Coloring Different Data Sources in IntelliJ IDEA

The database plugin in IntelliJ IDEA is a useful tool to work with data in databases. As long as we got a JDBC driver to connect to the database we can configure a data source. And then we can run queries, inspect the contents of tables and change data with the database tool window. It is not uncommon to have multiple data sources, for example development and test environment databases, which will have the same tables. When we open the tables or run queries we don’t have a visual feedback to see to which data source such a table belongs. To have a visual feedback we can colorize our data source. This means we assign a color to a data source and when we open a table from that data source the tab color in the editor window will have a different color than other tabs or the background color of the data source objects have a color.

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Groovy Goodness: Closure as Writable

In a previous post we learned about the Writable interface and how the GString implementation implements this interface. In Groovy we can also use a closure as an implementation of the Writable interface. The Closure class has the method asWritable() that will return a version of the closure with an implementation of the writeTo() method. The Writer object that is used as an argument for the writeTo() method will be passed as argument to the closure. The asWritable() method also adds a toString() implementation for the closure to return the result of a closure as a String.

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Groovy Goodness: GString as Writable

The Groovy API has the interface Writable. Classes that implement this interface are capable of writing their selves to a java.io.Writer object. The interface has one method writeTo() where the code is that writes the contents to a given Writer instance. Most implementations will also use the implementation of the writeTo() method in their toString() implementation.

The GString implementation in Groovy also implements the Writable interface. This means we can redirect the GString contents to some Writer instance if we want to. In the following code we use a FileWriter to write the contents of a GString to a file:

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Groovy Goodness: Converting Byte Array to Hex String

To convert a byte[] array to a String we can simply use the new String(byte[]) constructor. But if the array contains non-printable bytes we don’t get a good representation. In Groovy we can use the method encodeHex() to transform a byte[] array to a hex String value. The byte elements are converted to their hexadecimal equivalents.

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Grails Goodness: Using Groovy SQL

In a previous post we learned how we can use Hibernate native SQL queries in our Grails application. We can also execute custom SQL with Groovy SQL. We must create a new instance of groovy.sql.Sql in our code to execute SQL code. The easiest way is to use a javax.sql.DataSource as a constructor argument for the groovy.sql.Sql class. In a Grails application context we already have a DataSource and we can use it to inject it into our code. We must use the name dataSource to reference the default datasource in a Grails application.

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Grails Goodness: Using Hibernate Native SQL Queries

Sometimes we want to use Hibernate native SQL in our code. For example we might need to invoke a selectable stored procedure, we cannot invoke in another way. To invoke a native SQL query we use the method createSQLQuery() which is available from the Hibernate session object. In our Grails code we must then first get access to the current Hibernate session. Luckily we only have to inject the sessionFactory bean in our Grails service or controller. To get the current session we invoke the getCurrentSession() method and we are ready to execute a native SQL query. The query itself is defined as a String value and we can use placeholders for variables, just like with other Hibernate queries.

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Grails Goodness: Combining Constraints with Shared Constraints

In our Grails applications we might have fields that need the same combination of constraints. For example we want all email fields in our application to have a maximum size of 256 characters and must apply to the email constraint. If we have different classes with an email field, like domain classes and command objects, we might end of duplicating the constraints for this field. But in Grails we can combine multiple constraints for a field into a single constraint with a new name. We do this in grails-app/conf/Config.groovy where we add the configuration property grails.gorm.default.constraints. Here we can define global constraints with can be used in our Grails application.

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Joy of Coding… and mutation testing in Java

For many years now it has been good practice to write unit tests for your source-code.
And also to use test coverage reporting to see how much of your code is covered by tests.
Although line + branch coverage reporting is quite useful, it doesn’t tell you how good your unit tests actually are.┬áHence it’s even possibly to achieve 100% coverage without even a single assert in your tests.

Being interested in better ways of testing I attended the “Mutation testing” workshop during this years Joy of Coding conference.
Mutation testing is a radical different approach of executing and analyzing the result and coverage of your unit tests. Instead of measuring how much of your code is “accessed from” your unit tests it determines how much of your code is actually “tested by” your unit tests.

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Grails Goodness: Run Forked Tests in IntelliJ IDEA

In the latest Grails releases we can execute our tests in so-called forked mode. This means a separate JVM is started with an isolated classpath from the Grails build system. When we want to run our tests in forked mode from within IntelliJ IDEA we get the following error: Error running forked test-app: Could not load grails build listener class (Use --stacktrace to see the full trace). To make running tests in forked mode work with IntelliJ IDEA we must add one of the IntelliJ IDEA supplied JAR files to the Grails classpath.

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