SQL

Switching from SQLPro Studio to Valentina Studio

I am in no way an SQL guru. My Select statements are cringeworthy to those who know what they're doing. To that end, I went searching for a tool to help diagram a database so I could better understand the data. What I walked away with, and what has become my SQL editor of choice, is Valentina Studio.

Turns out diagramming is one small part of what Valentina Studio can do. It's a full featured SQL IDE loaded with features that can all be used for free.

It connects to MS SQL, Postgres and MySql. It has a wonderful UI presentation that makes it easy to see the results of your query. It features tabs, syntax formatting, easy navigation and a host of information about the query and the database itself.

Previously, I had been using SQLPro Studio, which was a decent IDE I purchased from Bundlehunt. It worked, it got the job done, and I have no regrets. However, taking into account it's actual purchase price of $99, it's incredibly overpriced for what you get. Compared to Valentina Studio, it's feature set is rudimentary and anemic.

From what I can see, all the features and functionality of SQLPro Studio at a cost of $99 per year, are available for FREE in Valentina Studio. What the what?!

I've been using Valentina Studio for a month of so now, and the features are very nice. Yes, some of the more advanced features require the full version, but I'm fine with that. Those are higher level tools and functions I won't be using. I don't need to backup, or maintain a DB. I won't benefit from a lot of the analysis tools. The DIFF and Builder tools are beyond my means. Those are for real database administrators and architects.

But as an IDE, to write the type of queries I need, and to present results in a meaningful manner, this tool is amazing.

The database diagramming is free.
Connecting to MS SQL, Postgres or MySQL, whether local or cloud, is free.
Running a standard query with syntax formatting, is free.
Basic query analysis and tuning information about that query is free.

Valentina Studio has turned out to be an incredible find. I'm not even using a fraction of what it has to offer, but it's a huge benefit. It's now part of the standard set up for my machine at work and at home.

If you are looking for an SQL IDE that connects to multiple data sources, has an easy to understand UI, provides easy DB navigation, syntax formatting, and tabbed results, Valentina Studio is definitely a tool to look into.

Valentina Studio Overview

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Udemy courses in Java and SQL

Over the past two years I have taken a lot of really good training courses at Udemy. It's a great way to get instructor led training on a wide variety of technology topics. From that, there are two courses that rise to the top because they are very well done and provide a wealth of information to the QA engineer.

The first is a programming course. Since Java is the language of automation, I highly recommend:

Java Programming Masterclass for Software Developers by Tim Buchalka

You know you're in for a lot of information when the course is a staggering 80 hours of content. It covers the basics of Java, how to get it installed, picking an IDE, a quick overview of data types, and how to get your first programming running.

Tim then gets into the meatier topics of classes, objects, inheritance, constructors and encapsulation. And for each topic there are plenty of code examples, exercises and demos. There also lots of conversations about programming methodology to hold things together.

While not an automation course, it provides a wealth of information to develop and improve your code. I've learned a huge amount from this course and I don't consider myself to be a developer.

The second course on the list is:

The Complete SQL Bootcamp by Jose Portilla

To me, SQL is an umbrella term for many things. There is the language, the database itself, database theory, architecting, maintenance, and development (stored procedures).

That's not where I need to be. I'm not a SQL engineer, but writing a query is a huge benefit to the QA engineer. We can validate site information and provide dynamic data for Katalon scripts. This course focuses on building those kinds of queries.

It starts off with the basics of SQL, the SELECT statement then moves into COUNT, JOIN, ORDER BY, LIKE, WHERE, BETWEEN and GROUP BY.

For your own practice, it goes over the basics of installing and creating a database, setting up data types, and gives a solid foundation for starting with SQL – the language.

I am by no means an expert, but the topic is no longer a total mystery to me. As noted, I've been able to connect Katalon into our database and retrieve data. While I'm not the fastest at putting a query together, I have a far better understanding of what I'm doing.

As a matter of fact, I plan to retake this course during this slow period of the holidays as a refresher and to dig deeper into topics now that I have a better understanding.

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