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Database Design Application on the NetBeans Platform

07.01.2010
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My name is Harnek Randhawa. I'm a software engineer living in Vancouver Canada. I have approximately 15 years experience developing desktop, web, and database applications. I'm the developer of the DbWrench software application.

Background

DbWrench is a database design and synchronization software application that was developed to be easy to use and simple to learn while still being very functional, productive, and reasonably priced. It is 100% Java, created on top of the NetBeans Platform, so it is able to run on a wide range of operating systems.

NetBeans Platform

DbWrench has always been developed using the NetBeans IDE. Although earlier versions of DbWrench did not use the NetBeans Platform. Earlier versions used a Java MDI as it's basic windowing system. Current versions of DbWrench are based on the NetBeans Platform. The NetBeans Platform helps with numerous things. The most important being the windowing system, providing a feature-rich text editor, creating a distributable ZIP file, and providing a built-in lookup system.

The decision to use the NetBeans Platform really began with the decision to use Java. I wanted an application that could run on multiple operating systems. Then the next decision was to decide between either the NetBeans Platform or the Eclipse RCP. I had used NetBeans IDE before and I always liked it. That plus SWT's cross platform concerns clinched it in favor of NetBeans.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the distributable created via the NetBeans Platform wasn't all that large and the start up speed of a NetBeans-based application was quite impressive. Great job by all the people on the NetBeans team! I'm still a believer that desktop apps are the way to go for user intensive applications. I believe in any industry where the user has to interact with an application for more than an hour a day a desktop application with a sophisticated windowing system like the NetBeans Platform is the way to go.

Screenshots

 

Aside from supporting more database-related features, the goal is to keep refining and improving the things DbWrench already does.  This includes further improving the usability, productivity, and ease of use of DbWrench's diagramming, text editing, and database synchronization features.

 

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Harnek R.

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