DBsurfer Query Generator Slide Show

(click on each underlined link as you read)

First, we need to create a query document

Then, we get a choice of query form

Choose your database

Once logged in, this is your main query dialog

Let's find out what percentage of customers ordered products. This demo is being run with DBsurfer just "out of the box".

  1. What is it we need to do? Calculate a percentage.
  2. For which entity? Customers.
  3. Specify a link or a filter condition? We'll need a link (to the products entity.)
  4. So it's a verb. Use the default verb for now.
  5. All the applicable entities you can link to at this stage are shown. Choose products.
  6. Now we have a query (notice the Ready... button). Also notice that the query could be extended (there is still a choose a phrase caption visible in a dropdown list.) Clicking on Ready... produces the lower Dispatch (or Run) dialog. The query cannot be saved as a virtual entity because it just calculates a percentage, so this option is not visible in the Dispatch dialog. The result is obviously just going to be a number - not very interesting...
  7. ... instead, let's look at the SQL that was transparently generated. Perhaps it's not as simple as you expected - it just depends on the structure of the database. DBsurfer SQL relies heavily on bracketed SQL because your query could have mixed OR and AND terms within the subquery. In this case the brackets are partially redundant - for now.
  8. Let's extend the query and actually list the applicable customers. Notice the other available choices mentioned in step 7 above.
  9. This is the list in an answer window. We also sorted by city. The two windows are overlapped to show the final query.
  10. Now for a little maintenance to improve the language. First we'll change some database attribute names.
  11. Then, we define a new verb relating customers directly to order items.
  • Using the same technique as above we'll design a new query and run a report for it.
  • Since the report design is wizard-based, we'll only look at relevant steps, like the optional (local) sort by city.
  • We sorted in order to allow grouping by city - here is the wizard step that enables grouping.
  • Another useful step is the layout format of the report - choose from preset formats.
  • You can optionally modify the report design manually. Everything is icon based and drag-and-drop.
  • Here is the final report; we added sub-averages by city, jazzed up the title and used the report design preview tab to show it. Took 60 seconds.
  • If you'd like to re-run a report, modify it, or reprint it, you can find it in a listing of all existing reports.
  • Sometimes you need to see information graphically. Let's export the answer to a spreadsheet...
  • ... and graph it.
  • Queries can be saved and re-run. To find them use the Find utility - it shows each query's text. The one shown is for a query involving an outer join.
  • Oh, one last thing - this is what the database looks like. You can use this window to at least become familiar with it. For example, we used one of its features to display the attributes of the product entity.