Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SQLite Manager for Firefox for AncestryDNA Helper

All technical content can now be found on a new blog named SQLite for AncestryDNA Helper.

This is a special post that is off my usual ramblings. It is directed specifically to users of the Chrome extension called AncestryDNA Helper. If you don't use it, just ignore this post and any others on this topic.

The database that is built by the AncestryDNA Helper is a SQLite database. One of the group members has suggested a tool to help dig into the data that is in that database. The tool is a plug-in for Firefox and is named SQLite Manager. If you don't have Firefox, you'll need to install it first.

To add the plug-in to Firefox, use your favorite search engine to locate it on the Mozilla website. Once you find it, click on the green bar that says Add to Firefox. You'll then need to close Firefox and start it again.

After SQLite Manager is loaded, you'll want to add it to your menu. Click the menu icon on the far right and choose Customize at the bottom of the panel.

You can add SQLite Manager to the menu in two ways. You can drag the icon to the menu bar. For example, I dragged  it next to the fox in my menu bar. You can also choose to show the menu toolbar, which will already have the plug-in listed.

Here is the result of choosing both options. I can now start SQLite Manager from either place.

When SQLite Manager starts, it needs a database to work with. You will want to protect the original AncestryDNA Helper database, so step carefully through making a working copy. You'll want to do this each time your database changes.

Choose from the menu Database then Connect Database.

You will need to navigate very deeply into the Chrome structure to find the database. The AncestryDNA Helper documentation has a good description of how to find it. My username on my PC is Beth so my path to the database is this:
C:\Users\Beth\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\databases\chrome-extension_hjflmfphflaeehhpdiggobllgffelfee_0

The database does not have any file type associated with it. At the bottom right of the selection window, change the file type to All Files.

The file name will just be a number. It will be the number 1 unless you have uninstalled and reinstalled the Helper. The number bumps up by 1 each time you do so. My number is 12, so I choose the file 12 and click Open.

When the database opens, the filename (12) is at the top of the screen on the left side and the path in use is at the top of the window. When working with this tool, you'll be able to see at a glance if you are using the original or a copy.

 First thing: make that copy. Choose from the menu Database then Copy Database.

Give the copy a name you will recognize.

Choose a folder that is comfortable for you. I chose My Documents. Click on Select Folder and the copy will be saved.

Notice how the path at the top and the file name on the left now show the location of the copy that I'll be working with.

In another post, I'll share some SQL queries that you can use. You can use Browse & Search to look at data, though I am finding one million ancestors for the matches of four tests rather a lot of data. Queries are a far better option.

When you're done and ready to close, choose the menu option Database and then Close Database.

Exit the plug-in either from the X in the right hand corner or use the menu choices Database and Exit.

Next time: some SQL queries.

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