On January 30th, I spoke with Brian Fitzpatrick (PMC Lead, Architecture and Planning Councils Representative, Architecture Council Mentor, Project Lead, and Committer) from the Data Tools Project (DTP) about the Data Tools track at EclipseCon 2009. As has become tradition, we digressed frequently from the main focus of our conversation and discussed numerous topics (all in the context of Data Tools).
Brian is expecting great things from the Generating intelligent data access widgets and Access your data without Eclipse clutter! talks. Both of these talks are being presented by developers from Ingres, a longtime consumer and growing contributor of Eclipse technology (DTP in particular).
The Data Tools track has one tutorial: Using and Extending Eclipse Data Tools (DTP). Brian says that the tutorial, targeting for both new and old users of DTP, will “show them how to go from enabling a database that can just simply show up in the tooling to taking that database and doing more interesting things with it like customizing SQL syntax … and maybe incorporating the SQL builder and SQL Query builder into their own applications.” It’s rated as “intermediate”; given the list of topics covered, it seems that both established DTP users, as well as newcomers, should get a lot of value from this session.
We discuss the challenge of presenting DTP as being about more than relational databases. Brian is addresses this with his talk, DTPtv and other Wacky Ideas, which—as one of its demonstrations—shows how DTP can be used in conjunction with YouTube “to create a DTPtv application to allow you to search for videos and flip through the results like channels.” DTP supports connections with all sorts of data sources.
Brian has also proposed a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session.
Much of the podcast is concerned with the Data Tools project itself. We briefly discuss how Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) is used to represent the SQL and DB Definition models. Available along with the Galileo release of DTP will be plug-ins that provide first-class access to Ingres, Microsoft SQL-Server, and SQLite databases. A lot of work is also going into the SQL Query Builder to make it more “RCP friendly”; the idea is to make it so that the Query Builder is more easily consumable by products targeting a broader set of users. Data Tools isn’t just for DBA tools anymore.