Building on my own just for you and your database

1 minute read (377 words)

I’m not a big company, in fact it’s just me. I haven’t even paid anyone to do anything other than my accountants. I’m not against the idea of paying people, I just want to know I really need to first.

I see a gap in the tools available to database people; it’s bothered me for years (decades actually, I built an in-house variation of this in Classic ASP in the year 2000, yeah I’m getting old, thanks for pointing that out). I’m not the only one who recognises this gap, someone I showed schema explorer to said “oh I knew someone who built something like that”, this is great as it means I’m not delusional about there being a problem to solve. I find it hard to explain to people what this thing is, as there’s nothing quite like it out there. I’m still not really sure who it’s for (other than previous visions of myself). I want to put the time and effort in to make something that’s so valuable that people are happy to pay for it, and the money that brings will in turn allow my work to continue on the tool, bringing benefit to more people.

The core of the idea was navigating data across foreign keys, after talking to people it’s evolved into an all-round schema (and data) exploration tool (hence the addition of diagrams). My vision is to keep it a general-purpose database-centric tool, avoiding temptation to solve niche problems with it where it could take away from that well-formed-tool experience. I think I now have a piece of downloadable software that’s basically useful as it stands; but that there’s something (or many things) between where it’s at now, and people starting to get value from it by using it with their own databases. I don’t know yet what that is and I hope to find out through more conversations with database people. I certainly have plenty of ideas what it could be, but need to collect evidence rather than trying to fix non-problems on the off-chance. Especially with my even more limited time now that we’ve just had our second baby boy.

This is my current story, I hope you found it more interesting than the world cup ⚽.

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