Visual Studio Server Explorer, MV Datasources

Recent comments in comp.databases.pick on re-working KEXI for MV reminded me: we’re getting close to being able to use the Visual Studio Server Explorer with a Pick/MV back-end.

The Visual Studio Server Explorer allows you to browse and maintain local and remote relational databases as well as drag/drop tables and fields into projects. It’s a great utility, built-in as part of the VS value-add. I and thousands of other developers use this to quickly create GUI and other interfaces to existing SQL Servers.

The component that understands the back-end DBMS is called a provider. There are providers for SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, Sqlite, etc. The provider is fitted with a user interface for changing schema and data, drag-n-drop, running queries. All providers conform to a spec so that they integrate seamlessly with Visual Studio.

I’ve ripped out the guts of a FOSS provider for a relational data source and I’m re-working it into an MV provider.

Why didn’t I do this with phpMyAdmin or MSAccess? Because it wouldn’t help for my .NET development.

Why didn’t I do that for KEXI? Ibid, plus I didn’t know it existed.

Why not use mv.NET? The Data Manager component does allow excellent integration with VS but it doesn’t go deep enough. I may use mv.NET to faciliate fast cross-DBMS access and then re-fit platform-specific DB access later if required.

When will this be available? Honestly, I don’t think it will be ready for several months, unless some entrepreneur offers to fund my time on it. It’s a LOT of work with a LOT of code, and NOT a lot of demand. I’m just scoping now to see who’s interested.

I don’t know if I’ll offer this:
1) for free and open source with no further restrictions;
2) for free and open source but under license for support;
3) for a distribution fee and open source with no mandatory support;
4) for free but not open source (license allows distribution without source);
5) for a distribution fee with no source, support optional;
6) for a distribution fee, no source, plus mandatory support.

So – for Visual Studio developers out there who may have an interest in this, I welcome questions and comments.

If you aren’t a VS developer, check it out: It can be used for well over 30 languages including the familiar C# and VB.NET, plus Python, PHP, Perl, Ruby, and JavaScript.

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