CONGO Progress and Pretty Pictures

Another good night of coding!

After finishing a hefty project at work, and a busy week of Life Fun, I took 4 or 5 hours last night to hack into CONGO and try and get some rough edges worked out. I really feel like I’m approaching a useable system, with workflow doing what it’s supposed to, database tables updating the way they should, and crashes being few and far between.

I’m a visual person, so I wanted to come up with an up to date ERD for the v2 table structures. Ages ago I used DbDesigner4 to create an ERD for v1, but the tables have shifted a lot since then, and I wanted to see if I could auto-generate a diagram from table structures

Hunting around, it looks like DbDesigner has been absorbed into MySQL Workbench. I downloaded the latest version, and found myself bewildered by it’s interface until I realized what this thing was. It’s a tool for creating and designing databases, as opposed to a passive maintenance tool. Not… quite the approach I was shooting for – I was hoping for something like dbVisualizer that had a button that said “Make an ERD of this.”. While dbVis does have that to a certain degree, it’s pretty weak.

Eventually I figured out the incantations necessary to create an ERD with MySQL Workbench from existing table structures (it involves dumping the MySQL tables to a .sql file, and ‘reverse engineering’ the structures from that file). A few more mutterings and a dead chicken later, I had a visual representation of all my tables and their relationships to each other. Score!

Alas, the tool isn’t really a ‘reporting’ system, so the resulting graph needed some fiddling in Gimp to add titles and other text. Naturally I realized after the fact that I didn’t move a couple tables into the view before snapping the picture, but it’s still a pretty good representation of where I am.

Coding wise, v2 is missing a vital component – the Properties system is not yet working, and this is critical for basic operation. I started into it last night, building up new DAOs and domain objects representing a Property for a registrant and an associated PropertyDefinition. What’s left to do is write all the management tools around them to make them workable from Coconut, and start testing.

The last big project will be the public interface. In many ways, that’s going to be the simplest and most rewarding – it’ll be the outward facing side of CONGO. Essentially what registrants see when they want to attend a convention. Previous stabs at this worked reasonably well. Attendees at the various events were able to do the basics of what the event needed, but I’m really looking forward to going the ‘next step’ and offer a full service deployment.

My delivery date for CONGO v2 FC is December 1st. So far, I think I’m going to make it.

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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3 thoughts on “CONGO Progress and Pretty Pictures

  1. Here I am lurking on your blog again. I am pleased to see phrases like “full service deployment” and “I think I am going to make it”, even though I don’t understand the rest of what you are writing about.
    Marilyn

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