SQL Developer Trick: DropDown Vs Tree

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I’m not saying there’s anything wrong per se with SQL Developer’s tree control for navigating your connection objects. As a matter of fact there are a few things to really admire about the tree implementation. Just in case you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, here is the tree in all its glory.

Can't see the database forest for the tree?

Scrolling can get tedious on large databases. So here’s a few tips for those that are keyboard savvy:

Navigate the tree with the keyboard, type into your objects

Just the first letter will take you to the next tree item of that letter.

Use the Right Arrow key to expand a tree or sub-tree. Jump to tables with ‘T’, then use the RightArrow key to expand the list of tables. Here’s a quick example of how to jump into a another schema, view list.

‘O’, ‘RightArrow’, ‘S’, ‘S’, ‘S’, ‘RightArrow’, ‘V’, ‘RightArrow’, ‘P’

That series of keystrokes allowed me to ‘walk the tree.’ I jumped to ‘Other Users’, dove into that list, typed into the ‘SH’ schema, expanded that, then went into ‘Views’, and jumped to the ‘Profits’ view. It took me much longer to type that up then it took me to actually do the task in SQL Developer.

If you are using SQL Developer and you have not acquired this skill yet, please stop reading now and go jump into SQL Developer. Try it. Try it again. Once mastered, you’ll be much more proficient with the tool and a lot more productive as well.

Maybe the Tree is just ‘too big’ for you

You don’t use Editioning Views, Queue Tables, Crossedition Triggers, Materialized View Logs, Directories, Editions, Application Express, Java, etc. Even with the keyboard ‘tricks’, that’s a lot of stuff to wade through.

Or maybe you just don’t grok the tree, no matter what you try.

Thankfully we have an alternative, and it’s called the Schema Browser.

On your tree list, select your connection and mouse-right-click. Towards the very bottom of that context menu, select ‘Schema Browser.’ This will open a new page in your panel where you see the connections and reports.

The Schema Browser is an alternative navigator for your database connection objects. It gives you a ‘Drop Down’ control for selecting both ‘schema’ and database ‘object type.’

It's all about click and scroll here. None of that funny collapsing and expanding business.

Navigation Via Drop Down Controls

It’s pretty simple really. First click into your schema, user, account, whatever. Then click into the type of object you want to populate the list.

Pick a Schema


Pick an Object Type

Schema Object Types

You can still navigate your lists with the keyboard. All of the object specific context menus are intact. Filters, refresh, and ‘new’ buttons are available to the right of the object drop down control with a little ‘down arrow’ looking button. You will still use the Connections panel to manage your connection to that database.

And if you get bored of this view, you can always close it and go back to the Tree. Or use both. I don’t care really so long as you find something that works for you!

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