War with MySQL

I like plugins and I like IDE’s. I like to play with new tools to see how they work for me. I find it fun and interesting: Here are some of the tools I use:

  • Ruby in Steel (Rails plugin for Visual Studio 2005)
  • Visual Studio 2005
  • PHP Designer 2007 (Personal)
  • Net/Connector 1.0.1
  • Zend Studio
  • Netbeans

This is what I am using at this time mind you, I have used others in the past and simply not liked them or did not see a need for them, in any case, to try something is the first step in accepting change. However, one area that I have always disliked is MySQL support in Visual Studio. While I should be grateful as no IDE (that I have come across) offers the wealth of features that assist the programmer in so much more then writing code. However, naturally Visual Studio is geared toward Microsoft products, this makes sense of course, as it is a Microsoft product. Anyway, ths being the case, the majority of database interaction had to be handled pragmatically rather then through the GUI tools provided to SQL Server users. I have long since looked for a way to counter this. Tonight I though I found such a solution in MySQL Tools for Visual Studio.

However, I was immediately met with complications as after installing and the Connect to.. Dialogue disappearing on me, I sought answers. The first answer Google told me was that my machine.config file needed to be edited with a few changes brought on my Net/Connector 5.0.1. I found this strange, having never heard of Net/Connector 5.0.1, I assumed it to be a misprint and continued using my Net/Connector 1.0 as the MySQL Download site showed no higher version then what I had. Upon making the changes Visual Studio began sputtering and a variety of plugins began to fail, noteably Ruby in Steel (http://www.sapphiresteel.com/) and Atlas. So I decided to revert and fix these applications before continue.

After attempting repair and installs twice for Ruby in Steel and Atlas and getting the same error, it was clear that something was wrong with my configuration. Since the only config change I had made was to the machine.config file I decided to replace it with the default and see what happens.

While this worked, as expected, none of my plugins worked at all. However, I was able to uninstall the plugins, as the config error had been preventing it, and reinstall them. After some minor tweaking I was able to get everything back to the way it was using the Net/Connector 5.0.1. Yes I did manage to find this, it is buried in MySQL.com and not really publicized, it was only thanks to Google that I found it. I now went back to install the MySQL Tools, and this time everything went in alright and no errors were reported.

I attempted to follow the instructions for using the plug-in and was greeted with the same error. While MySQL Tools for Visual Studio and the option to use the MySQL Connector show up in the startup and Datasource type selector, as soon as I enter one keystroke the form disappears. Annoyed at having spent about 3 hours trying to get it to work (not that the actual workload took that long, working from Japan has disadvantages when accessing servers in the US) I decided to try #mysql on IRC hoping that one of the Linux gurus may have played with .NET. However, as was expected not one person used .NET in the channel, in fact I was rather hounded for supporting the “evil empire”. Undaunted I decided to try #c-sharp. There, thankfully, people had tried the same thing I was trying and been greeted with the same effect. Whenever a keystroke is entered the form disappears.

So for now, I am waiting on Net/Connector and MySQL tools, hopefully in their next version they will correct this bug I submitted cause it would really be nice to take advantage of all the built in help VS provides for developers in creating and maintaining databases, as well as automatic creation of the Data Access Layer. You cant blame Microsoft for these problems, they dont even have an obligation to allow plugins to be developed for Visual Studio, the fact that they do allow it is evidence that they support external development of their tools. The developer is important, they want people to develop using their software and to make suggestions as to how to improve it. I wouldn’t expect Microsoft to provide MySQL support into Visual Studio because, from a business perspective, they want you to use their product. Anyone with any business sense would understand this; just like Red Hat wouldn’t send drivers for Suse applications with their products. Or how some projects are KDE only, its the same concept.


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