I realized yesterday afternoon that every time I have built a major application, I have had some sort of IDE to work in. Early on, it was Visual Basic 6. I did a lot of PHP work in Dreamweaver, which is adequate for that. Later I dove into Flex, and Adobe's IDE was good to work with.
I had explored Eclipse at some point but never had reason to follow through on it until now. I started downloading and configuring it yesterday and have spent many hours since then trying to get the pieces working. Here are a few items I have found, in hopes it can assist others on the same voyage:
Major components I am using:
My first hurdle was to locate the MySQL driver it required. Finally I located a blog post somewhere that pointed me to http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/ and I successfully downloaded the .jar file. I was expecting Eclipse to incorporate it somewhere, but evidently it just points to it, so download it to a location where it can reside permanently.
The next confusion was how to connect to the database. I have used several front end clients for databases over the years, and all had specific fields for server IP/domain, port, and other parameters. It took a couple of hours to figure out what Eclipse requires. I filled in the fields as well as I could guess, but kept getting the error to "check your url." I copied what I thought was the URL directly from my other database client, so I knew it was correct. What I didn't know was that Eclipse, rather than providing fields for all the parameters, uses a single string with embedded parameters and calls it the URL. I finally located http://www.sqlexplorer.org/connections.php and ccopied the example there, creating a string like jdbc:mysql://mydomain.com:3306/myDBname. It let me in. I still have not figured out what the "Example URL" is for in the MySQL driver setup window. The page at http://www.sqlexplorer.org/drivers.php shows it filled in with pseudocode, but doesn't explain it in the text. I guess users are supposed to understand that the "example URL" is supposed to show us how to create the real URL in the connection parameters? Unfortunately, when I loaded the driver, that field remained blank so I had no clue what to do.
One more quirk regarding MySQL in SQL Explorer: I wasn't able to view table contents in a grid like I am familiar with. I located a post in a forum that indicated the documentation showed an obsolete method. I found that the three icons in the upper left of the SQL editor produce different results. I had been using the blue one, which returned the data in long strings. The first one in the row returns data into a grid. Now, to see if there is a way to edit that data.