Xcase & The Database Life Cycle

Database engineers come to rely on Xcase to accurately speed them through detail-driven tasks throughout the entire life cycle of the database application. Xcase automates your work and transparently handles the tedious and demanding details for consistently reliable results.

  Design

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Analysis & Design

Xcase’s sophisticated visual interface helps you quickly design an accurate database by capturing every detail of your customer’s business information world. Intelligent automation helps ensure that you accomplish this task completely and with integrity. No need to be an expert on the databases with which you work. Xcase thoroughly understands the characteristics of each database it supports and handles all of the details while you focus on the design itself.

Reverse and Forward Engineering

Complete and accurate reverse and forward engineering capabilities transform your existing database into presentation quality diagrams.

Graphic Features

Comprehensive graphical features visually manage complexity with organized, easy-to-understand Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs)

Customization

Access and edit all meta-data attributes (including your own) using customizable Browsers and Attribute Inspectors. Xcase’s customization capabilities offer additional flexibility for novices and power users alike.

  • A fully customizable Data Dictionary which allows you to include user defined attributes.
  • Powerful and customizable editors to easily access all the pertinent attributes in the database.

Automation

Accurate, time-saving automation mechanisms speed the design process with Xcase.

  • Regardless of whether the target database supports domains, when you create a domain, the attributes of the domain will automatically be propagated to the fields which you assign to the domain.
  • Automatically defines of foreign keys as you create relations.
  • Automatically builds primary indexes as you flag primary keys.
  • Automatically builds foreign indexes as you create relations.
  • Automatically cascades modifications in the parent field to the children fields.

Inheritance

Modifications of a field attribute or a domain attribute can be automatically propagated according to the user defined inheritance mechanisms you have set when the modifications must be propagated to foreign keys, view elements, index elements.

Validity Checks

Xcase thoroughly checks to ensure the validity of your design.

  • Automatically checks the correctness of database object names according to the rules of the target database.
  • Automatically checks and signals if you have defined redundant indexes.


  Present

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Presentation

Once you have completed the design of the database, Xcase produces high quality diagrams that allow you to present your design from different views and with various levels of detail. By allowing you to customize the presentation for your customer, your colleagues or for your own use, Xcase greatly facilitates the iterative process of analysis, design and presentation.

Full Graphical Control

Your choice of colors, fonts, annotations and graphical objects gives you full control over the presentation of your ERDs.

Graphical Management of Relations

Quickly and clearly identify the outgoing relations of a table by automatically setting the color of the outgoing relations to match the background of the parent entity.

Multiple Diagrams

Divide your ERD into manageable sub-sets of the entities and relations with Xcase’s support for multiple diagrams.

Embedded Diagrams

To more easily understand complex databases, you can embed a diagram within a base diagram. Double click on an embedded diagram to display their entities and show the relations between those entities and the entities of the base diagram.

Multiple Displays

Multiple stored displays of each diagram present the objects contained in the ERD at varying levels of detail.

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Context-Driven Navigation

  • The Xcase Navigator allows you to see your complete work space in a small window in order to easily locate the displayed diagram within the context of the whole.
  • A tree allows you to easily find and access database objects.
  • A zoom window displays normal scale views of sections of a zoomed out display.


  Document

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Documentation

Once you have completed the analysis and design of your model and have presented your design to your customer, it is important to fully document your design, the blue print of your application. Xcase automates this tedious and time-consuming task, allowing you to easily print diagrams and customized reports with comments as well as your own user defined attributes.

Presentation Quality Graphical Documentation

  • Full color printout of diagrams
  • Export diagrams as Windows Meta Files or Enhanced Meta Files
  • Customers can use the Xcase Viewer (purchased separately) to view, but not modify, the complete model

Multiple Reporting Options

The Crystal Reports engine shipped with Xcase produces presentation quality reports in a variety of formats, including RTF and HTML, which may be published directly on your Web site.


  Generate

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Generate

At this point you ve refined your original design according to customer feedback and you’re ready to generate all the database related code. Xcase automatically and reliably generates all of the code needed: Data Definition Language Code to build the database, Triggers and Stored Procedures to safeguard data integrity, and Object Oriented Code to provide all of the important metadata for the front end of your application. And when it comes to Views and Queries, Xcase has the unique ability to automatically create and update even complex SQL statements - without human intervention.

Superior Scripting Language

At the heart of Xcase lies an extremely powerful TCL-based scripting language that is actually easier to learn and easier to use than the lesser macro constructs provided by other tools. Xcase’s scripting engine generates all database-related code, such as XML schemas, and gives you full access to all of the metadata information, including user defined attributes, both in the Xcase Data Dictionary and in the Database Catalog.

DDL Code for Database Structure

Xcase generates accurate DDL (Data Definition Language) code to physically build the basic structures such as tables, indexes, etc., required to hold data.

Referential Integrity Code

Xcase transforms the business rules specified in your model into Triggers, Stored Procedures and Constraints that reliably safeguard and enforce referential integrity when users input data.

Code to Extract Data via Views and Queries

Modern databases often contain complex relationships. Xcase "knows" its way around your model and intelligently combines series of relations into "paths," greatly facilitating the definition and maintenance of SQL Views. You can accurately extract relevant data from the database without having to write a single line of code, even for complex SQL statements. In addition, when you change field names, drop fields or modify keys, Xcase maintains the code without fail.

This unique and extremely valuable feature is not offered by any other product on the market.

Object Oriented Code

Xcase builds object oriented code specifically for the target application to provide all of the important metadata required to manipulate the databases. For example, it automatically generates data modules for Delphi from selected entities and views in Xcase and incorporates them into the Delphi project. Not only is this a powerful, time-saving feature, but it ensures consistency and integrity since attributes, validations, etc. are automatically drawn from the same source, the Xcase metadata.


  Manage Data

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Manage Data

One of the most striking Lower CASE features offered by Xcase is that it provides a direct link from the conceptual domain into the physical data by allowing database engineers to move physical data from one database to another, then relationally view the data and edit it with integrity . . . all from within Xcase. Perfect for testing proposed changes to your database.

Automatically Port Data

When you need to convert your database from SQL to Oracle, SQL Server to MySQL, and so on, Xcase Professional Edition automates the process for you.

  • Xcase creates a new model for a new target database based on a model previously created for another database, automatically executing at model level all of the necessary transformations such as translating data types.
  • Xcase automatically recreates the data for the new target database based on the existing data from the original database.

Automatically Validate Physical Data

  • Check that data in your database conforms to the constraints defined in your model
  • Check relations to verify:
    • That there are no orphan records
    • That there are no orphan records
    • That at least one child exists for a relation defined as "0 Not allowed"
    • That only one child exists in a 1-to-1 relation
  • Check uniqueness to verify that keys in the database are unique for primary keys, alternate keys and unique indexes as defined in the model
  • Check fields and records to verify
    • That fields defined as "Not Null" in the model do not contain Null values in the database
    • That enumerated type fields only contain valid values
    • That fields and records comply with the rules and constraints defined in the model
  • Produce detailed reports on all the data integrity errors found
  • View and edit the "faulty" data in dedicated browsers that allow you to "fix" data integrity errors

View and Edit Data

Towards the end of your database development, even before creating the final application, Xcase makes it easy to test all aspects of your design.

  • Test Rules
    Test the model, particularly the associated database-related code such as triggers, constraints and views, without leaving the Xcase environment.
  • Demonstrate Model
    Developers can more effectively demonstrate an essentially abstract and conceptual model by showing the user the physical data.
  • Input Data
    Customers can input data before the final application has been completed. They not only avoid "wasting time" waiting for the final application to begin inputting data, but customer satisfaction is secured by providing a working model at the early stages of development.
  • Test Model
    Customers can test whether the design of the database has been accurately and completely structured to meet their requirements. By testing the validity of the structures and business rules, the customer may provide feedback on whether the model includes all of the fields and tables, as well as on the accuracy and suitability of the business rules.
  • Prototype User Interface
    Customers can help direct the development of the user interface by providing feedback on how to best organize the data on screen. Because the browsers are readily configurable, he can effortlessly arrange the data as he chooses. The customer may also determine how he wishes to access data by easily designing queries for which Xcase will automatically generate ready-to-use SQL code that may then be incorporated into the database by creating views or by simply integrating them into the final application as queries.
  • Maintain Data
    Developers have direct and easy access to every piece of data in the database in order to perform maintenance operations with integrity. This is a very powerful maintenance feature since, in general, data is only partially accessible in the final application.

Full relational navigation for viewing/editing data

  • By opening a table to view its physical data, a completely configurable browser appears listing the children on the bottom pane of the selected parent in the top pane.
  • You can view all of the children for the different relations outgoing from the parent table.
  • At the click of a button, you can drill down into the children on the top pane of the browser, or see the grandchildren of the original parent record on the bottom pane.

Automated editing features

  • While editing data, look-ups are automatically set for each foreign key.
  • It is possible to set fields for enumeration in the Xcase Data Dictionary so that when editing a field, a drop down will appear.


  Maintain

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Maintenance

No matter how good your original database design, business demands will require it to change. Again, Xcase is your invaluable assistant, automatically maintaining metadata in both the model and in the Database Catalog. Once you have made necessary modifications, Xcase allows you to automatically update the database at the customer site while preserving existing data. Models contain highly interrelated metadata. That's why any change you make may have wide-ranging implications. For example, adding a new element to a primary key requires you to create foreign keys, modify or create primary and foreign indexes, modify referential integrity constraints, modify views, modify triggers, and so on.

Using Xcase, you don't have to be an expert in the database or to know the details of the often very complex syntax. Xcase automatically handles all implications of a change for you within the model and then generates all of the necessary code for you. You then review the code, modify it if you want and, at the click of a button, submit the approved code to the database.

More specifically, when you modify an object in the Data Dictionary, Xcase:

Modifies Related Objects

Automatically modifies all the related objects (indexes, foreign keys, views, fields, triggers) in the model.

Compares Model to Actual Database

Performs a thorough comparison of all of the attributes of all the database objects as they appear in the model and in the actual database by comparing the model to the actual database, and not to an archived version of the model as some other products do.

Lists Discrepancies

Provides a complete list of all of the discrepancies found.

Ports Selected Modifications

Allows you to select the modifications you want to port.

Generates Code

Automatically generates all of the code required to alter the database.

Review, Modify and Submit Code

Allows you to review and modify the code before submitting it to the database while preserving existing data

Update at Customer Site

For Local Databases (VFP and Jet), Xcase provides a free for distribution run time module that compares the Xcase Data Dictionary with the actual database and updates the database at the customer site while preserving existing data.
For Server Databases, the Xcase Viewer (purchased separately for installation at the customer site) provides:
  • The capacity to compare the Xcase Data Dictionary with the actual database and update the database while preserving existing data
  • Extremely flexible documentation of your design
  • The capacity to view and edit data and design queries

Preserves Existing Data

When the modification of an attribute of a table cannot be implemented via the "Alter" command for a specific database, and you wish to preserve existing data, Xcase automatically:
  • Creates a temporary table with the updated structures and attributes
  • Moves all of the data from the existing table into it
  • Drops the previous table
  • Designates and renames the temporary table as the original table

More Power in Xcase 10.1

  • Generate quality test databases
  • Support for SQL Server 2014 and Azur
  • Domain Usage
  • Display Parents in Physical Data
  • Revolutionary New View Design Interface
  • Enhanced code editor
  • Synchronization of a selected object
  • Multiple line selection in the browsers

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