[Seaside] [OT][ANN] - SqueakDBX first stable version 1.0!!!

Mariano Martinez Peck marianopeck at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 20:20:33 UTC 2009

This is a bit off topic but as there were some mails about relational
persistence in another threads, I tough It could be useful for someone.

Hi folks:

After a continuous work since January 08, we are very glad to announce our
first stable version of SqueakDBX.

For those who don't know what this is about, the aim of this project is to
build an OpenDBX (http://www.linuxnetworks.de/doc/index.php/OpenDBX/)
wrapper which will allow users to perform relational database operations
(DDL, DML and SQL) through a truly open source library. Through this
feature, the squeak community will hopefully be able to interact with major
database engines, such as Oracle and SQL Server, besides those which are
open source, like PostgreSQL, MySQL or Sqlite. Moreover, by integrating this
with GLORP (http://www.glorp.org/), will allow us to generate a complete and
open source solution to relational data base access.

Why did we do squeakDBX?

reeThere are several approaches to persistence in Squeak, some very
interesting: OODB like Gemstone and magma, image, CouchDB or TokyoT/C, and
so on. All of this options get sense if you can actually decide the way you
will persist your objects.

However, this is not something that happens very frequently. FREQUENTLY, the
client (the one who pays you for making the software) requires you to use a
particular persistence strategy (RDBMS). Not only that, but also a database
in particular (like Oracle, MS SQL, and so on). They have lots of reasons:
they already have license for it, they have support and companies for it,
they know SQL, they want to do selects, legacy systems, and so on. But
Squeak only provides drivers for MySQL and PostgreSQL natively, so... what
would you do in the rest of the cases? move to another language? OK, we
don't. We want to program systems in Squeak.

If you know about SqueakDBX you can just see changelog here:
http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6109; If you don't, you should continue
reading ;)

SqueakDBX features:

-Cross-platform support: Linux, Windows (using MinGW) and Mac. See
-Runs on Squeak and Pharo.
-Mini VM blocks when using FFI (asynchronous queries). See
-Own SqueakDBX plugin (experimental). Ability to easily change the external
call strategy (FFI or our own plugin).
-Support for: Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, ODBC and SQLite3
-Transactional concept: begin transaction, commit and rollback. See
-Mappings from String to specific types in selects. See
-Special OpenDBX options: multistatements, encryption, compression, paged
results, MySQL modes, and more. See http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6068
-Automated database connection ralease (although manual disconnection is
recommended ;-)
-Automated results retrieving in order to do another query, after doing a
query and not iterating ALL results
-Lots of unit tests that buck up our project ;-) (85 right now). See
-Lots of benchmarks and comparison with native drivers (PostgreSQL and
MySQL). See http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6063.
-Error handling: Not only errors, but levels associated with an error in
order to avoid FFI calls (if you get a fatal error, it has no sense to do
another query and the resources must be free). See
-Query timeout (this is very useful for web applications) and page size can
be set for each query. See http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6069
-Very completed documentation in wiki and getting started.
-Code critics and SwaLint were run several times.
-Good design (at least all the major refactors demonstrated that).

Full documentation, installation and getting started instructions can be
found at wiki page: http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6052 . We spent a lot of
time in it. It has all the information you may need and is in continuos

Benchmarks: We have a lot of SqueakDBX benchmarks and also some for native
squeak drivers (PostgreSQL and MySQL) and SqueakDBX seems to be faster than
both of them. You can read more here: http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6063

Packages can be installed from Universe (3.10) or SqueakMap. Current version
is 1.0. Sources can be download from SqueakSource
http://www.squeaksource.com/SqueakDBX (it requires FFI installed).
OpenDBX version: 1.4.

Remember that you can compile OpenDBX by yourself or use precompiled
binaries. For more information please read:

GLORP integration: Actually, this may include two parts:

1) The integration of GLORP with squeak is completely hardcoded with
PostgreSQL native driver. Because of this, first we will do a refactor in
GLORP in order to enable it to support different drivers. We will create a
PostgreSQL driver with the things that GLORP already has. We invited Alan
Night to have dinner with us when he came to Argentina. We told him our
ideas and discuss for a while till we got a first design of this refactor.
We have already started this part.
2) Create a SqueakDBX driver for GLORP just like the one we are planning to
do for PostgreSQL.

The last squeak port of GLORP is very old and there is nobody to do it. A
friend of us, Diogenes Moreira, has accepted this job, so, thanks to him, we
hope to have latest GLORP releases in Squeak.
You can see our Glorp progress here: http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6132

Help is always wanted. We would really appreciate if you:

-Give us opinions, comments, ideas, new features, complaints and so on.
-Tell us if you find a bug.
-Tell us if you test SqueakDBX with other RDMBS or OS different from the
ones we tested. Just to know if it works or not :)

If you try SqueakDBX and you write something somewhere like a blog, let us
know. We have this link: http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/6131 where we put
useful links for all the people.

Special thanks to:

-ESUG, for supporting us through Summer of Talk 08;

-To Norbert (author of openDBX) for his help and to all the people who
tested it and help us.


SqueakDBX team
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