Model Designer and Catwalk

TurboGears comes with a collection of web-based tools bundled into something called Toolbox. I checked out Model Designer and Catwalk.

Toolbox


Model Designer

The Model Designer lets you create your model through a web browser. It also comes with a diagram view of the tables and their relations. It doesn’t tell any details about the type of relations, which would have been great. You can also generate the model source code and the tables.

The problem with the tool is that if you manually change your model, there’s no way to continue using Model Designer, since your real model is out of sync with the state of the tool.

Wouldn’t it be great if it read the meta-data from the database or the model source code so you could continue even if you made a couple of changes by hand?

Model Designer


Catwalk

Catwalk is a great tool for testing your model. It allows you to do CRUD-operations against your database. Very useful. The only glitch I found was that there weren’t any warnings displayed when there was an error during the database operation (for example when I didn’t add anything into a ‘not null’-field). The only way to find this out is to watch the console you started Toolbox from.

Overall the modeling was a joy. You get quick results, and you can experiment without any big hassles.
Catwalk

TurboGears 1.0 will include another great thing called ‘fastdata’. It will automatically create web pages for your model. This will save a lot of time.

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