Getting Started

In order to use DATASTAR you need to create a local workspace. This is where the code will be generated when you extract components from a source database environment. Typically this will be a local folder that is mapped to your source control repository, that way you can compare, check in and synchronize code. It also provides a method of sharing the DATASTAR configuration between team members.

System Requirements

DATASTAR currently supports the following databases:

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle

DATASTAR supports the following Source Control Management Systems:

  • TFS (Azure DevOps)
  • GIT

Setting Up Your Workspace

To get started with DATASTAR you first need to setup your workspace. The workspace is where DATASTAR will generate the scripts and will typically be mapped to your version control system. This guide will take you through a recommended setup.

Configure Workspace

Run DATASTAR and navigate to the File tab. This shows you your recently used workspaces and deployment files. The first time you run DATASTAR this will be empty. In the left hand menu click on the Workspace option - this should display the Workspace configuration screen.

Initially there will be two options enabled, you can either open an existing workspace or create a new workspace. If an existing workspace has been created for your project then you can just select to open the existing workspace file. If you want to create a new workspace click on the "New" button and you will be prompted to select a file name and location for your workspace.

Templates

DATASTAR uses templates to control the content of the database scripts that get generated. You need to configure the location of these templates which can be done by clicking the add button. You can specify multiple template locations if required, but a template with the same name will only be loaded once. It can be useful to specify another location for example if you want to test out amendments so that you can modify a separate copy of the templates and easily enable and disable locations.

Component Location

The component location is where the generated scripts will be stored. This will typically point to a folder on your local machine that is mapped in your version control system.

Path Filters

The path filters is used to include additional source folders, this allows you to add in locations where you might store custom scripts. You can also cloak folders so that you can add a parent directory but exclude an child directory. You should give the components a weighting so that they are incorporated into your deployment scripts in the desired order.

File Formatting

The component names are normally generated from the dynamic queries that you include in your templates. The results of these queries may include characters that are not valid in a directory or file name. If these characters are detected they will be automatically substituted for valid character alternatives. You can specify your own formatting rules for the file names by selected the desired formatting options and adding your own search and replace criteria.

Typically Configuration

The screen shot below shows a typical configuration:

Once you've decided on the structure for the workspace create the folders in your version control system and map the workspace to a local (or network) folder. The next step is to start DATASTAR, you may be prompted with a warning message if you do not have a valid license key installed. If this is the case go to the Configuration tab and enter the license key you were given for your trial or purchase. If you do not have a license key please email support@absolute.technology and a trial license key will be supplied. When you are ready to configure the workspace go to the File tab and select Workspace, enter the details similar to the example shown and click Save As, name the workspace file and save the XML workspace file in the root of your workspace under the [Parent Folder].

Component Definition

DATASTAR supports two types of components as described below. These can be created in DATASTAR by navigating to the Configuration tab and select the New Template option. You will be prompted with a dialog asking you to choose the type of component you wish to create, select the desired component and you will be taken to an XML document editor initially populated with a starter template. Details about the configuration options for each component type are detailed the the sections that follow. The editor also provides some basic code assist which can be shown using CTRL+SPACE.

Object Components

These are components such as tables, views, triggers, functions, stored procedures. The scripts generated allow you version control the code and includes features such as permissions.

Data Components

A data component captures the data or subsets of data across one or more tables in re-runnable SQL scripts in an environment agnostic way. The level of granularity and make-up of these components is controlled by templates which you define, this provides a high degree of flexibility giving you full control over the tables, columns and granularity of the scripts.

Template Editing

Once you have created a template and have used it to generate a component the template will be stored internally. Any subsequent changes to make will be applied to your internal cache and so will not be picked up by other users and will not update the file in the template folder. This is by design to support locating build templates in a central shared directory, in this way you can make changes to templates and test them out without impacting other users. When you are ready to save the template back to the shared folder simply use the Save As option and overwrite the original file. All users will then pick up this latest version as DATASTAR always checks the template folder for more recent versions of templates.