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From Rick Hillegas <Richard.Hille...@Sun.COM>
Subject Re: Design Question
Date Mon, 03 Dec 2007 19:47:52 GMT
Frank Griffin wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I'm evaluating the extending of Derby for use as a JDBC access path to a
> non-SQL data engine.  Conceptually, what I need to do is a CREATE TABLE
> which reflects the metadata of the result set which will be returned by
> the non-SQL engine, and then intercept SELECT requests to this table,
> and inject that result set.
>
> I've been looking at the internals documentation on the project site and
> wiki as well as the source code, but I can't quite get my hands around
> the proper way to do this.  Judging by class names, the Virtual Table
> Interface seems like a likely candidate, but I can't seem to locate any
> explicit use of it.  Another thought was to provide a new implementation
> of Conglomerate, but again, I'm having a difficult time in the source
> code locating exactly where this would be plugged in.
>
> Could you please advise as to the "best" way to do something like this,
> and point me to the areas of the source code involved ?
>
> Thanks in advance,
> Frank Griffin
>   
Hi Frank,

It sounds as though table functions (the Virtual Table Interface you 
mention) might be a good fit for this job. Table functions will be 
introduced in the next Derby feature release, 10.4, which we expect to 
produce around February/March. I recommend the following sources of 
information to help you understand Derby's table functions:

1) The "Programming Derby-style Table Functions" section of the Derby 
Developer's Guide: http://db.apache.org/derby/docs/dev/devguide/

2) The talk on table functions which I gave at Apache Con last month: 
http://people.apache.org/~rhillegas/vtiDemo/doc/saucerSeparation.html

3) The demo toolkit which I wrote to support the Apache Con talk. This 
toolkit lives in the development trunk at java/demo/vtis. The README 
file in that directory explains  how to build the toolkit and its 
javadoc. In the java/demo/vtis/sql subdirectory you will find some 
sample scripts which show how to declare and invoke table functions. 
Take a look at the demoFileVTIs.sql script. This script shows how to 
declare and use table functions which make external files look like SQL 
tables. When you want to look under the hood, I recommend starting with 
PropertyFileVTI.java. This table function makes a property file look 
like a table with two columns (key and value). I think it's pretty 
straightforward. Once you understand that table function, I would 
recommend taking a look at VTIs.java. That class holds a number of table 
functions which are used to present xml files as SQL tables and which 
are used to access query results from other relational databases.

No doubt you will have questions as you dig into this. I am happy to 
provide any help I can.

Hope this is useful,
-Rick

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