Learning SQL in a CS class. Mac App suggestions for cross platform work?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Earendil, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I'll keep this short and sweet.

    I'm a CompSci major.
    I know little to nothing (even for a nerd) about SQL and general web dev.

    My Prof is very open to us using different SQL apps to accomplish the work. We are focusing on writing queries, accessing data bases, and pulling information. Most of our time will be spent on the "Science" of it, as he believes are all smart enough to pick up more SQL on our own if we life.

    My question is this: I would love to be able to do my work on my Mac, and be familiar with a Mac SQL GUI environment. Do the different applications translate well? Do they all understand SQL, and all understand a standard SQL database? Is there such a thing as a "Standard" SQL database?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    So far my work has been done in Access, which is just... *shivers*.
    I'm a Mac user in a CS class, I shouldn't be using Access :)

  2. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Unfortunately, the SQL syntax and feature set vary depending on the database. The differences are relatively minor, but substantial enough to be frustrating. Does your professor have a particular database in mind that he'd like you to use? MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle? There are a variety of different GUI tools for the Mac, each of which can access from one to several different databases. Some are free (Oracle SQL Developer, pgAdminIII, etc.), some are shareware (MacSQL, Navicat, etc.). You should probably choose your database first, and then choose the tool you'd like to use to access it.

    The code doesn't depend on the programmer's client platform, it depends only on the database, so whether you are coding on a Mac or PC, it doesn't matter.
  3. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    Sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread.

    Thank you so very much for clearing some of that up.
    So in Summary: SQL is universal, but the instructions/code that a particular DataBase can handle varies, correct? And that depends on what was used to create the DB?

    Hw would I figure out what type/style/creator f a particular DB is?
    I know the ones we are using can be manipulated by both Access and SQL Server under Vista.
    Ideas on how I might figure this out?

  4. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    We need more info about what exactly it is that you're doing. Are you developing queries or stored procedures? Do you have an SQL database that you connect to in lab?

    If you're writing SQL statements, just use a text editor.

    If you're making SQL queries, use the SQL client for whichever flavor your using. I use MySQL, so I use the mysql command line client. Do yourself a favor and install Fink or MacPorts and start installing some packages. You won't last long otherwise. OS X OOTB isn't a comp sci box.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First off, is the class is worth anything they are teaching the theory behind relational databases and not how to use one set of software. Many databse classes are almost like math classes with quite a few theorems and proofs. If this is the case it does not matter much which database software you use to assignments.

    SQL is standard but not one database system exactly follows the standard. Most of the basic stuff works the same on all databases but there are enough differences that you have to read the documentation.

    Also SQL is only the core of the system. Most have all kinds of "stuff" built on top of the SQL interface and this is where the systems diverge widely.

    A good exercise is to get two or three database system and install them on your Mac.

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