Michel Casabianca

VisualSQL is a JDBC client for databases. You can send SQL queries and see the result in a table. It is released under GPL thus, the sources are available.

Auto installer vsql-0.5.jar

Installing VisualSQL

To install VisualSQL, you must first :

  1. Install a Database (you can use PostgreSQL which is an Open Source Relational Database).
  2. Install a 1.2 or 1.3 Java Virtual Machine. You can download one for free on Sun’s web site.
  3. Download a JDBC driver for your Database (you will find some for PostgreSQL on this site).

To install VisualSQL, type java -jar vsql-.jar in the directory of the archive. This will launch the auto installer. You must then drop the JDBC driver for your database in the lib directory of VisualSQL. Windows users must edit the bin\vsql.bat file to add the driver jar file in the CLASSPATH. If your driver’s archive is a zip file, simply rename it to make a .jar file.

The latest version of VisualSQL is on my web page.

Building VisualSQL

To build VisualSQL, you will need Ant version 1.3, you will find it on Apache web site. Go to the prj directory and type ant all to rebuild from sources.

To generate the doc, you will need SAT, my set of Ant tools. You can find it on my web page. To generate the installer, you will need FiJI, my installer generator. You may find it on my web site.

Using VisualSQL

Type vsql on the command line to launch VisualSQL. The application will look like :

First, you must connect to the database:

  1. Type in the name of your JDBC driver class. This should be included in your driver’s documentation. For PostgreSQL 7.0, the driver class is org.postgresql.Driver.
  2. Enter your database URL. This depends on your database and your driver’s documentation should document this. For PostgreSQL, this is something like jdbc:postgresql://localhost:5432/myDB.
  3. Type in user name and password (if any).

Then click on the button to connect. If connection fails, a dialog box should detail the error. When connected (no error message), you can send SQL queries to the database by typing them in the text area and clicking on the query button. The result is shown on the lower pane. You can display previous queries with arrows (up for previous and down for next ones).

You disconnect from the database when quitting or by clicking on the disconnect button. When quitting, your configuration is saved in a configuration file (~/.vsql.properties on Unix or <VSQL_HOME>\vsql.properties on Windows). The query history (last 100 queries) is saved in a file (~/.vsql.history on Unix or <VSQL_HOME>\vsql.history on Windows).

Key bindings are the following:

  • Ctrl+Space: Connect/disconnect from the database.
  • Ctrl+Enter: Execute Query.
  • Ctrl+Up: Previous Query in the History.
  • Ctrl+Down: Next Query in the History.

Configuration file

The database connection properties are saved when you quit the application in the following properties:

  • jdbc.driver: the JDBC driver to use.
  • jdbc.url: the database URL.
  • jdbc.user: the user name.
  • jdbc.password: the password for the user.

There are other properties you can change by editing the properties file:

  • debug: to run the program in debug mode. The stack traces are printed on the console. Copy those stack traces to send a bug report. May have the values true or false.
  • swing.icons: this is the set of icons to use in the interface. May have the values swing or jlobby. The Java Lobby icons are Copyright© 1998 by Dean S. Jones and may be downloaded at www.gallant.com/icons.htm.
  • swing.primaryX and swing.secondaryY: change those values to customize you interface. Those values may be decimal, hexadecimal (starting with 0x) or octal (starting with O) values.


This software is free and released under the GPL. You can find a copy of this license in the file LICENSE in the installation directory.


Version 0.5 (2001-10-15)

Bug correction (query related key bindings were active even when not connected to the database).

Disconnection from the database on VM shutdown (using finalizer execution request on 1.2 VMs and a shutdown hook on 1.3).

Version 0.4 (2001-10-10)

The program has been completely rewritten using a (supposed) clean object design.

Version 0.3 (2001-08-22)

Bug corrections (the program didn’t started if no history file was found in the user’s home) and enhancements (tool tips on the column headers). Thanks to Laurent ROMEO for his contribution.

Documentation updates.

Version 0.2 (2000-08-31)

Directory tree changed, Hot Keys and theme added.

Version 0.1 (2000-08-30)

Minor bug fix (related to the Connect button) and an enhancement (related to the History list).

Version 0.0 (2000-06-07)

First release.

Enjoy !