HTSQL 2.2 Roadmap

Published by cce on 2011-08-31

The theme for HTSQL 2.2 is “Form Applications”. Our focus for this release will be on functionality gaps that hinder use of HTSQL by developers to create Javascript based “CRUD” applications.


This release will include plugin configuration, schema introspection, custom commands, CRUD operations, and general support for Javascript applications such as HTRAF Forms.

This roadmap has 5 milestones.

  • Plugin Configuration & Introspection
  • Commands & Query Structure Analysis
  • Identifiers & Record Locators
  • Record-Based CRUD Operations
  • Transactions & Data Handling
  • Catalog Extensions & Capstone

A secondary focus for this release, as time permits, will be adding usability improvements such as better error handling and adding new data types or functions.

Milestone A : Plugin Configuration & Introspection

The first milestone for HTSQL 2.2 will support configuration for plugins and a mechanism to obtain metadata from a Javascript application. This work is expected to enable the construction of a visual query builder and other complementary tools. The milestone includes several deliverables:

  1. mechanism for plugins and plugin arguments so that HTSQL tweeks can be customized without having to alter source code for each client
  2. configuration file mechanism (YAML) so plugin parameters can be specified without programming
  3. simplified metadata introspection so Javascript applications can list tables, links and columns
  4. documentation for 1-3

One immediate use of this deliverable will be a sample plugin to enable SQLAlchemy users to use their model configuration to specify primary and foreign key constraints.

Milestone B : Commands & Query Structure Analysis

This milestone create a way to define custom commands and introspect the structure of an HTSQL query. It is expected that this deliverable would enable client side Javascript to dynamically build a form based on a query.

  1. create a mechanism to define and invoke commands
  2. create a way to decorate fields in a selector
  3. create a command to introspect a query

This milestone is needed to build forms dynamically.

Milestone C : Identifiers & Record Locators

This milestone introduces a mechanism to identify individual records via primary key values without requiring the key column names be listed. This simplifies user interface construction and enables record-based commands to be added. This includes:

  1. adding id() function and associated data type that returns a unique identifier for a given record in the database
  2. adding the locator syntax to accept a single record identifier and uses it to return exactly one row during selection

This milestone is a requirement for basic CRUD operations and enables single-record access.

Milestone D : Record-Based CRUD Operations

This milestone will be an optional plugin with a full set of record-based operations for INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE. These additional commands will permit CRUD applications to be written on top of HTSQL that do more than query the database.

  1. single record insert, update, and delete commands that use record locators

This first pass of CRUD operations will only be available to databases that support RETURNING.

Milestone E : Transactions & Data Handling

This milestone will address how to pass nested data sets to the server and introduce ways to communicate between commands.

  1. support for JSON literal values to pass nested data structures from client to server
  2. a transaction mechanism do() to group multiple record operations
  3. a way to pass data from one command to another using variables and control structures
  4. a foreach command to loop over record sequences and nested data sets

This milestone will enable sophisticated backend processing and master/detail forms.

Milestone F : Catalog Extensions & Capstone

This is the final milestone of the release and will fill gaps identified by users building applications using HTSQL. In particular, it may include support for custom catalog extensions so that form builders can augment meta-data with configured screen labels. It will probably also include query manipulation commands, such as stripping selectors or replacing a filter.

  1. support for custom catalog extensions
  2. query manipulation operations
  3. updating documentation, website & materials

This deliverable will likely be modified heavily based on what’s needed to deliver HTRAF Forms.

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