Original Version

The original version of the educational tool, called RDBI, was implemented in Quintus Prolog and had only a command line interface. The following paper describes the motivation for RDBI and the syntax of the relational query languages recognized by the tool:

An Educational Tool for Formal Relational Database Query Languages
Suzanne W. Dietrich
Computer Science Education, Vol. 4, pp.157-184, 1993

Later Versions

To increase the availability of the educational tool and to provide a graphical user interface, a windows-based version, WinRDBI, was made available in Fall 1996. The following paper describes the features of WinRDBI 1.0 and provides nontrivial examples, illustrating how to write queries in the formal languages to support (a limited form of) counting and minimum/maximum queries:

WinRDBI: A Windows-based Relational Database Educational Tool
Suzanne W. Dietrich, Eric Eckert and Kevin Piscator
Proceedings of the 28th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
San Jose, California, February 27 - March 1, 1997, pp. 126-130

Unfortunately, there were several limitations in the design of the graphical user interface for WinRDBI 1.0 that motivated a new version of the tool. For example, WinRDBI 1.0 allowed only one query in one language to be specified at any time. WinRBDI 2.0 is a redesign and rewrite of the graphical user interface, using the capabilities provided by Java Swing. WinRBDI 2.0 allows you to have multiple query files open at the same time operating on one underlying database. Since all versions of the educational tool recognize the same syntax for the four query languages, the publications on the previous versions of the tool provide useful examples.

WinRDBI 3.1 added the DRC By-Name language, which is based on Domain Relational Calculus. Instead of using a positional reference to the attributes in a table, it references attributes by name. WinRDBI 3.1 is also available for linux.

WinRDBI 4.0 provided support for an XML format of the database instance, which is an element-based mapping of the table. Load an existing RDB file, then choose "Save As XML" to create the corresponding XML data instance.

WinRDBI 5.0 provided enhancements to the editing process, including undo, redo, matching parentheses, and preferences for font size.

WinRDBI 2020 added the capability to sort a query result by clicking on the attribute name. Clicking on the column again reverses the order.

Current Version

WinRDBI 2021 adds the capability to export and import data to/from csv files. Note that the first header line of the csv file is a comma list of fieldname/type. See User Guide for more information. WinRDBI 2021 also provides the ability to check that a table's primary key is unique.