Toad World® Forums

Data browser functionality

Since I’m new to TSS, consider this a question first and a feature request assuming my suspicion that this is indeed not currently in TOAD.

My use case is that I often get “Why am I seeing X?” or “Why is my application doing Y?” functionality, where X and Y are dependent on data in the database. The diagnostics to answer these come from what I would call data exploration. This is typically done by making repeated sequential queries, where the outputs of one query lead to inputs on the next query. It is NOT exactly Data Analysis (i.e. reporting or analytics aren’t the goal) but I’ve addressed this in the past via use of the data browser, repeated SQL statements (a somewhat slow approach), coupled with some degree of low-level automation.

What I’m fishing for is a tool that allows free-form browsing of data. The input to this hypothetical tool would be an ER/data diagram showing all the table relationships. The action would be to start browsing at a selected table, and:

  • Next to any parent key field, there is a “+” to expand the appropriate relationship to the related records in the child table.
  • Next to any child key field, there is a “up arrow” or similar symbol to navigate to the parent row in the related
  • The data would be retrieved on demand based on clicks on the icons above. The user could open the results in a new tab or replace the current tab.
  • If there are multiple possible parent tables or child tables possible for a given column, there would be multiple such icons, which would be identified by hovering over them.

It seems like the pieces are mostly there already:

  • The basis for this would be the existing data browser.
  • The master-detail browser does the parent-to-child mapping pretty much like I’m after. It has the fatal flaw that a table with multiple parents (pretty common) fails the whole thing for reasons I don’t exactly understand - if I’m navigating a specific column, why does it matter if the child table has other parents using other column keys?
  • Adding the “to-parent” function would seem to be relatively straightforward (I know, I’m not the guy writing it, but it seems conceptually easier than a lot of what’s there already).
  • The usual/existing grouping/filtering/etc. would still be available.

If I were to sum this up as simply as possible, I’m looking to have the “Master-Detail browser” act also as a “Detail-Master browser” and to remove its current multiple parent restriction.

This seems like it shouldn’t be a new need, but I’ve yet to see a really robust tool other than some pricey OLAP tools - which is overkill for what I’m trying to do since I’m not really trying to do aggregation, reporting, etc., just retrieve data. Does this make sense? Does TSS do this already and I’m just missing it? Is this a plausible feature request if not present? Does anybody have a favorite (reasonably priced) tool that does this?

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions… Apologies in advance if this turns out to be a total noob question.


Hello, Eric
Thank you for such detailed post. Right now there is no possibility to browse data from ‘child’ to ‘parent’. From what you can see - you have to have only one parent table defined - error message appears in case of more than one.

I’ve created CR87462 to track your request for browsing in both directions, but I’m not sure that we can implement it since it is a little bit tricky