List of free tools to make/use Forms Apps ?

  • james

    james - 2012-05-26

    Is there a list of free GUI tools to make & use Forms to access HSQLDB ?

    I am a novice to HSQLDB & client/server db's.  I want to design a small single-user database, accessed using smart Forms incorporating the main features available in MS Access, i.e subforms, picklists, comboboxes, radio buttons, Switchboards for menu navigation  etc.  So I need a good open-source tool to build the Forms and the underlying queries and macros to bind the GUI to the tables.  Does anybody know of any recent comparative reviews of this type of tool ? only lists a basic DB Swing Manager & Libre/Open Office Suite for a Forms based front end.  Surely there must be a much wider choice than 1 ?

    I use a small Windows7 platform, so dont want any heavy-weight tools. 

    I also want a Design Tool to ideally allow creation of toplevel ERD's, model validation, generation of SQL code for target RDBMS, effectively an IDE.

    Before posting this I searched your forum 'front ends' and saw some recommendations in 2003, but they looked either commercial, or fairly low-level direct access to the tables, rather than for making/using MS Access stlye forms based and validated access. 

    I thank you for your help.

  • Fred Toussi

    Fred Toussi - 2012-05-28

    Opensource choices are limited. The same for wordprocessors, spreadsheets, wysiwyg html editors, etc. I don't know of anything that is as simple as OOo to use, yet more powerful.

    If OOo is not quite adequate for your needs, it would be helpful in the long run if you inform LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice devs about your needs, in order to encourage future developments of OOo base.

  • Fred Toussi

    Fred Toussi - 2012-07-04

    BTW, Jaspersoft's iReport does the report part and has a GPL version.

  • james

    james - 2012-07-04

    I am surprised HSQLDB has no open-source Forms-based front-end other than 'base, but many thanks for your advice.  I thought I had ticked the 'Monitor' box but no notification of your earlier reply came.

    Have you heard of 'QForm' ? (  I wondered if that was much use.

    The other type of tool I asked about was a helpful Design Tool to ideally allow creation of toplevel ERD's, model validation, generation of SQL code for target RDBMS.     Again I have searched around the web and see long lists of tools for various RDBMS in general - most of them saying they are focused on major rdbms like Oracle, DB2, MySQL, but claim to work with any JDBC connection.     What are the most popular Design Tools used with HSQLDB ?

    I had wondered if ArgoDB-UML or Druid (both on sourceforge) were a useful fit ?     The Forums of each have little to no activity.  

    UML appears to add a lot of complexity to an ERD, which I feel is unecessary for a small 20+ table db project.   I am not proficient in db design, and so prefer to do all my toplevel design in ERD to both clarify my thoughts and test the model, and preserve documentation of the design.   It seems to me, manually typing in SQL DDL statements a very low-level way of designing a db, and for me would lead to a muddled design poorly documented.

    What are your thoughts on this aspect of db design ?

    Many thanks for your input


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