An Introduction to SQL Developer Extensions

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 7 Comments

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Oracle SQL Developer is made available to you for free, and is chock-full of features for the developer, DBA, or data-junkie. We do our best to give you everything you need to be successful in your job, but also recognize that we can’t do EVERYTHING. While SQL Developer is NOT an open-source project, it does provide a framework that allows for other developers to build their own plug-ins. Don’t know Java? No problem, you can get started with just SQL and XML. Don’t have TIME to build your own software? No problem, other smart people are making their extensions available to you.

These 3rd party extensions range from $0 in price to just a bit more than free.

Jealous of those Android and iOS developers making mad money? Build an extension and share it with your fellow Oracle comrades!

Quick Links

Think You Know What SQL Developer Looks Like?

Oracle Database Monitoring with 4th Elephant Extension

The above image is SQL Developer running a free 3rd party extension from Fourth Elephant. They have an advanced version with much more functionality if you have a few spare dollars to spend. They have another couple of screens that I enjoy using to click through active sessions and wait events.

Think Getting Trace Files is a Pain?

Mr. Trace is another extension that automatically starts a trace and retrieves the file(s) down to SQL Developer so you can analyze the performance of your queries. ‘Before, getting trace files was hard.’ Yeah, if you’re not the UNIX admin or DBA, getting the trace files off the database server is a pain. This plugin requires a few server side objects (that your DBA can create for you), and then makes it a seamless process to access the files afterwards.

Method R's Mr Trace in SQL Developer

Once you’re ready to analyze the trace files, you can open it natively in SQL Developer, or you can spend some money and buy another 3rd party tool, some of which are available on the Extensions Exchange.

SQL Developer Quick Tip: Viewing Trace Files in the Worksheet
This is very easy. You can drag the file to the worksheet, or you can send it directly from the Mr Trace extension.

Quickly read trace files in the worksheet

Why Are You Promoting Someone Else’s Software?

I have one primary goal as a Product Manager – to maximize the SQL Developer’s user experience. That’s a fancy way of saying I want our users to be happy. Happy users equal loyal users. One of the ways I can do this is to shine a bright light on some other smart people out there that are trying to bring value to the users of SQL Developer.

A quick disclaimer or 2:

1 – I’m not endorsing FourthElephant’s or Method R’s extensions. However I think both make great examples of how an extension can work.
B – There are many great ISVs and independent developers I could have highlighted, I just chose the two that caught my eye first.

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Comments 7

  1. Jeff,

    I’m creating an extension for SQL Developer, by adding new nodes to the schema browser and adding editors to those nodes. All by using XML, and it works just fine. Unfortunately, I have to base myself on bits of information from all over the internet. Is there a possibility to get a detailed description on how to add different types of nodes? Maybe even the navigator.xsd file?
    For example:
    – The scheduler node shows a fixed set of different subnodes. I never see examples to create these.
    – in a package you can see different types of nodes: variables, procedures, functions, visual difference between public and private …
    I know there is a JDeveloper SDK but that technology is just a bridge too far for me 🙂

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
        1. thatjeffsmith Post
          Author
          1. I’m not the original developer but the one who’s maintaining the code says that the proportion of Java code to XML is so high that it must be a Java extension. Would the descriptions “How to Create a (User|XML) Defined Extension” reveal which one it is? What if it turns out to be a hybrid (if that’s even possible)?

  2. Hi Jeff,
    great posting to popularize the SQL Developer – it is more or less replacing Database Control, isn’t it?
    I look at it more as a DBA than as a Developer, that is.

    1. JeffS Post
      Author

      I’m a DBA, I’m already in my IDE, just give me a quick overview of my storage – that’s sort of the idea here. We don’t have support for things like RAC and ASM, so we have a ways to go.

      Now, for the user, could SQLDEV replace Database Control? I guess that depends on how you’re using Database Control.

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