Before starting up new projects we make it a custom to take our lessons learned and improve. We are at that point right now and I find myself wanting something to streamline our database architecting and development process. Most of the LAMP design we’ve done in the past has only utilized a handful of tables with minimal relationships. But I’m projecting that our future work will require databases that have more normalized tables with more relationships.

I just realized that through MySQL Workbench we can streamline our process. We typically go through Entity Relationship/Data Design modeling with our clients and this tool can save a few steps. We can go from those diagrams right to the database (live database forward engineering only available in the Enterprise Edition of Workbench). The folks at MySQL have blogged about the screen designs for Workbench that they are developing for Mac OS X. I’m really looking forward to it since I don’t like having to open up Parallels and use Windows for just one tool. It’s certainly worth using the Windows build in the meantime. I’m looking forward to the Alpha release coming in September.

In my first post (Light it up!), I mentioned that LightCube Solutions has an opportunity to pioneer an open source courseware application. Here are a few more details:
In a nutshell, the idea is to create a web application (at the moment it is powered by PHP and MySQL) that allows High School students to study content on their school’s intranet. Teachers will have access to add/create content and publish tests. When the students take the test, their scores are recorded in their profile. Teachers and other administrators can monitor their progress, scores, course history and so on. We want to keep it open source to allow a wider scope of input and collaboration.

Currently, the project is being organized here: http://www.lightcubesolutions.com/ScribbleAppTrac/
And a demo of the current code is here: http://www.lightcubesolutions.com/ScribbleApp/
The name of the project is likely to change, so stay tuned for more info.
JH