|PostgreSQL - Red Hat Edition: Graphical Tools Guide|
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This section describes the new features, usability enhancements, and robustness enhancements in Visual Explain.
Full support for PostgreSQL 7.3 backends. Additional information (such as "qualifying expressions" for the node's operation) is displayed for relevant nodes when connecting to a database backend of that version.
If available, percentages of the total cost and total time are now shown for each node, making it simple to compare the relative importance of the operations and also the accuracy of the planner estimates. This is useful for queries that take a long time to execute or for cases where you want to show a query plan to someone who does not have access to the database.
Save and restore the plan resulting from an EXPLAIN or EXPLAIN ANALYZE operation. You can then reload the plan for study or send it to someone to look into an issue.
Dynamic modification of the value of PostgreSQL environment variables. This enables you to force the planner to choose specific execution options (see the PostgreSQL 7.3 Administrator's Guide).
Tooltips for tree nodes show the total time (if available) or cost (otherwise) of the node under the cursor. This enables you to explore the plan and search for problem spots without having to explicitly select each node and look for data in the Detail Pane.
Navigating among the tree nodes by using the arrow keys with
Time/cost of the node operation is now shown as the total node time/cost minus the sum of the children's time/cost.
A Help menu option is now provided, giving access to a basic help system (the appropriate sections of this manual in HTML).
The Stop button now works with PostgreSQL 7.2 (or greater) backends and the JDBC 7.3 driver.
Visual Explain now asks for confirmation before abandoning changes made to the query text area, so you can save the changes. The name of the query file is now shown in the text area label, and a text editor-style indication that the contents have been changed is provided.
You have the option to have Visual Explain reload the query that was in place when you last exited the tool, and to reconnect to the database if required.
If a file from the most recently used list cannot be opened, it is now removed from the list.
The Status Bar now displays the host, port, and username of the currently opened connection.
The Save Password option is now per-database, instead of global.
The Plan Overview window always stays on top.
Table cells in the Detail Pane are no longer selectable.
When enlarging the main window, the additional space goes entirely towards the Tree View (as the remaining information has fixed size). The Detail Pane and the query text area keep their size (if possible) when the window size is reduced.
Very large cost estimates are now handled properly.
Cost and time are now at the bottom of the Detail Pane, so they are easier to spot as you navigate among nodes.