
check



primary key
returns a list of primary key columns for the table name selected in the current editor
check



foreign keys
returns a list of foreign key columns for the table name selected in the current editor
check



row ID
returns a list of columns which uniquely identify a row for the table name selected in the current editor
check



procedures
returns a list of procedures from the, connected, data source
check



procedure columns
returns a list of columns (input and output) for the procedure name selected in the current editor
check



data types
returns a list of data types supported
check



ODBC
invokes any installed ODBC Administrator tool
check




An option may be disabled even when a relevant document is current. This can happen because a more specific state must occur. For example; Cut/Copy may be disabled until something is selected and Physical Model objects may be disabled because the target database does not support the specific feature. Many SQL file options are disabled unless the SQL file document exists under a Project and the Project is connected to a database.

Property Dialogs

Property dialogs are popup windows which allow an objects properties to be viewed/edited. All objects listed in the Browser have properties - including the Workspace itself. Each property dialog has a number of tabs and each tab contains specific properties logicaly grouped. The first tab generally contains the objects; Object ID (OID), Name, Code, and Comment but may contain more depending upon the object type.

Displaying A Property Dialog

The common way to display an objects property dialog is to find the object in the Browser dock-window and <right-click> it to popup its context menu. Select the Properties menu option to invoke the property dialog.

Another way to display an objects property dialog is to find the object in the document (if it is a diagram based document) and <double-click> it. In fact you can <double-click> an empty area of a diagram/model and the diagram/model property dialog will be displayed. The following is a property dialog for an Entity on a Logical Model;

properties

Property dialogs can be resized. If the dialog is too small to show all of the tabs a set of scroll buttons will appear to allow the hidden tabs to be scrolled into view. The size of the dialog will be saved when the dialog is closed and will be used as the default size the next time the dialog is displayed.

Using Lists

Some of the property tabs will be a list of something. For example; an Entity can have many Attributes. In this case the Entity has a tab named Attributes. The following shows the Attributes tab;

Attributes

The list is displayed in a grid with a tool-bar above it. Each tool-bar button is explained below;

Button
Name
Description
new
New
Create a new object (if no "New Plus") or reference to an object (if "New Plus" exists).
edit
Edit
Edit the object represented on the currently selected row.
delete
Delete
Delete the object represented on the currently selected row.
up Up
Move the row up.
down
Down
Move the row down.
new plus
New Plus
Create a new object and reference to the object.

Adding Notes

Most model objects (Physical and Logical Models) may have notes attached to them. A note is a Description and/or Annotation. These are important additions to Name and Comment, which are also found for all model objects, because notes are in "Rich Text File" (RTF) format. This means that additional text formatting options are availible. The following shows the Notes tab;

notes