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Oracle shows off DB tool

Database Designer makes databases easier to build by offering developers a graphical tool that lays out the internal elements that define database structure.

Oracle (ORCL) today introduced a tool that should make life easier for designers building corporate databases.

Oracle Database Designer is a graphical tool for laying out the internal elements that define a database's structure, such as tables, rows, and columns, and the relationships between them.

While clever database design is the foundation of business applications, Web sites, and electronic commerce applications, until now developers have primarily relied on crude non-graphical command-line tools and arcane programming languages, such as Structured Query Language (SQL) and Data Definition Language to build database schema.

Database Designer allows developers to create and refine database schema through a visual interface. Developers draw lines between database elements, depicted on screen, to define relationships. Then, through a Generation Wizard, the tool automatically generates the SQL code which defines the underlying database structure.

The tool also includes a Reverse Engineer Wizard, which allows existing database schema to be reverse-engineered.

Database Designer generates SQL code for Oracle7, RDB, and Personal Oracle Lite databases, as well as for Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and any database that supports the Open Database Connectivity standard interface.

The tool can also feed database design models to Oracle's Developer/2000 toolset, for inclusion in an application design, to Oracle's WebServer, and to Microsoft Visual Basic.

Database Designer is priced at $995 per developer, and runs on Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows NT.