- use the visual tools to create the SQL statements to design the table metadata (columns , primary and foreign key constraints etc)
- create a data table and table-adapter with these tools (which will have to be heavily customized for each CRUD operation)
- hand code sql queries to get something useful out of the data.
What is to follow over the next however-long will be a series of Ruby on Rails posts (as I discover more about this exciting language) to help get more people into this fast-growing open-source community of developers. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions on topics you might be curious about!