Toad World® Forums

TDM and Reverse Engineering Observations

I have essentially completed the task of reverse engineering 12 standard schemas in our database with TDM. I would like to share some observations.

  1. When you close/open models, some print settings are not saved. Particularly
    this applies to “Print page number” and “Print frame”. There may be others.

  2. When you Reverse Engineer or Update the model of a schema, you get a whole
    series of messages. Many of those messages do not apply (Not being selected
    for RE). The message should say so. Also the last is “Reversing triggers…”.
    The program halts here for a long time. I think it moves onto a new state
    and should say something like “Processing…”.

  3. Whenever I print many of the models, "I get the message “The margins are set
    outside of printable are of the page. Do you want to continue?”. First, are
    should be area. If I select Yes, the model appears to print OK. Besides the
    obvious, what does the message indicate? Details, please.

  4. Maybe I don’t have my grid settings right, but I get small kinks in FK lines that I
    can’t get rid of by shifting an entity slightly. Trying to delete handle points does
    not help.

  5. Why are there workspace settings under Options->Physical Model and under
    Workspace Format off the right click menu of the Workspace? I see no reason
    for the duplication of many of the settings like for fonts.

  6. I have at least one model with the grid off, but the grid dots still are present.

  7. Provide a way to “anchor” notes and text to an entity, such that when an entity is
    moved, the note or text moves with it.

  8. I have expressed previously my disappointment with the FK line drawing
    algorithm of TDM. I have several suggestions for improvement. These may or
    may not apply outside of using “Right angles”.

    a) Never pass through an entity. Go around it. I find this particularly true when I
    move one entity from one side of an entity, the FK line may remain fixed to
    the other side. With a little finagling, you can get it to move, but TDM seems
    to have no rhyme or reason for what it does. You just keep trying until you
    get what you want.
    b) Straight lines should be used where ever possible, even if the entity being
    moved must be shifted somewhat. The latter is because the anchors to the
    parent are automatically redistributed after adding an anchor to a side.
    c) When parent/child entities have 2 relationships, I have problems with them
    crossing each other rather than being separated after moving the child
    d) You may what to rethink the even distribution of anchors on a side. It may
    look nice, but it causes lines to shift unexpectedly and other problems.
    e) Along with d), you should be able to move an anchor. That would fix some of
    issues with a).

Thanks in advance for any feed back,

Hi Dave,

thank you very much for your detailed feedback! Let me comment your observations:

  1. You are right. The settings are not stored anywhere. New CR was created for this requirement (CR#81961).
  2. Thank you for your suggestion. We will try to improve the behavior.
  3. Please click File | Page format, select your printer and try to define negative margins - TDM will warn you that negative margins cannot be defined and you will get information about minimal value for margins. Problem may occur when you define page format for some printer and then print the document on another printer, which doesn’t support the margin settings. Also, when you change settings from Portrait to Landscape the margins might be different too. TDM currently doesn’t work with the values dynamically and doesn’t load new values each time you change paper size/orientation or printer.
  4. Please try to use Align features (it is possible to align entities to horizontal or vertical center or handle points). You can also click menu View | Grid and choose Align Existing Objects to Grid. (We are going to do additional tests.)
  5. There are multiple settings that affect the appearance of objects on your WorkSpace.
    a] Settings in Options are for new models. Try to change settings in Options and then create a new model. Your new settings should be used.
    b] Settings in Workspace Format allow you to change existing WS. Let’s say you have 5 workspaces and wish to change settings for one of them. The 4 workspaces will appear in accordance with your default settings for new workspaces - and you will have to change setting only for the 5th workspace.
    c] If you wish to change apperance of selected entity only, you can right click the entity and choose Format and in the dialog you can define settings just for the selected entity (or group of entities).
    If there were settings in Options only, you won’t be able to change appearance of single WS or seleted object on your WS.
  6. You can show or hide Grid for every WS, not for a model. Please make sure the grid is hidden on the WS. Or please send us sample model to Thank you.
  7. Good suggestion. Thanks. CR#81969.
  8. Thank you for all your suggestions. We know about some of them and discussed possibilities several times. We also tried third party solutions/components, but results were not good. Re a] To my regret, this would slow down drawing significantly, plus it is very difficult to create a good algorithm for autolayout (also high priced competitive tools have problems with large models) and trying to avoid line/entity crossing would add another limitation for the autolayout.

Once again,



I’d like to add my comments regarding FK line drawing capabilities. I’m not so much concerned with the auto layout algorithm but I would like to see much more flexibility in being able to move the line segments around so as to reduce any line crosses or lines going through other objects. Also, I’d like to be able to move the anchors to another side of the object. Many times I will move an object to be closer to it’s FK counterpart but the majority of the line segments stay where they are. Even when right-clicking on the line and clicking on simply line, it doesn’t do much.
When you see what flexibility you have to move the FK name around, it’s disappointing that the lines don’t have similar flexibility.

Thank you! I have one small tip for you. Add new handle point near the anchor point and then move the new handle point to the desired side of your entity.




the Change request CR 81961 concerning your Print settings issue was addressed in BETA 4.0.5 and for the upcoming TDM 4 in June.


R&D Team


the change request CR 81970 concerning the issue with function Turns Grid Snapping On or Off has been fixed and will be addressed in the upcoming official release of TDM 4 in June.


R&D Team


CRs 81961 and 81970 were implemented in 4.0.6 Full release.