I don’t think it will connect to MySql. But Microsoft’s SQL Server Express Edition is free. Basically, you install the express edition and then you install SQL server management studio. That is a UI front-end to connect to the database.
The default connection string in Tractor is
Server=MyPc\SQLEXPRESS;Integrated security = SSPI; Initial Catalog = QATestDB; User ID = sa; Password=password
This has some implications for how you set things up. The default server name is MyPc\SQLEXPRESS. This will need to change based on your machine name. For example, on my machine, when I open SQL management studio I see the following tree:
There I can see my machine name and the path to the server: “OFFICEPC-2012\SQLEXPRESS”
The Integrated Security = SSPI should stay. This means you want to connect to the server using Windows Authentication (your user name and password) rather than SQL authentication. You need to make sure SQL is using the same (that will be shown below).
The Initial Catalog means the database you wish to work with. This is a decision you make. You might prefer to have all products dump into one database, or you might prefer one database per product. For now, you can leave as default.
Finally, you have the user name and password. The ‘sa’ user account is the highest priority user–the system administrator. If you are using Management Studio to handle a lot of databases, then you don’t want this used for simply logging data from a single machine. But if you are just running SQL for the sole purpose of logging test data, then it’s fine to use if you change the password.
In Management Studio, to set the login type and the sa password, you right click on the server instance and pick the security tab. There you need to make sure it’s Windows Authentication
Then, work your way down to the security and logins tab and you’ll find the sa user. Right click and open those properties and you’ll be able to set the sa password.
Now, you could also set another user name and pass at this stage too. This is where you’d want to set things up so that different engineering teams might have access to different product databases.
Now you should be able to construct your actual connection string and put that into the Tractor settings:
Pressing the “Test Connection” button doesn’t mean you have the connection string correct. But it does mean that Tractor can talk to the database.
Next, push the Create Database button. Now, go back to SQL Management Studio, right click on your server and pick “refresh”
If your connection string is correct, you should see a database with the name used in the connection string appear:
If you push the Delete Database, Tractor will try to delete it, but that can only happen if it’s disconnected. Most likely it will fail. But you can right click on the database in Management Studio and pick “Delete” and Management Studio will let you force a disconnect and delete. And you can do the process again to help solidify how it works. Or create another database.
And once you have the data SQL, then you can export it in a CSV format if you wish, with lots of flexibility on how it’s formatted.
But I think you raise a good point that having a parallel log in CSV format (in addition to HTML) would be useful because the HTML can’t be readily parsed by machine.