SQL Developer is built by Oracle, for Oracle. It’s the database IDE. That’s my current elevator pitch, at least. But, SQL Developer is also a fully featured data modeling solution (have you been enjoying my data modeling posts?) AND a 3rd party database migration platform.
The migration piece is the Migration Workbench. Since we support migrations from these other database platforms, wouldn’t it be neat if SQL Developer could connect and query those 3rd party databases too? Surprise, surprise – that’s exactly what we DO do today.
What ‘Support’ means
You can connect to, browse, and query (SELECTs only) SQL Server, DB2, Access, MySQL, and Teradata.
What ‘Support’ does NOT mean
- providing debuggers
- delivering database administration features
- write access to the database
Sound a little harsh or spartan? Going much further in any of these areas would just open a big ole can of worms, and we’re committed to providing an optimal experience for the Oracle database. But, since we already support these limited features, there’s no real reason to hide it.
So what’s it good for outside of migration projects?
You own one of those fancy-dancy MacBook Pros? Fall in love with Ubuntu? Need browse some SQL Server data? You sir/madam, are what we call a rebel! Instead of installing a VirtualBox Windows VM just so you can run SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) or some other Windows-based database IDE, you can run Oracle SQL Developer natively on your machine and connect to that server.
This is pretty old news – here’s a nice blog post from 2007 talking about how to use SQL Developer to connect to SQL Server. But since the product name is ‘Oracle SQL Developer’, it’s probably a good idea to remind folks every now and then that SQL Developer is more than just a tool for Oracle developers
Download and Go
You will need the JDBC drivers for the database you want to connect to. These are conveniently indexed here. Couple of notes -
- You need to be a registered IBM customer to access their downloads
- The Teradata download manager page seems to be ‘missing’ – go grab the driver here
Once you have extracted the packages, you need to point SQL Developer to the .jar file
Be sure to point to the actual file, not just the directory containing the jar.
Once you’ve done this, you can open the connection dialog and navigate to the appropriate database panel.