So now in Version 6 we add yet a third Describe window, each one of which describes only certain things at certain times.
Apparently there is some sort of assumption that people never just code in the SQL window, they always use the DB Navigator. This is a bad assumption. When there are over a thousand objects in several schemas, navigating through looking for a table is not so handy. Using the find objects function is faster - but often times I know the schema and table name I want to use, so I start typing it into the Code editor. Suppose in the Code Editor I type SELECT * FROM Table1
My choices to see the column descriptions of Table1 are:
Go hunt down Table1 with the DB Navigator and then Describe or Auto Describe from there.
Ctrl F3 Describe - This is the fastest and easiest, but it puts the describe in a non-docking window that obscures the code and the result set on the the screen.
Auto Describe by clicking on hyper link. This doesn’t work for me in Version 6.1, although it did in 5.5. I have double checked the preferences for Hot Links and Describe Object at hyperlink. Auto Describe works well only when you go to an object in the DB Navigator and click there. The good news is that it is a dockable window so that I can hide it off to the edge but refer to it when needed.
Now the Toolbox describe. Basically the same as Auto Describe except mostly for use by the DB Explorer, as near as I can tell. Completely usesless when typing code into the Code Editor. The drop down is supposed to make it easy to select an object; but when a schema has 600 tables with thousands of indexes, the drop down is slow and not particularly useful. Also it doesn’t list public synonyms which in my case would add hundreds more entries.
So now I can have three different Describe windows taking up my screen all at once. Does anyone else see a problem with that?
In my opinion, this is how the Describe should work:
No matter how you invoke Describe, it should always put the results in the toolbox Describe pane. You might want to have preferences options for people who prefer the describe results be put in a dockable window. The point is Describe should always work the same way, should always go to the same window.
If I type this into the code editor:
SELECT * FROM Table1
then the columns for Table1 should automatically appear in the Toolbox Describe pane. We know from the outline tool that you are already parsing this information.
If I type in the code editor SELECT * FROM Table1 INNER JOIN Table2
right at that point after I hit the space bar after “Table2”, before I have finished the statement, the toolbox describe window should have the columns for Table2 showing for easy drag and drop. Within the tool box describe pane drop down list, Table1 should be the first entry so I can easily jump back. So if I have a query with 10 tables/views joined, those 10 tables should all automatically be the listed at the top in the drop down list of the Describe pane. Other objects according to the filter would then appear after those.
We make extensive use of synonyms. Always, always, always - if the object being described is a synonym, it should automatically reference the correct object and display the columns/parameters. I can’t see the point of me wasting my time having to click on the synonym name to see the results.
Thanks for your consideration.