Friday, 5 December 2008

Database Module: Going, Going, Gone!

Here's another little FDO Toolbox update with a small backstory.

When I first wrote the original database module for FDO Toolbox, what I wanted was the ability to integrate FDO data sources with non-FDO data sources (eg. Joining an SDF file with a MS Access database).

For the next release of FDO Toolbox, this module will no longer exist.

The reason: OSGeo.ODBC

I have come to realise that I have been essentially duplicating functionality that already exists in the ODBC FDO Provider since the beginning of time. The provider already wrappers non-FDO data sources as FDO data sources, so I was basically reinventing the wheel (poorly).

So the plan now for non-spatial data support is currently the following:
  1. Give the ODBC Provider some special attention in the Express Module. There will be connection builders for commonly used formats like MS Access databases, Excel Spreadsheets, CSV files, DSNs, etc.
  2. Implementing Class to Feature Class conversion, which will replace the old DB Table to Point Feature conversion, since the ODBC provider already exposes the DB Tables as non-feature classes.
  3. Supporting joins between FDO data sources, again since the ODBC provider has done all the work for us.
  4. Implementing configuration support. This is just another FDO feature that has yet to be exposed by FDO Toolbox.
Items 2, 3 and 4 won't make the next release, but 1 will make it in some form or another.

2 comments: said...

Jackie, I don't know a lot about the ODBC provider, but wouldn't implementing #4 give you #2 for free?

Jackie Ng said...

Hmmm, point taken.

Configuration would allow you to define non-feature classes as XY/Z point feature classes thus negating the need for #2