This is the tutorial for DERT - a data analysis and reporting tool.

DERT is currently far from complete, however a small tutorial seems to be needed in order to get people going with it.

Plans for the evolution of DERT are in the file plans.html .

1. Creating a table

A DERT save file contains definitions of databases and tables, and some access information. The format is XML-based, which means you can read the file with your favourite text editor if you like.

Start dert, and use the File->Open button to open the file examples/koers.dert in the distribution.

Initially the DERT window is rather mysteriously empty. There are three fields visible : the bottom field is a message area which displays feedback about the actions you performed. The left field is a list of databases, the right is a list of tables.

Ater reading the file, you will see that the DERT window is no longer empty: two databases MYSQL.mysql and MYSQL.test are mentioned.

1.1 Are your settings right ?

You may not be able to access a database now - your MySQL server may not be on the system you're now working on (it could be on a server), or you may not have MySQL's default "test" database.

It is not yet possible to change the database name from within DERT, so you could either edit the koers.dert file (change the field that reads "test" into the name of your MySQL database), or you could create a database with the right name.

If you have a database called test, but you need to change either the user/password to access it, or you need to indicate which server it is on, then you can use the Options->User Information dialog. Be sure to select the database first (in the left list), and then activate the User Information dialog. This is because the User Information dialog is database-specific.

1.2 Working with an existing database

If you have an existing database, then you could use the File->New Database dialog, in which you indicate the database name, and its type (either MySQL, PostgreSQL, or DB2). Confirm, and you'll see the database listed in the left area. Then use the User Information Dialog to tell DERT how to access the database. Then if you click the left list again, you'll see that DERT is able to figure out which tables are in the database.

Select the latter by clicking on it with the pointer. You'll see that the right field is now filled up as well - it now contains a list of tables.

Select 'koers' in the right pane, then select the button in the "DB Layout" menu. It'll pop up a table layout window, already initialised with a number of fields. These fields are inspired on the stock quote information you can obtain from .

You can now create a table by using the "Create Table" button in the Action menu.

1.3 Creating a new table

Do the same as above but without selecting a table in the right field. You'll get a window labelled "Table definition dialog". You can enter fields and create a table from it.

1.4 Altering an existing table's layout

You can edit the table definition but you cannot currently alter the table in the database.

You can drop and re-create it though.

1.5 Moving a table definition to another DBMS

You should be able to grab e.g. a MySQL table definition and then create a PostgreSQL table using it.

This is not supported yet though.

2. Entering data

Select a table as above, then pop up the Data Entry window using the menu.

Enter data in the fields, then hit the "Enter" button to insert into the table.

3. Displaying table contents

Select a table as above, then pop up the Query Window using the Report->Run Simple Report menu entry.

An empty window pops up. Use the single menu item on it, the whole table content will be displayed. There is currently no way to influence the SQL statement, this is where the report writer should kick in.