SQL For Vim (provides access from VIM to any DBMS, like dbext)
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README.md

README.md

Tutorial

The following documentation is quite long. If you don't want to read through it, here is the quick start:

  • install SQL Workbench/J from here
  • install your jdbc driver for your database see here
  • set SQL Workbench/J to not use JLine (in SQL Workbench/J config file, add the following line: workbench.console.use.jline=false)
  • open vim

Running sql queries against a DBMS:

  • set the g:sw_config_dir, g:sw_exe and g:sw_cache variables
  • for cygwin environments, please also set the g:sw_plugin_path variable (this should point to the installation directory of the plugin). For example: c:/Users/cosmin/.vim/bundle/vim-sql-workbench
  • open your sql buffer
  • if you have CtrlP installed you can do CtrlP and then select SQL Workbench profiles and choose your profile
  • otherwise, you can do :SWSqlBufferConnect and then in the buffer execute WbConnect (<Leader>C-<SPACE>)
  • go to an sql statement
  • in normal mode, do <Leader><C-SPACE>

Opening a database explorer

  • :SWDbExplorer <my-profile>

Note:

  • <my-profile> is the name of a database profile created in SQL Workbench/J (see here)

For more detailed explanations, please continue reading this material.

Disclaimer

Please note that this version is no longer compatible with VIM 7. If you didn't upgraded to VIM 8 yet, then don't install this version. Stick with 5.2.2. But you should consider upgrading your vim anyway. For the documentation of 5.2.2, please see here

Introduction

This is an implementation of SQL Workbench/J in VIM. It works with any DBMS supported by SQL Workbench/J (PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite, MySQL, SQL Server etc.). See the complete list here.

You can connect to any DBMS directly from VIM.

Features:

  • database explorer (e.g.: table lists, procedures list, views list, triggers list), extensible (you can have your own objects list)
  • SQL buffer with very powerfull intellisense auto-completion
  • export any sql statement as text, sqlinsert, sqlupdate, sqldeleteinsert, xml, ods, html, json
  • search in object source
  • search in table or views data
  • asynchronous (you can execute any command asynchronous)
  • fully customizable
  • transactions
  • NeoVim 100% support

CONTENTS:

  1. Requirements
  2. Connecting to a DBMS
  3. The database explorer
  4. The SQL Buffer
  5. SQL commands
  6. Searching
  7. Exporting
  8. Variables
  9. Commands
  10. Settings
  11. DbExt comparison
  12. Screen shots

Requirements

  • Vim 8
  • SQL Workbench/J installed on the machine

NOTE: this version of vim-sql-workbench is not compatible with vim 7 anymore.

Of course you need VIM 8 or above. You also need SQL Workbench/J installed on your computer. It is platform independent, since SQL Workbench is written in JAVA and it should work anywhere where VIM works.

Before getting started, you have to set the g:sw_exe vim variable. The default value is sqlwbconsole.sh. Otherwise, just set the value of the variable to point to your sqlwbconsole file. If you are on Windows, it should be sqlwbconsole.exe.

Also, if you are on Windows, you have to set the g:sw_tmp value in your vimrc. The default value is /tmp.

If you are on window, your SQL Workbench/J should be configured to not use the jline (set the workbench.console.use.jline=false in your SQL Workbench/J config file).

Connecting to a DBMS

VIM Sql workbench has integration with the CtrlP plugin. You can set the g:sw_config_dir variable (which contains the WbProfiles.xml file) and then you open your buffer, open CtrlP, select SQL Workbench profiles, select your profile and you can begin sending sql queries to your database.

If you don't have CtrlP installed, you can use the :SWSqlBufferConnect command. This will open your buffer and connect it to the SQL Workbench/J. If you run it without any arguments, the current buffer will be connected with a SQL workbench/J instance.

Example:

:SWSqlBufferConnect ~/Documents/my-buffer.sql

Once you connected your buffer (either by CtrlP or by using SWSqlBufferConnect), a new sqlwbconsole.sh process will be launched. This will have it's own connection and it's own transaction. If you close the buffer, also the process will be closed. Also, if you do :SWSqlBufferDisconnect, the sqlwbconsole instance will be closed.

The database explorer

In order to open a database explorer, you need a profile.

You can create SQL Workbench profiles, either by using the SQL Workbench GUI, like here, either opening a sql buffer with SWSqlBufferConnect and then executing WbStoreProfile.

Once you have your profiles created, you can use SWDbExplorer with the desired profile as argument and you will connect to the database.

For example, :SWDbExplorer myProfile will open a database explorer using the profile myProfile.

The database explorer is composed from three parts: on the top, there is a list of available shortcuts at any moment. On the bottom left, you will see the list of objects in your database (the list of tables and views or the list of procedures or the list of triggers etc.) and on the bottom right, you will see the selected object desired properties. Like in the second or third screen shot.

So, if you want to see the columns of a table, you will have to move the cursor in the bottom left panel, go to the desired table and press 'C'. This will display in the right panel the table columns, indices and triggers. If you want to see its source code, you press 'S' and so on. For all the available shortcuts, see the top panel.

The database explorer if fully customizable. You can use the existing one and extend it or you can create your own from scratch.

Creating a new database explorer from scratch

The database explorer is loaded from the resources/dbexplorer.vim file by default. If you want to write your own, set the g:sw_dbexplorer_panel variable to point to your own file and that file will be loaded. The file has to be a vimscript file, since it's going to be sourced and it needs to set the g:SW_Tabs variable. For an example, take a look at the resources/dbexplorer.vim file.

The g:SW_Tabs has to be a vim dictionary. The keys are the profiles for which the panel will be applied. * profile, means that the options appear on all profiles. If you want to have separate database explorers for separate profiles, you can create a key in the dictionary for each explorer.

You can also have profiles per type of DBMS. If you have a profile starting with a : or a '^'.

A : means that this options will appear for all the profiles which the DBMS is of that type. For example :MySQL it means that these options will appear only for mysql databases.

A ^ means that this options will appear for all the profiles for which the DBMS is not of that type. For example ^PostgreSQL means that there options will appear for all databases which are not PostgreSQL.

For this to work, you have to have the option g:sw_config_dir set. The profile informations are read from the WbProfiles.xml file which resides in this folder. The profile type you can see it in the SQL Workbench/J connection window. It's the driver title.

Starting with version 4.0 you can also have a vimscript function called instead of a sql query. The function called has to return a string which will be interpreted as the result of the operation. The function will receive as parameters the line selected (the complete line which has been selected). In order to have a function instead of a sql query in the database explorer, the command has to begin with :.

For example:

{'title': 'Data', 'shortcut': 'D', 'command': ':My_function'}

When the shortcut D will be pressed, the result will be fetch by calling My_function(getline('.'))

Of course, the current line is relevant only for when changing a tab. When changing a tab, the current line will contain whatever value is on the current line in whatever buffer you are at that moment.

The values for each profile, have to be a list which will contain all the options for the left panel. For example, in the default one, the database objects, triggers and procedures.

Each list of objects of this list is another dictionary, with the following keys:

  • title (the title which will be displayed in the top panel)
  • shortcut (the shortcut to access it; please note that you can have several letters)
  • command (the sql command which will be executed when selecting the object)
  • panels (a list of options accessible in the right panel for each selected object in the left panel)

The panels are also a list of dictionaries. Each element of the list has the following keys:

  • title (the title which will be displayed in the top panel)
  • shortcut (the shortcut which will be used to display it)
  • command (the sql command which will be executed; please note that the sql command should contain the %object% string, which will be replaced with the name of the selected object)

Optional, the panels might contain the following keys:

  • skip_columns (a list with the column indices from the result set that should not be displayed)
  • hide_header (if set and true, then the header of the result set will not be displayed in the bottom right panel)
  • filetype (if present, the bottom right panel filetype will be set according when selecting an object in the left panel)

NOTES:

  1. In the command that creates the left panel, the object for which you want to select the informations in the right panel should always be on the first column. The %object% string in the column will be replaced by it. Alternatively, you can have %n% (n being a number from 0 to the number of columns in the left panel). If you have %n%, this will be replaced by the value of that column
  2. The command can contain a comment in the format -- AFTER at the end. Everything following "AFTER" word will be interpreted as a VIM command and will be executed after the result has been displayed in the right panel. For an example, see the SQL Source panel in the default database explorer vim file (resources/dbexplorer.vim).
  3. The shortcuts for the left panel (the list of objects) have to be unique. They are used to identify the current option selected to be displayed, so that the shourtcuts for the left panel are loaded according to the panels. However, the shortcuts for the right panel can be the same from one list of objects to the other. For example, you can have "O" as shortcut for objects list and then for each object you can have "S" for showing the source code. Then, you can have "P" for listing the procedures. Again, for each procedure you can have again "S" as shortcut for listing the source code of a procedure or for something else.

Extending the default database explorer

If you are happy with the default options of the database explorer (which are the same with the ones of SQL Workbench/J) but you just want to add your own, you can do so by extending the default database explorer.

This is done by calling the vimscript function sw#dbexplorer#add_tab. The function takes the following arguments:

  • The profile (the profile for which the option should be active; it can be * for all profiles)
  • The title (this is the title that will appear on the top panel)
  • The shortcut (this is the shortcut to access it)
  • The command (this is the SQL command to be sent to the DBMS once this option is selected)
  • The list of panels (the list of properties to be displayed in the bottom right split for each object from the list)

The list of panels is an array of dictionaries. Each dictionary has the same keys as indicated in the previous section for the list of panels. For example, if you want to add the database links for all the profiles, you have to add this in your vimrc:

call sw#dbexplorer#add_tab('oracle', 'DB Links', 'L', 'select db_link, username,
created  from user_db_links;', [{'title': 'Show the host', 'shortcut': 'H',
'command': "select host from user_db_links where db_link = '%object%'"}])

Now on all your oracle profiles, you will have an extra option. Every time when you click "L" in normal mode, in the bottom left panel you will have a list of database links from your schema. For each link, you can move the cursor on top of it and click H. You will see in the right panel the source of the link.

Every time when "L" is clicked, vim-sqlworkbench sends the select db_link, username, created from user_db_links; command to the DBMS. The result will be a list of database links displayed in the bottom left panel. When you move your cursor on top of one of this links and press "H", the plugin sends to your DBMS select host from user_db_links where db_link = '<selected_link_name>';. The result is displayed in the right panel.

You can also add a panel to an existing tab, using the sw#dbexplorer#add_panel function. The function takes the following arguments:

  • The profile (the profile for which the option should be active; it can be * for all profiles)
  • The tab shortcut (is the shortcut identifying the tab for which to add this panel)
  • The title (this is the title that will appear on the top panel)
  • The shortcut (this is the shortcut to access it after you accessed the tab)
  • The command (this is the SQL command to be sent to the DBMS once this option is selected

Events

The database explorer has events to which you can hook a function to be executed before the command is executed or after the result is received. If you hook to the before event, your function will receive as a parameter the command being set to a server and it must return the modified command. If you hoon to the after event, your function will receive the response from the server (an array of lines) and can modify it. It has to return the result which will be displayed in the left or right panel (a new list of lines).

To hook on the tab events, you can use the function sw#dbexplorer#add_tab_event. The arguments are:

  • the shortcut of the tab
  • the event type (after or before)
  • the function name

Example:

function! BeforeTabObjects(command)
    return "show tables"
endfunction

function! AfterTabObjects(result)
    let result = []
    for line in a:result
        call add(result, substitute(line, '\v^TABLE_NAME[ \s\t]*$', 'Tables', 'g'))
    endfor
    return  result
endfunction

call sw#dbexplorer#add_tab_event('O', 'before', 'BeforeTabObjects')
call sw#dbexplorer#add_tab_event('O', 'after', 'AfterTabObjects')

After executing this example, when you select the Objects tab in the database explorer, the command executed is going to be show tables, instead of WbList, which is the default for objects. Then, when the result is returned, the line TABLE_NAME is going to be replaces with the text "Tables".

To hook on panel events, you can use the function sw#dbexplorer#add_panel_event. The arguments are:

  • the shortcut of the tab
  • the shortcut of the panel
  • the type of event (after or before)
  • the function name

For an example on how to use this function, see the resources/dbexplorer.vim file (the last line) and the autoload/sw/dbexplorer.vim file to see the function hook definition.

The SQL buffer

The SQL buffer is a normal vim buffer from which you can send SQL commands to your DBMS and in which you can use the user completion (<C-x><C-o>) to have intellisense autocompletion.

You can connect an opened vim buffer to a server using the SWSqlBufferConnect command. Or, you can open a buffer which will be directly connected to a server by specifying the path to the buffer. For example SWSqlBufferDisconnect /tmp/dbms.sql.

Once in an sql buffer, you have several ways to execute commands against your DBMS:

  • execute the current SQL
  • execute the selected statement
  • execute all statements

All the shortcuts for these commands are fully customizable. But to do this, you cannot just map the commands in vimrc. This is because these shortcuts are mapped local to the sql buffer, or to the result sets buffer. If you want to change the default shortcuts, you need to define the g:sw_shortcuts_sql_buffer_statement variable or the g:sw_shortcuts_sql_results variable. This variables should point each to a vimscript file which will define the mappings.

The g:sw_shortcuts_sql_buffer_statement variable is used for the sql buffer itself, while the g:sw_shortcuts_sql_results variable is used for the result set buffer (see the 4th scren shot).

As soon as a SQL buffer is opened the shortcuts from the g:sw_shortcuts_sql_buffer_statement will be mapped. If the variable is not set, then the resources/shortcuts_sql_buffer_statement.vim file is loaded. So, have a look at this file for further details. Please note that for executing the current SQL, the default shortcut is <leader>ctrl + space.

The same goes for a result set buffer. The shortcuts from the file pointed by the g:sw_shortcuts_sql_results variable are loaded. If the variable is not set, then the shortcuts from resources/shortcuts_sql_results.vim are loaded. If you want further details, please have a look at this file.

You can also have comment in the format -- before <command> on a single line. This comments will be parsed by the plugin. If the command begins with a : it will be interpreted as a vim command and executed by vim. Otherwise, the command will be sent to the DBMS when opening the file.

Examples:

-- before start transaction;

This command will be sent to the DBMS and will start a new transaction every time when you open this buffer.

Execute the current statement

As stated already, you can press <leader>ctrl + space in normal mode or you can have your own shortcut. Alternatively, in normal mode, you can execute SWSqlExecuteCurrent command.

The statement between the last 2 delimiters will be sent to the server, or from the beginning of the file until the first delimiter, or from the last delimiter to the end of the file, depending on where your cursor is placed.

Execute the selected statement

In visual mode, you can press <leader>ctrl + e or your own custom shortcut. Alternatively, you can execute the SWSqlExecuteSelected command. Please be careful to delete the range before, if you want to execute the command from the visual mode.

The selected text is going to be sent to the DBMS.

Execute all statements

In visual mode, you can press <leader>ctrl + a or your own custom shortcut. Alternatively, you can execute the SWSqlExecuteAll command. All the buffer is going to be sent to the DBMS.

Events

The following events exist in the plugin:

  • new_instance (triggered when a new instance of SQL Workbench/J is spawned).
  • profile_changed (triggered every time a connection to a new profile is detected)

In order to attach a hook to an event, you have to call sw#server#add_event with 2 arguments: the event name and the event listener. For an example, check the plugin/sw.vim file in the source code.

Schema report

SQL Workbench/J has the ability to generate a very usefull schema report. This report is used by the autocomplete intellisense and by references tree. If you want to have intellisense for a profile, in the GUI of SQL Workbench/J profiles page, add the extended property report with the value true (see here). The report is going to be generated using a paralel background connection. This means that the current connection will not have to suffer if the report generation will take too long (depending on your database size, this can even take several minutes).

It is very usefull to have this report. Other than intellisense, you can also see in the db explorer the dependencies tree (Referenced by and References options).

Please note that the intellisense and the references tree will not work without this report.

If you have schemas with the same structure from one profile to another you don't have to generate the report for all the profiles. You can generate it from one profile (usually dev or test) and for the rest of the profiles you can set the extended property use-report with the value of the other profile name, including the group.

So, for example, if you have the profiles dev in the group LOCAL and prod, which are basically identically, you might not want to run the schema report on prod. So, you set the extended property report with the value true for the dev profile and the extended property use-report with the value LOCAL\dev. Like this, every time when you connect to the dev profile, a new connection will be spawned in the background which will generate the schema report. Once this is generated at least once, you have intellisense and references tree available. And every time you connect to the prod profile, you always have the same intellisense autocomplete and the references tree.

Intellisense

vim-sql-workbench plugin comes with intellisense out of the box. In order to take advantage of the auto complete intellisense, you have to set the schema report (see the previous section).

If the schema report is available (either by setting the report option or by setting the use-report option) you can press <C-x><C-u> in insert mode in a sql statement.

Note: due to constant conflicts with dbext plugin (which apparently has some parts included in the /usr/share/vim folder) I prefer to switch to <C-x><C-u>. So, you cannot use <C-x><C-o> anymore for intellisense

The plugin will try to determine where you are in the sql and return the appropriate options. For example, if you are in the fields part of a select statement, the options returned will be the fields based on the tables from the from part of the select. If you are in the from part, then the list of tables is returned. If you have an identifier followed by a dot, then if that identifier is a table, a view or an alias of a view or subquery, the system will return the corresponding list of fields.

Also the subqueries are parsed and the appropriate fields are returned.

If you are in a subquery in a bigger query, the auto complete will be executed at the level of the subquery.

If you are in a union select statement, the system will try to determine in which select the cursor is placed and execute auto completion for that sql.

NOTE: The autocomplete feature is implemented using regular expressions. Because of using regular expressions, it's possible that I've missed cases. If you notice any case where the autocomplete is not working properly, please let me know.

Get an object definition

When with the cursor on top of any word in the buffer or in the result set, you can click <leader>oi or your own custom shortcut. This will display that object definition if the object exists in the result set buffer or an error message.

Alternatively you can execute the SWSqlObjectInfo command from normal mode.

Basically the command desc <object> is sent to the DBMS and the output returned.

Get an object source

When you are with the cursor on top of any word in the buffer or in the result set, you can click <leader>os or your own custom shortcut. This will display the object source if the object exists in the result set buffer or an error message.

Alternatively, you can execute the SWSqlObjectSource command from normal mode.

Maximum number of rows.

By default, the maximum number of results returned by a select is 5000. You can change this with the set maxrows command. See here

Changing result sets display mode

In the result set buffer, you can click <leader>d or your own custom shortcut on top of a row. This will toggle the row display to have each column on a row for the selected row. To change back the display mode, click again the same shortcut.

Alternatively, you can execute the WbDisplay command. See here for more detail.

Filtering the resultset

While in the result window, you can filter the displayed rows. With the cursor on a resultset, you can just call the SWSqlFilter command with the where condition as parameter. The plugin will send the query to the dbms and display the results in the same resultset.

Hiding columns

While in a result window, you can hide columns from a result set.

With the cursor on a resultset, you can call the SWSqlHideColumn command. The command takes as an argument the name of the column to hide (there is also an autocomplete with the available columns).

Example: SWSqlHideColumn last_name

CtrlP integration

VIM Sql workbench provides integration with the CtrlP plugin. In order to activate it, you need to set the g:sw_config_dir option to point to your SQL Workbench/J configuration directory. Then, in your .vimrc file, you need to activate the CtrlP extension sw_profiles, by setting the g:ctrlp_extensions variable.

By activating the integration, you can change a buffer connection with CtrlP. You activate CtrlP and then select the SQL Workbench profiles tab and select your profile. If the buffer is already connected to an SQL Workbench/J instance, then the current connection will be changed. If no, then the buffer will get connected to an SQL Workbench/J instance and also open a connection to the selected profile.

Airline integration

VIM Sql workbench also provides integration with VIM Airline plugin. Since I haven't really found out how to create an extension and place it in any folder, you will have to manually copy the resources/airline/sw.vim file into the Airline extensions folder. Then you need to enable the extension in your .vimrc file by setting the g:airline_extensions variable to include the sw extension.

Once you activate the integration, every time when you connect a buffer to an SQL Workbench/J instance, you will see the in the status bar the current url (next to the file name). If the buffer is connected to SQL Workbench/J, but is not connected to a DBMS, then you will see the NOT CONNECTED string.

Alternatively, if you don't use Airline integration, you can still see the current url in the status line by activating the status line in vim (set laststatus = 2) and then you can set the status line to include the buffer url. For example: set statusline=%!sw#server#get_buffer_url(bufname('%')).

Following a foreign key

If you have activated the schema report (see the previous section), you can (in a result set) follow a foreign key. In a result set, when you are on a row, you can call SWSqlReferences or SWSqlReferencedBy commands.

These two commands take zero or one argument. If you call the commands without any argument, you will get a list of possible foreign keys, starting from the current result set and with the values from the current row. You need to select one, and then the corresponding query will be generated and run. Otherwise, via auto-completion, you can select which foreign key you want to follow.

The SWSqlReferences command will tell you what rows the current row is referencing in another tables, and the command SWSqlReferencedBy will tell you what other rows from other tables are referencing the current row.

Example

Let's say, that you have the following table structure:

+--------------+    +-------------+
| employees    |    | departments |
+--------------+    +-------------+
| id           |    | id          |
| lastName     |    | name        |
| departmentId |    +-------------+
+--------------+

If you execute select * from employees, you will get a list of all the employees. If you go to the resultsets buffer and put the cursor on an employee (let's say the one with departmentId = 10 and employee id = 1), you can do

SWSqlReferences departments(id)=employees(departmentId)

This will generate and automatically execute the query select * from departments where id = 10

Please note that you don't have to type in the argument, you can select it using the autocomplete of the command.

Same goes if you execute select * from departments where id = 10 and the you select the deparment and you do

SWSqlReferencedBy employees(departmentId)=departments(id)

You will get a resultset with the employee with the id 1.

Including a file

If you want to create a stored procedure, you might want to execute the current file. For this you have SWInclude. The command will execute the entire file using the WbInclude command from SQL Workbench/J. If you follow the command by a !, then the alternate delimiter is used. Otherwise the standard ; delimiter is used. The command can also take one argument, which could be the file to be included, if you don't want it to be the current file.

SQL commands

You can send a sql query to the DBMS from the vim command line using the command SWSqlExecuteNow. The parameters are the sql query. Please note that by default no results will be shown. If you want to see all that happened on the server side, use the SWSqlExecuteNowLastResult command. This will show you what happened with the last command sent from the vim command line.

This is useful if you want to put vim shortcuts for simple things. Like, for example, you could have in your vimrc:

nnoremap <leader>t :SWSqlExecuteNow wbdisplay tab;<cr>

Then pressing <leader>t in normal mode, would set the display to tab for the current buffer.

Note: This command will not be recorded in g:sw_last_sql_query. The delimiter is the ;.

Searching

SQL Workbench/J comes with two very handy and powerful commands: WbGrepSource and WbGrepData. vim-sqlworkbench takes advantage of both of them and implements searching options. You can search in objects source code, or you can search tables data.

Searching in objects source code

Of course, you can always execute WbGrepSource in a sql buffer and send it to the DBMS. For a full documentation of the command, please see here.

Alternatively, you can call one of the three vim-sqlworkbench search commands available: SWSearchObject, SWSearchObjectAdvanced or SWSearchObjectDefaults.

The SWSearchObject command will take one argument, which is the search string. The command which will be sent to the DBMS is WbGrepSource <your_terms>. This means that you execute a search with SQL Workbench/J default values. For a list of these, see the above link.

Example: :SWSearchObject my_table<cr>

The SWSearchObjectAdvanced command will open an interactive command prompt asking for every parameter value, beginning with the search terms.

The SWSearchObjectDefaults command takes one argument (the search terms) and will perform a search using all the defaults defined in vim-sqlworkbench plugin. These defaults can be changed in vimrc.

Example: :SWSearchObjectDefaults my_table<cr>

Searching for data inside tables

You can execute WbGrepData in a sql buffer and send it to the DBMS. For a full documentation of the command, please see here.

Alternatively, you can call one of the three vim-sqlworkbench search commands available: SWSearchData, SWSearchDataAdvanced or SWSearchDataDefaults.

All the three commands work as their counter parts for searching object.

If you are in an sql buffer, then the results are displayed in the result sets buffer. If you are in a database explorer, then the search results are displayed in the bottom left panel.

Exporting

vim-sqlworkbench takes advantage of the very powerful SQL Workbench/J command, WbExport.

As usual, you can always execute the WbExport command inside a sql buffer. To see the full documentation of the WbExport command, have a look here.

Note: If you use the wbexport command, you need to send both of the queries at once, by selecting both queries (first the WbExport query and then the exported query) and then running SWSqlExecuteSelected. This happens because the plugin will send after each statement a silent command to notice vim that a new result is waiting. So, if you execute WbExport, the exported statement will be the silent one which is void and is not a select statement.

Or you can execute the SWSqlExport command. This will open an interactive input dialog which will ask for the format and the destination file and will export the last sql command. If you are in a database explorer, in the right panel, you can click on "E". This shortcut is not modifiable. This will export what ever is in the right panel, after asking for the format and the destination file. Please note that because of extra dependencies required for xls export, vim-sqlworkbench does not provide support for this format. However, you can export as ods, which is what you should use anyway. See here or here

Variables

SQL Workbench/j supports user defined variables (you can have your queries sent to the database parameterized). See here.

By default, in SQL Workbench, the variables are enclosed between $[ and ]. These can be changed.

You can use WbVarSet and WbVarUnset in a sql buffer. If you want the system to ask for a value, then you can use the $[? form of a parameter. Please note that in VIM Sql Workbench there is no difference between ? and &, since there is no way to get a list of vars in vimscript from SQL Workbench/J

Commands

SWDbExplorer

Parameters:

  • profile name: the name of the profile for which to open the database explorer.
  • port: the port on which the server listens

Opens a database explorer for the desired profile using the server from the specified port.

NOTE: If you set the g:sw_config_dir variable to point to the SQL Workbench/J settings folder, the command will autocomplete the profile names. See here

SWDbExplorerClose

Parameters;

  • profile name (optional): the name of the database explorer that should be closed.

Closes a database explorer. If no profile name is specified, if you are inside a database explorer, then that database explorer is closed. Otherwise, the system will generate an error.

If you specify a profile name, then the database explorer which is opened for the indicated profile is closed.

SWSqlExecuteCurrent

In an sql buffer executes the current statement. You can execute this command in normal or insert mode. This is the statement between two consecutive identifiers, or from the beginning of the file to the first identifier or from the last identifier to the end of the file. You can change the delimiter using the SWSqlDelimiter command.

If you follow the command by a !, then the alternate delimiter is used. You can set the alternate delimiter in the connection properties.

NOTE: if the file that you are in is delimiter by a normal delimiter (;) and you want to execute the command with the alternate delimiter, you have to have the alternate delimiter before and after the current query, otherwise, all the other queries will be sent to the DBMS. If you only want to execute one query with the alternate delimiter and all the queries in your file are using the standard semmicolumn delimiter, better select the query and execute SWSqlExecuteSelected!

SWSqlExecuteSelected

In an sql buffer, executes the current selected statement. The command works in visual mode. Be careful to delete the range before typing the command.

If you follow the command by a !, then the alternate delimiter is used. You can set the alternate delimiter in the connection properties.

SWSqlExecuteAll

Send all sql statements from the buffer to the DBMS.

SWSqlToggleMessages

If you have a result set displayed in the result set buffer, you can toggle between the result displayed and the messages produced by the command with this command. The command works from the sql buffer and from the result set buffer.

SWSqlObjectInfo

In a sql buffer or in a result set buffer, you can position the cursor on top of any word and call this command. The plugin will send to the DBMS DESC <word>. If the word that you selected is a valid database object, you will see its definition. Otherwise it will return an error.

SWSqlObjectSource

Like the previous command, if you are with your cursor on top of a word and call this command, the plugin will return it's source code, if the selected word is an object in the database. Otherwise, it will return an empty result set.

SWSqlExecuteNow

Parameters:

  • port: the port on which to execute the command
  • sql: The query to be sent to the DBMS

Executes a query against the DBMS on the indicated port.

SWSqlExecuteNowLastResult

Shows the communication with the server for the last SWSqlExecuteNow command.

SWSqlExport

This command will export the last executed statement. Of course, if your last statement did not produced any results, you will have an empty file. The plugin will ask you about the format and about the output file. You can export in one of the following formats: text, sqlinsert, sqlupdate, sqldeleteinsert, xml, ods, html, json.

SWSearchObject

Parameters:

  • search terms: the terms that you are searching.

This command performs a search in the source code of the database objects. It uses the defaults of SQL Workbench/J. The command which is used is WbGrepSource. You can see more details about the parameters and their default values here.

SWSearchObjectAdvanced

This command will perform an advanced search. It will ask for each possible parameter. You can cancel the search at any time by replying with an empty value. This, however, is not possible for the columns input, since the empty string in the columns means that you want all the columns but only the first row of each.

SWSearchObjectDefaults

Parameters:

  • search terms: the terms that you are searching.

This command will perform a search using as default values for all the parameters the values defined through the vim variables:

  • g:sw_search_default_regex
  • g:sw_search_default_match_all
  • g:sw_search_default_ignore_case
  • g:sw_search_default_types
  • g:sw_search_default_compare_types

SWSearchData

Parameters:

  • search terms: the terms that you are searching.

This command performs a search in the data in the tables. It uses the defaults of SQL Workbench/J. The command which is used is WbGrepData. You can see more details about the parameters and their default values here.

SWSearchDataAdvanced

This command will perform an advanced search in the tables data. It will ask for each possible parameter. You can cancel the search at any time by replying with an empty value, with the exception of the excludeTables parameter, since an empty value here means that you want to search in all the tables and is not an unusual request.

SWSearchDataDefaults

Parameters:

  • search terms: the terms that you are searching.

This command will perform a search in tables data using as default values for all the parameters the values defined through the vim variables:

  • g:sw_search_default_ignore_case
  • g:sw_search_default_compare_types
  • g:sw_search_default_tables
  • g:sw_search_default_data_types
  • g:sw_search_default_exclude_tables
  • g:sw_search_default_exclude_lobs

SWDbExplorerToggleFormDisplay

If on a line in the results panel which contains a row in a resultset, then this row will be displayed as a form. If already displaying a form, then the resultset will be displayed.

SWSqlShowAllColumns

This will unhide all hidden columns from the current result set

SWSqlWipeoutResultsSets

This will wipeout the list of the resultsets. If you execute multiple sql statements, the results are stored in the resultsets buffer. When you close it, and then execute another sql statement, you will notice that the latest result sets are still there. If you don't want this, you can call this command. Next time you execute an sql statement, the resultsets will be empty.

If you want to wipeout all the resultsets for all buffers, you have to execute the command followed by a ! (SWSqlWipeoutResultsSets!).

SWSqlShowOnlyColumns

  • column names: a list of white space separated list of columns to be shown

This will hide all the columns from the current resultset with the exception of the mentioned columns

Note: there is an autocomplete for the column names

SWSqlShowColumn

Parameters:

  • column name: the name of the column to show

This will show the indicated column name (assuming that it is hidden)

Note: there is an autocomplete for the column name

SWSqlHideColumn

Parameters:

  • column name: the name of the column to hide

This will hide the indeicated column.

Note: there is an autocomplete for the column name

SWSqlFilter

Parameters:

  • where: The where condition for the current resultset.

This will construct a query from the given resultsets query with an added where to filter it.

Note: there is an autocomplete for the column name

SWSqlUnfilter

This will remove any filters applied on the specified resultset

#SWSqlBufferConnect

Parameters:

  • buffer name: the name of the buffer to open and connect to an SQL Workbench/J instance (optional)

This command will open the selected buffer and connect it to an SQL Workbench/J instance. If the parameter is missing, then the current buffer will be connected to an SQL Workbench/J instance.

Note: when you close the buffer, the SQL Workbench/J instance process will also be killed. If you want to close it gracefully, you can use SWSqlBufferDisconnect command, which will send an exit to the SQL Workbench/J.

SWSqlBufferDisconnect

This command will disconnect the current buffer from the SQL Workbench/J and close the sqlwbconsole process.

SWSqlGetSqlCount

In a connected sql buffer, if you call this command, a query will be sent to the DBMS fetching the number of rows of the current sql. For example, if your cursor is on the select * from mu_table; and you call this command, then the query sent to the DBMS is select count(*) from (select * from my_table);

SWSqlGetObjRows

In a connected sql buffer, if you call this command, a query will be sent to the DBMS to fetch the number of rows of the currently selected object. For example, if your cursor is on top of the my_table identifier and you call this command, the query sent to the DBMS is select count(*) from my_table.

SWSqlShowActiveConnections

This command will display a list of all the active connected buffers to a SQL Workbench/J instance with their connection strings.

SWSqlShoLog

This command will open the log of the sql queries sent to the DBMS. If the g:sw_log_to_file is set to true, then the name of the file in which the log is performed is returned. Otherwise you will see the log.

SWSqlShowLastResultset

This command will re-open the resultsets window without sending a new command to the DBMS.

SWSqlDeleteResultSet

This command will delete the currently selected resultset from the resultsets window.

SWSqlRefreshResultSet

This command will refresh the currently selected resultset from the resultsets window.

SWSqlBufferShareConnection

This command will share a connection between the current buffer and the one indicated in the command

SWSqlReferences

Parameters:

  • reference: The column to follow.

Given a column name and a reference, this will fetch the rows from referenced from the current resultset in the destination table.

SWSqlReferencedBy

Paramaters:

  • reference: The column to be followed in the current resultset

Given a column name and a reference, this will fetch the rows from the source table which are referencing the current row.

SWSqlGenerateInsert

Parameters:

  • table: The first parameter is the table for which to generate the insert
  • columns: The following parameters are the table columns (if missing, the insert will be generated for all table columns)

This will generate an insert for the given table and columns. The insert will be copied to clipboard by default. If you want it to also be executed immediatelly, you can expand it using the ! after the command (see :help bang).

SWSqlGetMacroSql

If the cursor is on a macro, this command will return the current sql behind the macro see here. The sql is coppied to clipboard.

SWSqlInsertMatch

If you are with the cursor in the fields part of an sql, this will show you the corresponding value in a message. If your cursor is on the values part, then this will show you the corresponding column.

Note: This will not move the cursor by default. If you want you can add the following shortcuts to your vimrc:

nmap <Leader>* :SWSqlInsertMatch<cr>n
nmap <Leader># :SWSqlInsertMatch<cr>N

Then, in an insert columns part, you can click leader and then # and this will also put the cursor on the value. However, if there is something else between the cursor and the value with the same name, the cursor will stop there (this is not 100% safe). Observe that the shortcut will execute SWSqlInsertMatch and then do a n (next result).

CtrlPSW

If you activated the integration with CtrlP, then this will open up directly CtrlP in the SQL Workbench/J profiles tab

CtrlPClearSWCache

This will reset the profiles cache. Next time when you will access the CtrlP workbench tab, the profiles will be read again.

SWInclude

Parameters:

  • the file to include (optional, default the current file)

The command will include a given file or the current file. It will execute wbinclude -file=<file or current file>;. If you follow the command by a !, then the alternate delimiter is used.

Settings

Search object source settings:

  • g:sw_search_default_regex: whether to use regular expressions or not when performing a search; default value: "Y"
  • g:sw_search_default_match_all: whether to match or not all the search terms or only one (use OR or AND when performing the search); default value: "Y"
  • g:sw_search_default_ignore_case: whether to ignore the case or not when performing a search; default value: "Y"
  • g:sw_search_default_types: the types of object in which to search; default value: "LOCAL TEMPORARY,TABLE,VIEW,FUNCTION,PROCEDURE,TRIGGER,SYNONYM"

Note: this values apply for the SWSearchObjectDefaults command. The SWSearchObjectAdvanced will ask for the value of each parameter and SWSearchObject command will use the defaults of SQL Workbench.

Search data in tables settings:

  • g:sw_search_default_match_all: whether to match or not all the search terms or only one (use OR or AND when performing the search); default value: "Y"
  • g:sw_search_default_compare_types: the type of search to be performed (the operator for the search); default value: "contains"
  • g:sw_search_default_tables: the tables to be included in the search; default value: "%", which means all tables
  • g:sw_search_default_data_types: the types of objects in which to perform the search; default value: "TABLE,VIEW"
  • g:sw_search_default_exclude_tables: the list of tables to exclude from search; default value: ""
  • g:sw_search_default_exclude_lobs: whether or not to exclude the blob and clob columns from search; default value: "Y"

Note: this values apply for the SWSearchDataDefaults command. The SWSearchDataAdvanced will ask for the value of each parameter and SWSearchData command will use the defaults of SQL Workbench.

To see more about these parameters, see here and here

Sql buffer settings:

  • g:sw_sqlopen_command: the vim command used by SWSqlBufferConnect command to open a buffer; possible values: e|tabnew; default value: "e", which means open with vim edit command
  • g:sw_tab_switches_between_bottom_panels: if set to true, then clicking tab in a db explorer will switch between the bottom panels
  • g:sw_cache: the location where the cached data is going to be saved (autocomplete data, profiles data etc.)
  • g:sw_switch_to_results_tab: If true, then switch to the results buffer after executting a query
  • g:sw_highlight_resultsets: If true, highlight the resultsets headers
  • g:sw_command_timer: If true, then when launching a command, if it takes more than one second, you will see a timer in the bottom left of the status bar
  • g:sw_log_to_file: If true, then the logging of the communication between VIM and SQL Workbench/J will be done in a file; otherwise, the logging is done in memory
  • g:sw_sql_name_result_tab: If enable, rename the result tab using @wbresult; default value: 1

Database explorer settings

  • g:sw_default_right_panel_type: the file type of the bottom right panel when not specified; default value: "txt"

General settings:

  • g:sw_exe: the location of the SQL Workbench executable; default value: "sqlwbconsole.sh"; you need to set it for the plugin to work
  • g:sw_tmp: the location of your temporary folder; default value: "/tmp"
  • g:sw_delete_tmp: if true, then delete the temporary files created to execute any command. Useful for debugging. You can set it to 0 and check all the generated files
  • g:sw_save_resultsets: if true, then all the resultsets will be saved, event if you close the resultsets window; to clear the resultsets window, use SWSqlWipeoutResultsSets command.
  • g:sw_config_dir: the config dir of the SQL Workbench/J (works only with build 121.4 and more)
  • g:sw_plugin_path: for cygwin environments: specify the plugin installation path (for example c:/Users/cosmin/.vim/bundle/vim-sql-workbench)
  • g:sw_prefer_sql_over_macro: if true, when executing a macro, the plugin will send to SQL Workbench/J the query behind the macro

DbExt vs VIM SQL Workbench

+--------------------------------------+-----------------+-------------------+
| Feature                              | DbExt           | vim sql workbench |
+--------------------------------------+-----------------+-------------------+
| Dependencies                         | perl, perl ODBC | SQL Workbench/J   |
|                                      |                 |                   | 
| GUI                                  |                 |                   |
|   Menus                              |        X        |         -         |
|   Management of profile              |        -        |         X         |   
|                                      |                 |                   | 
| Profiles                             |                 |                   |
|   Prompt for connection parameters   |        X        |         -         |
|   Manage profiles                    |        X        |         X         |
|   Read only profiles                 |        -        |         X         |
|   Connect to several DBMS            |        X        |         X         |
|                                      |                 |                   |
| Result sets                          |                 |                   |
|   Execute SQL statements from buffer |        X        |         X         |
|   Refresh a result set               |        X        |         X         |
|   Change display (form or tabular)   |        X        |         X         |
|   Parameters substitutions           |        X        |         X         |
|   Asynchronious execution of sqls    |        -        |         X         |
|   Mappings                           |        X        |         X         |
|   Mappings with sql commands         |        X        |         X         |
|   Intellisense autocompletion        |        -        |         X         |
|   SQL History                        |        X        |         X         |
|   Transactions                       |        X        |         X         |
|   Export of sql resultsets           |        -        |         X         |
|   Import from various formats        |        -        |         X         |
|   SQL Commands confirmation          |        -        |         X         |
|   Follow foreign key in result set   |        -        |         X         |
|   Filter resultsets                  |        -        |         X         |
|   Hide columns in result sets        |        -        |         X         |
|                                      |                 |                   | 
| Database explorer                    |        -        |         X         |
|   See the references tree of a table |        -        |         X         |
|                                      |                 |                   | 
| Tools                                |                 |                   |
|   Parse non sql files                |        X        |         -         |
|   Macros                             |        -        |         X         |
|   Search in tables definition        |        -        |         X         |
|   Search for data in tables          |        -        |         X         |
|   Comparing databases                |        -        |         X         |
|   Copy across databases              |        -        |         X         |
|   Use annotations                    |        -        |         X         |
+--------------------------------------+-----------------+-------------------+

Initially, I started this tool as a proof of concept for the console capabilities of SQL Workbench/J. It was just a toy. Without transactions, I was basically using it just to do a few selects. Every time I would need something more serious, I would open the GUI of SQL Workbench/J and work there.

In time though, this tool has become more powerfull with each version, and it reached the phase where I don't need to open the GUI version for anything. The last thing that I was using the GUI version for, was the dependencies tree. Starting with version 7, once I succedeed in including this in the plugin database explorer, I basically stopped using the GUI version and I work only from within VIM.

Another thing I noticed is that this plugin surpassed DbExt in terms of available features long time ago, so I thought to do a quick comparison. From the beginning, I have to let the reader know that this comparison has been done only based on the DbExt documentation, since I was not able to actually install DbExt. Perl dependency was a bump, and then trying to use the mysql client was a no go because I have mysql installed in a non standard path.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the comparison is with DbExt perl feature, since without Perl and without transactions, DbExt is just a toy which cannot really be used profesionally. So the comparison is between this plugin and the DbExt ODBC features. Because of this, for example, when it comes to cygwin, there is no comparison to be made. I would go with this plugin without thinking twice. This is why, for example I put a - (missing feature) to the asynchronous processing. DbExt has asynchronous processing only for the non ODBC way of sending queries, which cannot even be considered for professional usage. The ODBC does not have asynchronous processing. So, let's begin.

Installation

When it comes to installing the two plugins, for DbExt, you need root permissions (if you don't have perl) installed on the computer, you need a vim compiled with perl and you need to install perl modules. In comparison, for vim-sql-workbench, you only need to install the SQL Workbench/J application, which is a java app (so no root needed) and to download the required jdbc driver. That's it. So, a big plus for this plugin.

GUI

In terms of GUI, DbExt has menus integration, which this plugin lacks. This is a plus for DbExt.

Profiles

DbExt has an option to ask for a connection parameters, which this plugin does not have at the moment (will be implemented in a future version). Other than that, the profiles for this plugin can be managed using the GUI of SQL Workbench/J, which is a very convenient way of doing this, so in terms of profile management, a plus again for vim-sql-workbench. Also, another plus it is represented by the possibility of SQL Workbench/J to have readonly profiles.

SQL windows and resultsets

When it comes to the basics that anyone could expect from a plugin made to execute SQL queries agains a database, both softwares have everything (refresh a resultset, parameters substitution, history, transactions etc.).

But when it comes to advanced features, there cannot be any comparison. vim-sql-workbench has asynchronious execution, very powerfull trully intellisense autocompletion, export of results, import from various formats, confirmation of commands execution, following of foreign keys (what other tables are referencing the current row, or what other tables is the current row referencing). DbExt lacks all of these (the autocomplete of DbExt is again, a toy compared with the intellisense offered by this plugin), so again, a very big plus for vim-sql-workbench.

Also, this plugin has a database explorer, which includes a database references tree.

Tools

One thing that DbExt is doing and this plugin is not is parsing non-sql files, extracting a query and running it against a database. This is a plus for DbExt.

But in terms of tools, this plugin has macros (basically sql queries shortcuts), can search for terms in table definitions or can search for data in tables, can compare two databases, can copy data across databases or can use special comments in queries which will be interpreted by the SQL Workbench/J engine (like annotations). Altough all these tools are comming as a part of SQL Workbench/J, they can be used directly in vim with the help of this plugin. As I was saying in the beginning of this chapter, no need to open the GUI SQL Workbench/J. So, again, in terms of tools, a big plus for vim-sql-workbench.

Conclusion

As seen, this plugin has surpassed DbExt in terms of features long time ago. However, if anyone considers that I've missed something, please open an issue and let me know.

Screen shots

Database explorer Database explorer source view Database explorer column view SQL Buffer result set SQL Buffer row displayed as form SQL Buffer resultset messages