Q: Where and how to use FIBPlusTools?

A: Unique tools: FIBPlusTools

Besides components FIBPlus has additional tools FIBPlus Tools, which extend IDE features and enable you to use FIBPlus at design-time more effectively.

Preferences

Preferences help you to set default parameters of the main components. On the first dialog page you can set default values for Options, PrepareOptions and DetailsConditions for all TpFIBDataSet components. You can also set certain keys for these properties. For example if you make SetRequiredFields active, then placing a new TpFIBDataSet component onto the form, you will see that its PrepareOptions property will have pfSetRequiredFields defined. It is important that default settings in FIBPlus Tools Preferences are valid for all new applications that you create. Notice that this concerns only initial defaults: if you change component properties after dropping the component onto the form, Preferences won’t have these changes. Besides when changing Preferences, you do not change components which properties were already defined.

Picture 8. Tools Preferences.

Prefix Generator name and Suffix Generator name fields are important. Setting them you can form generator names in the AutoUpdateOptions property in TpFIBDataSet. The generator name in AutoUpdateOptions is formed from the table name (UpdateTable), its prefix and suffix.

The following dialog pages help to define main properties for TpFIBDataBase, TpFIBTransaction and TpFIBQuery. In particular if you always work with newest InterBase/Firebird versions (e.g InterBase version 6 upwards), set SQL Dialect=3 in TpFIBDatabase, then you won’t need to set it manually all the time.

SQL Navigator

It’s the most interesting part of FIBPlus Tools which has no analogues in other products. This tool helps to handle SQL centrally for the whole application.

SQL Navigator enables you to have access to SQL properties of any component from one place.

The button «Scan all forms of active project» scans all application forms and selects those which contain FIBPlus components for work with SQL: TpFIBDataSet, TpFIBQuery, TpFIBUpdateObject and TpFIBStoredProc. Select any of these forms. The list in the right will be filled with components found on this form. Of you click any component you will see their corresponding properties with the SQL code. For TpFIBDataSet there will be shown such properties as SelectSQL, InsertSQL, UpdateSQL, DeleteSQL and RefreshSQL. For TpFIBQuery, TpFIBUpdateObject and TpFIBStoredProc FIBPlus will show an SQL property value.

You can change any property directly from SQLNavigator and its new value will be saved. SQLNavigator helps to work with groups of components. You only need å select corresponding components or forms.

“Save selected SQLs” saves values of selected properties into an external file.

“Check selected SQLs” checks selected SQL queries on correctness in SQLNavigator.

Then you can analyze the file with selected queries by using special tools.

You can also use SQLNavigator for text searching in the SQL of the whole project.

By double clicking any found item you make SQLNavigator select a component and a property and thus can edit SQL.

Picture 9. Tools SQL Navigator


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We are a small software company with thousands of customers delivering comany wide systems including accounting, logistics, e-commerce, POS, sales etc etc. Several years ago, when we were still a very small company, we used Delphi 3 and Paradox combined with BDE. As our system (and customer base) grew I decided to switch to Delphi 5 and Interbase. Being a huge improvement over Delphi 3 and Paradox, I encountered numerous problems with IBX: memory leaks, performance issues and other problems. Borland was not to be bothered: IBX was provided "as is" and no support was avaliable. 
Not being very eager to use third party components with Delphi at first, I decided to give FIBPlus a try. At once all problems where gone: no more memory leaks and  performance was very consistent. 
But the real advantage of switching to FIBPlus came with the upgrade to D2005: after upgrading there were some problems with the new FIBPlus version. After emailing the problem I received an update within an hour! And this was at 11 pm! A few other (smaller) errors where handled in the same way. 
Our motto is: software is as good as its support. And support of Devrace is just great!
Just a little indication of our FIBPlus use: all our software runs 100% on FIBPlus. Our customers have a total of aprox. 4.800 Firebird databases in production, with a combined size of over 130TB and over 80 million transactions a day. Every
day. And FIBPlus has not failed a single transaction. Not once. There is, however, one (minor) drawback in using FIBPlus: while debugging an application which uses and invalid SQL instruction, de Delphi Debugger returns to the FIBPlus code instead of to our calling code (where the actual error comes from), thereby complicating de debug proces a little. But that is a very small price to pay for a otherwise brilliant third party solution! >>

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