Hi, all. This is tentative. You know draft. But here is the list of things we're thinking of doing around database tooling for the next release of NetBeans.
Don't expect anything more than what is listed in the "P2" section. The P3 section is an unordered list of other ideas, and if we have time, we'll pick some of them off. If there are specific things that you really want, please let me know. And of course, any other feedback you have is always much appreciated.
The two main themes are: add more SQL integration with the PHP editor, and improve our overall UI experience.
We also would like to produce a plugin for a visual E/R tool (what I am calling a Visual Database Explorer to distinguish it from a full E/R tool like MySQL Workbench). We want people to test drive it for a while with this release, and then we can refine it and potentially integrate it into NB proper in the next release.
I will admit I am hesitant with the Visual DB Explorer. I know many of you have asked for this, but my concern is that once you have something out there, then you'll want more. "Why can't I create a new table right there?" "You don't fully support feature X of the Y database". "Why can't I generate SQL from the E/R diagram?".
If we're not careful, we can spend all our time refining the E/R tool when, as I've said before, that's really not taking advantage of our core strengths as a DB tool inside NetBeans.
There are numerous E/R tools out there, including MySQL Workbench, and I don't think it makes sense to spend all our time replicating that. Look at what we are doing in the PHP editor - that's something that takes advantage of the fact that the db tooling is inside an IDE. That can add real value that a standalone DB tool can't.
That said, I know how nice it is to quickly pull up a visual representation of a database schema to help understand it. So we'll do that. But please don't expect us to build Erwin for NetBeans. And to be honest, I don't think that's what most of you want anyway.