SQL Assistant Java Edition

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Teradata Employee

SQL Assistant Java Edition

SQL Assistant Java Edition is an information discovery tool that retrieves data from Teradata Database systems and allows the data to be manipulated and stored on the desktop. It is built on top of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). This allows the product to take advantage of the RCP framework for building and deploying native GUI applications to a variety of desktop operating systems. SQL Assistant Java Edition can be run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX operating systemts. The Eclipse platform is designed as an open tools platform but architected so that its components (or a subset of its components) can be used to build RCP applications. This allows SQL Assistant Java Edition to benefit from the many high quality Eclipse features available while focusing on value-add for Teradata.

SQL Assistant Java Edition includes the following key features:

  • Modular display that allows you to move panels around, creating a custom look and feel.
  • Data Source Explorer to view database objects, such as schemas , tables, macros, stored procedures, user-defined functions, user-defined types, views, and triggers. (NOTE: SQL Assistant Java Edition uses the term schema to refer to a database.)
  • Data Source Explorer menu options to run Stored Procedures, Macros, and User-defined Functions.
  • Connection Profile Wizard to create connection profiles using the Teradata JDBC Driver.
  • SQL Editor to create, modify, and execute individual or multiple SQL Statements, including parsing the SQL statement for syntax errors and formatting the SQL according to selected formatting options.
  • Support for Parameterized Queries including Named Parameters
  • SQL Editor Templates (INSERT, SELECT, DELETE, UPDATE, and more)
  • Result Set Viewer that displays result set data, allowing the user to select rows and cells, copy and format data, sort, hide, and move columns, and search for result set data values.
  • SQL History view that stores historical data for executed SQL statements with time values and status information.
  • Ability to export result set data as plain text, XML, HTML, CSV, as well as Excel format.
  • SQL Query Builder to visually build and edit SQL queries.
  • Data wizard to extract data from the Teradata Database to a file on the desktop.
  • Data wizard to load data from the desktop file system to the Teradata Database.

Modular Display

The SQL Assistant Java Edition display includes the SQL Assistant Toolbar along with five view panels: the Data Source Explorer View, the Project Explorer View, the SQL Editor (SQL Scratchpad), the Teradata SQL History View, and the Teradata View/ Result Set Viewer.

SQL Assistant Java Edition contains a toolbar that provides buttons to allow quick access to functions that are used while creating and modifying SQL files.

A view can also contain its own toolbar and drop down menu. These toolbar buttons and menu items provide actions on the data managed by the view. Included in the view toolbar are buttons to minimize, maximize, and restore the view. Maximizing the view will cause the view to take over the entire SQL Assistant Java Edition window display. Click the Restore button to return the view back to its previous display.

You can customize the look and feel of SQL Assistant Java Edition by moving view panels within the main display window. A view can be moved by selecting the view and dragging it to a new location. As you move the view over the display, the mouse pointer will change depending on where you want to drop or dock the view. You can also drag the view outside the display area. The view will then become a "detached" view. You can also remove a view panel by clicking the "X" on the view tab. A view can be re-displayed by selecting the view from the Window>Show View option in the main menu. Or to return the views to their original display, click Window>Reset Perspective...

Data Source Explorer View

The Data Source Explorer View panel contains the database object tree display. It is here that you can create connection profiles to your Teradata Database systems and interact with the database objects.

Data Source Explorer

Creating Connections

You can create connections to your database using the Connection Profile Wizard. The wizard is invoked from the Data Source Explorer by right clicking on the Database Connections folder.


SQLA JE provides an option to create connection profiles for additional database servers other than Teradata.  You must provide the specific database server JDBC drivers for databases other than Teradata.

Select Teradata Database from the Connection Profile Types, enter a Name and click Next.

The Connection Profile Wizard is based on a driver template that references an embedded Teradata JDBC driver. Enter the database server name, user name, password, and default database name into the wizard dialog screen. The Authentication Mechanism allows you to choose an advanced logon mechanism, such as LDAP or Kerberos, or select the default mechanism, PASSWORD_PROTECTED. If you wish to save your password to disk, check the Save Password box. Otherwise, the password is stored in the profile and only active throught the Eclipse session. When Eclipse is closed, the unsaved password is removed before the profile is written to disk. You will be prompted for the password the next time you connect to that profile.

Optionally, You can choose a different Teradata JDBC driver than the embedded Teradata JDBC driver, as well as add and remove properties for the database connection.

You can also cache schema metadata, saving time when loading the database objects in the Data Source Explorer. Click the Cache Properties button to select schemas (or databases) to cache.

Creating a SQL Statement (SQL Scratchpad)

When SQL Assistant Java Edition is launched, a SQL Scratchpad area is provided for you to enter your SQL statements. Once you have a connection to your Teradata database, you can begin to enter SQL statements in the SQL Scratchpad window.  Click the Save button to save the SQL Scratchpad to a file.

Another option to create a SQL file is through the Data Source Explorer. Within the Data Source Explorer, select your database connection and click the SQL Scrapbook action from the Data Source Exporer toolbar. This will create a SQL file in the SQL Editor with the name 'SQL Scrapbook [n]' and the connection profile set to your database connection. You are now ready to enter your SQL statement.  Refer to the section below entitled 'SQL Editor' for information on executing your SQL statement. Click the Save icon to save your SQL file within your SQL Project.


Edit, Extract and Load Data, Row Count

The Data Source Explorer also provides an option to edit, extract and load data, and display the row count for a given table. Right click on the table and select the option from the drop down context menu.

The Edit option will present the current rows of data from the table in a table grid display within the SQL Editor. You can click on a cell in the table grid to modify the cell contents or add a new row by clicking on the <new row> entry. Depending on the edit option, a SQL UPDATE, INSERT, or DELETE statement is created and run. The results are displayed in the SQL Results View.

The Load and Teradata FastLoad options will present a dialog to choose the file to load and define the necessary file format needed to identify columns when loading data into the table. File format options include the column delimiter (comma, semicolon, space, tab, or vertical bar “|”) along with the character string delimiter (double quote, single quote, or none).

The simple Load option will create an INSERT statement for each row of data in the file. The Teradata FastLoad option will create a separate JDBC connection using the JDBC FastLoad option (TYPE=FASTLOAD). The rows of data are read into a buffer and loaded in batch increments. It should be noted that not all of the column data types are supported with the Teradata FastLoad option.

The Extract and FastExport data options will present a similar dialog for you to enter information about the file created from the extracted data, such as the output file and output file format (column delimiter and character string delimiter options). The Teradata FastExport option will create a separate JDBC connection using the JDBC FastExport option (TYPE=FASTEXPORT).

The Sample Contents option will perform a “SELECT * FROM” SQL operation on the table and display the results in the SQL Results view.

The Row Count pops up a dialog displaying the number of rows for a given table.

Project Explorer View

The Project Explorer View panel provides a hierarchical view of the Projects and their resource files. It is here that you can select SQL files for editing or create new SQL files. SQL files can also be imported from or linked to your file system. When Teradata SQL Assistant is first installed, an initial project called 'SQL' is created for you. You can create additional projects using the New>Project... menu option.

Within the Project Explorer, you can also choose an option to compare two files. The Compare Option displays the two files side by side with buttons that allow you to jump from one difference to another or move changes from one file to another. This is very handy when comparing SQL files or result set data.

The Project Explorer also provides an option to execute one or more SQL files from list of files.

SQL Editor

The SQL Editor view is displayed when a SQL file is opened. Double clicking on a file in the Project Explorer will cause the file to be opened in the SQL Editor.

The SQL Editor provides a scratch pad for you to enter your SQL statements. As you type, SQL content assist will pop up annotations showing a list of expected keywords. If a database (or schema) name is entered followed by a dot, the content assist will display the list of tables from your schema for you to select from. (Note: You must be connected to a Teradata Database in order for SQL content assist to work.)

Content assist will also provide a list of SQL Templates. At the start of the SQL statement, hit the Cntrl+SPACE keys and a pop up list of templates is displayed. Scroll down until you find the template you want and double click on it to insert the template into your SQL Editor file. Anchor statements are provided that you can navigate by tabbing. You can also edit or add your own SQL Templates via the SQL Editor Preferences page.

Parameterized queries can also be created in the SQL Editor. The query contains parameters indicated by question marks. When the query is executed, the user is prompted for the parameter value(s). Named parameters allows the user to specify a name for the parameter.

The SQL Editor also provides syntax coloring for your SQL statements. You can change the colors of comments, keywords, identifiers, types, or other syntax items via the SQL Editor Preferences page.

When right clicking in the SQL Editor window, a SQL Editor Context menu appears with options to execute the SQL statement(s) in your SQL file.

 The following options are presented:

  • Execute all of the SQL statements
  • Execute the selected SQL statement
  • Execute the SQL statements as individual statements (with a commit occurring between statements)
  • Execute the selected statement as one statement
  • Execute the current statement where the cursor is located
  • Visual Query Builder

SQL Assistant Java Edition provides a graphical interface for creating SQL statements, referred to as the SQL Query Builder. You can edit an existing statement using the SQL Query Builder by selecting the statement within the SQL Editor and choosing the ‘Edit in SQL Query Builder…’ menu option. (Refer to figure above).

You can add additional tables and table joins by right clicking in the SQL diagram area and select Add Table… or Create Join…. When adding a table, a list of tables and views is presented for you to choose from. Additionally, from the SQL text window, you can choose an option to run the SQL statement. A SQL Results tab is provided for you to see the result set data.

A shortcut key, in the toolbar or Tools drop down menu, will perform an EXPLAIN on a given SQL statement.

Result Set Viewer

The Result Set Viewer displays the result set or parameter data from executing SQL statements and running database routines, such as stored procedures, macros, user-defined functions, and triggers. The Result Set Viewer provides an enhanced display of the Result Set data. It displays the result sets as tabs within the Teradata View, allowing the user to select rows or cells from the Result Set data table grid. The Result Set Viewer provides menu options to hide or show all columns, move and sort columns, find a value within the result set data, perform aggregate functions on selected numeric columns, filter column data, format cells, and copy cells. Select a row or cell and right click to display the menu options.

Mutliple result sets can be displayed as tabs or in a side by side sash display.

LOBs can also be displayed in the Result Set Viewer. When a query result is being processed that contains an LOB result column, a dialog appears for ther user to specify where and how to store the LOB values on the file system.

If specified, LOB values are displayed in the Result Set Viewer.

A toolbar is also provided with options to show the SQL associated with the result set, switch the display between text and grid display, switch the display between tabs and side-by-side sash display, and save, export, and print result set data. SQL result data can also be saved to a file within your Project or exported to an external file in the file system.

If the Export or Export All option is chosen, the Export Result dialog is displayed. Select a file name, format, and export options. Then click the finish button to create the exported file. The Save option presents a similar dialog.

The following screen capture shows the result data with totals on integer columns as exported to an Excel file.

SQL History View

The SQL History View provides an enhanced display of the SQL History information. As SQL statements are executed from the SQL Editor or functions are run from the Data Source Explorer, an entry is placed in the SQL History. The SQL History view displays the data in a grid format, allowing the user to select rows and cells. The SQL History provides extensive information about the SQL execution, such as execution elapsed time, DBMS time, and fetch time, database server, row count, parameter display for macros and stored procedures, SQL statement, and SQL statement type. It provides options to copy cells or rows, edit the ‘Note’ or SQL for a SQL History entry, search for result history data, and re-execute SQL statements. Choosing the 'Edit SQL' option will open a SQL Scrapbook file in the SQL Editor with the selected SQL statement. This allows users to further fine tune their SQL statements.

The SQL History view also provides a toolbar menu with options to delete rows or all of the history entries, filter columns, format cells, and sort columns, The SQL History uses an embedded Derby Database to manage the SQL History entries.

Teradata View

The Teradata View contains more detailed information about the database objects. When an object is selected in the Data Source Explorer, it is automatically displayed in the Teradata View. You can click on the tabs to display additional information on the database object.


Help is provided by clicking on the Help>Help Contents in the main toolbar.


While SQL Assistant Java Edition is not necessarily intended to replace the current Teradata SQL Assistant product it does allows us to offer an alternative for customers whose client platform includes systems other than Windows. Supporting multiple platforms (Windows 32/64, Linux 32/64 and Mac OS X) in this way allows customers to be flexible when choosing a client operating system to connect to their Teradata Database system.

To get up and running with Teradata SQL Assistant Java Edition use the Download links above or go to the Tools Download area, pick your OS and take a look at the README.

178 REPLIES 178
Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

First off a Disclaimer: I am responsible for the Tools content on Teradata Developer Exchange so all of the articles in the Tools section are close to my heart. I'm also a Java developer and have been working with Eclipse based tools since before it was even called Eclipse (anyone remember WSAD) so I'm pretty comfortable with the UI.

That said, SQL Assistant Java Edition was created as an off shoot of the Teradata Plug-in for Eclipse activity, which is focused on helping developers to create applications (obviously including SQL) for use on Teradata. This use of Eclipse dictates some of the UI aspects of the product and I would contend that there is sufficient weight behind Eclipse.org that their UI decisions are good enough.

With SQL Assistant Java Edition (marketing chosen name) we were asked to provide a "Single Click Install" version of the SQL oriented part of the Teradata Plug-in for Eclipse in order to support a wider range of Operating Systems and Users than the existing SQL Assistant (windows) product. We are not trying to replace SQL Assistant, rather we wish to introduce a whole new set of users to Teradata.

The developers of the Teradata Plug-in for Eclipse and SQL Assistant Java Edition are prolific contributors to the Tool section of Teradata Developer Exchange (for which I commend them) and I would point the audience to their many articles as a quick way to get up and running with Teradata Plug-in for Eclipse, SQL Assistant Java Edition and Teradata.


Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

I think it deserves a new name, just because.

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

I think hyperj's comment is really just pointing out that the default view of SQLA-JE doesn't actually have an area to enter SQL. I think it should be there as part of the default view, since after all, when starting this tool you probably want to enter SQL ;)
Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

I agree with hyperj, SQLA is the TD application I have used the most so far.

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

Autocomplete of column names doesn't work in SQL editor while using table aliases. It works only in Query builder.
Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

Yes. The reason being is that the SQL Editor is using strictly a token based parser. It has a very narrow focus. The Query Builder is collecting more information at a wider scope, for example keeping track of the aliases, to help the user build SQL.
Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

Hello fgrimmer,
I downloaded the SQL Assistant Java Edition and i think that it is incredible !!!!!!!.
I have a question ... How can I add Tasks ?
Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

hello fgrimmer, thank for your answer,

Is any difference conect it for JDBC or ODBC? which is more efficient?

Teradata Employee

Re: SQL Assistant Java Edition

I am not the best person to answer that. There are many factors and opinions that could argue either way. This question is better handled on the DevX Connectivity forum.