A tool like the DataDigger is something that should have been shipped with Progress out of the box.
The DataDigger is a window that shows all tables in all connected databases. You can select a table, select which fields you want to see and browse through the data of that table. In addition, with the DataDigger you can export the data to several formats, change one or more records at the same time or delete data. At the same time the DataDigger can save a backup of all data that you change or delete.
Furthermore, the DataDigger can save connection information about databases so you can connect and disconnect databases on the fly. The DataDigger saves its settings in an ini-file, giving you the possibility to take your settings with you. In this ini-file, connection settings are saved, custom format strings for fields in your database, queries that have been executed and window position and size.
To use DataDigger, you need at least Progress 10.1B.
If you have a runtime version of Progress, download the additional zipfile with .r files and extract it in DD's directory as well. If you have a 'normal' version, DD will compile itself on the first run.
The DataDigger comes with an extensive help file that answers most, if not all, questions you have about the DataDigger. It explains all settings from the ini-file, gives extra information in a 'how-to' section and contains a lot of screenshots that explain how the DataDigger works and how it can help you.
Installing DataDigger is just as simple as 1-2-3:
If you have set up Progress to start when you click on .pf files (likely) then DataDigger should start with no databases connected. However, DD's use is fairly limited without a database :) so read on.
Some parameters that are particularly useful in combination with DataDigger:
-h 255 Set maximum nr of databases you can connect to -s 1000000 Increase the amount of memory -param "Test Environment" Title for your DataDigger window. Handy if you have more than one shortcut. -pf filename.pf Use the pf file you use for your normal development (or production) session. -rereadnolock Always read records from the database, even if they are already in cache.
DataDigger recognises db's when they are connected at startup. You can define extra database connections inside DataDigger, but if you have more than one environment it is likely handy to have a separate shortcut to deach of your environments.
If you feel uncomfortable connecting to your production database using a powerful tool like DataDigger, you can connect to it using a read-only version of the DataDigger. In the .pf file, change the line that starts with -p to:
This version will block all actions that change the database.
DataDigger is fully free. Free as in free beer. But that also means that it comes with no warranty at all. The quality is tested prior to placing it here by a team of volunteers around the world and that usually means that it works well.
However, if you encounter any problem, have a questions or a great suggestion, feel free to mail me at patrick (at) tingen (dot) net.