Earlier this week, e-point SA (the company that develops Vertabelo) was a Partner at the 4Developers conference. I'd like to share some of my thoughts after meeting with many IT professionals who attended the event.
4Developers is a conference for people connected with IT in many different ways. As stated on the conference website:
“4Developers is a technical conference intended for developers, architects, testers, coders, team leaders, project managers, IT departments, as well as all IT students. The event is designed for both professionals and amateurs working in different technological fields. Above all, 4Developers is a platform - a meeting place for the tech community.”
This was not the first time we were present at 4Developers. e-point SA was a sponsor of all consecutive editions between 2009 and 2012. In the current edition we were there to announce Vertabelo to the IT world.
Vertabelo Team @ 4Developers
Throughout the day, we spoke with more than one hundred developers, project managers and team leaders. We exchanged our experiences working on database structure, both using graphical tools and defining it in SQL or in code (with ORMs).
Our interlocutors have been working with small databases (up to 20 tables) as well as with large ones (more than 200 entities). While a small DB can be easily managed with text-based editors, almost every conference participant with whom I spoke agreed that for those huge structures a graphical representation is a must. Not only for architects (or whatever you call a person responsible for DB design), but also for software developers. The spread of the knowledge about DB structure (and about its changes) between team members is a very important part of the development process. Some teams exchange PDF files with the DB design, others print and distribute sheets of paper. Our modern approach to this problem was a great surprise. With Vertabelo, you can share a model with many people who may either edit it or only view and explore it.
A few of my interlocutors worked on international projects: some of their team members were located in another city or country. And, once again, they were amazed at how easy it is to foster cooperation within a distributed team using Vertabelo.
Most wanted features
A lot of people were asking about the possibility of importing existing DB models. There is already one way to do it – using Vertabelo's reverse-engineering tool. However, the most convenient method would be to import a DDL (SQL script). We're working on this functionality and plan to deploy it on the production server within no more than a month.
Another commonly requested feature was the ability to make migration scripts between database versions. This wasn't a big surprise for us, as many of our users have already asked for it. This is one of our high-priority tasks and we'll do our best to make it available for you as soon as possible.
It was a pleasure for me to meet and talk to so many IT professionals in one place. See you soon at geecon 2014 in Kraków!