SQL Buddy Offers an Ajax-y PhpMyAdmin

A new way to connect to your databased launched late last year. Named SQL Buddy, the software was downloaded over 20,000 times when the developer reported on the stats back in January. While PhpMyAdmin works well, it does feel a lot like 1985. SQL Buddy appears to be a more Web 2.0, Ajax-friendly version.

I use Navicat which is super powerful but runs as a local client only. SQL Buddy runs on your server which means it can be accessed from anywhere. SQL Buddy is free and is distributed under an open source MIT-style license.

MySQL Management News

This week saw some important management news for the open source communities and startup companies that rely on open source software, specifically MySQL, the ‘M’ of the LAMP technology stack.

CNET Open Source columnist Matt Asay was one of the first to officially announce Marten Mickos to leave Sun in reorg. Marten Mickos was CEO of MySQL since 2001 prior to the Sun Microsystems acquisition announced just 1 year ago.

This week also saw Michael “Monty” Widenius, the creator of MySQL formally leave Sun as well as he comments on his blog Time to move on. The trifecta is that former MySQL 2IC under Marten Mickos Zac Urlocker has also recently moved from the Sun Database Group structure formed under Marten Mickos for the MySQL acquisition into a separate position within Sun.

Will the exodus continue along with plenty of significant names in 2008 such as Jim Starkey the falcon storage engine creator, and Brian Aker the creator of the MySQL fork Drizzle?

More importantly, what is the impact to MySQL, the MySQL Community and the larger open source ecosystem that is a core for new startups? As quoted by Marten Mickos, “[MySQL] Business is great. We just closed a multimillion-dollar deal recently that confirms much of the momentum we’ve made. We just closed our best quarter ever.” The exodus of
skills and resources will not be lost, these talented resources will find new opportunities and will continue to actively contribute to the larger tech community.

XML Vs. Databases

I recently had occasion to consider whether to use XML files or a traditional database when constructing a Web-based application at work. It took a lot of careful consideration and research to decide which way I was going to go.

In the end, I chose to use XML files, and I will explain why.

Quick warning about MS Access data types

The other day, I discovered a minor inconvenience in the way MS Access handles the “Yes/No” (or boolean) data type.

You should be aware, when working with MS Access, that any “Yes/No” field in your table can only accept boolean true and boolean false (or “true” and “false”, “yes” and “no”, 1 and 0, etc.). It will not accept NULL.

Standard programming practice is, when there is not a “default” value for a field, to insert NULL if the user does not explicitly declare a value. Unfortunately, the fact that Access throws an error if you try to insert NULL into a “Yes/No” field really puts a damper on that logic.

As the title says, this is just a quick warning for people that may be using MS Access for their databases. I’m not sure if the same is true for MS SQL or not, but it’s obviously a non-factor with MySQL, since MySQL doesn’t offer a boolean data type.