Your Guide to New Features in Oracle SQL Developer version 3.1

thatjeffsmith Expired 6 Comments

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Did you miss the big news yesterday? We released the next version of Oracle SQL Developer, 3.1. SQL Developer is the IDE for the Oracle database. Millions have downloaded it, more have used it. We try to do one to two releases a year and look to support those folks doing development, management, modeling, migrations, reporting, data mining, … you get the idea!

Don’t have version 3.1 yet? Go download it NOW.

Today I wanted to take a step back and talk about some of the work we did over the past few months. And by ‘we’, I mean people other than me, the developers who actually make SQL Developer. Much of the work came directly from our users via the Feature Exchange. It says we’ve implemented 410 ideas so far, but I’m thinking that needs updating 🙂

Anyways, what you’re about to read is NOT an exhaustive list. Rather, it’s what caught my eye as an ORACLENERD and as the Product Manager. The official ‘hey looky here, is this not the best thing ever’ list is here if you are looking for that.

A quick note regarding our release notes – the list of bug fixes and new features isn’t exhaustive either. The bug fixes are confined to bugs that were reported by customers. You can imagine the number of bugs we caught internally – so if you are wondering if something is fixed, the best bet is probably to download 3.1 and try it out. The ‘New Features’ list is also not complete. Many widgets were polished, many buttons were added. This page is what you’d see in a fancy brochure for a car versus what’s detailed in the Haynes manual.

I know it can be difficult to nose around the release notes and check out all the different application menus to see what’s changed. If you’re lucky you might stumble across a feature or run into a colleague that can point you in the right direction. I’d like to even your odds and get you to ‘the good stuff’ today!

So, in NO particular order:

Database DIFF no longer requires an Enterprise Editioned Change Management Pack database license

That’s right – you can now generate your change DDL scripts for FREE. The feature itself has also undergone quite a bit of improvements from version 3.0. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out under Tools – Database Diff. And I fibbed a little bit, I said in no particular order, but there’s a reason I listed this feature first 🙂

PDF Reporting Improvements

The reporting is a very popular feature in SQL Developer, and I see a lot of very cool stuff happening in the next few releases. Version 3.1 saw several big improvements including the ability to set some page specific options and to encrypt your reports with a password. If you are new to the reporting feature, check out this new 2 minute movie that takes you through the basics.

I’ve also blogged a few posts where I do some basic ‘play’ work with the reporting:

The Cart

Available under the View menu, the SQL Developer cart allows you to script your migrations for moving objects and their data to new Oracle instances. You can add pre and post script routines. It basically takes several individual features and melds them together for a much improved experience. You’ll see the Cart come into play in the very near future when our Database Public Cloud goes live. You can read my take on the cart here –

DataPump, RMAN, and other fun DBA stuff

Wait you say, Data Pump isn’t JUST for DBAs! You’d be correct, and that would also explain why we put it into SQL Developer 🙂 You have wizards for building export and import Data Pump jobs. If you haven’t discovered the DBA panel, now is the time! Go to View – DBA.

Just answer the questions and you're ready to Pump!

We have a series of movies for this feature as well. If you’d like a more in-depth overview of the wizards, then I recommend checking out Tim’s post on ORACLE-BASE.

Folks that need help managing their backups can now do so via Recovery Manager and SQL Developer.

File Logging

This is a LITTLE feature, but I love it. When using the file explorer dialog to open or save a file in SQL Developer, that’s now shown in the Log panel. So, when you create the XLSX file, you can now simply click into it. You can also mouse over the hyperlinked text to see WHERE you put those darn files 🙂

And there’s more!

But I don’t want to bog you down with more homework. Go play with version 3.1 and come back and tell us what we left out and what more needs to be done in version 3.NEXT!

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Comments 6

  1. Hi Jeff,

    I am looking for a way to search all my database objects for some text. Some of my colleagues still use version 2.3 and they have a nice feature in the “Find Database Object”; they can set the ‘Type’ field to “Search all objects”. Why has this been removed? It is very handy and I don’t find any other way to do something similar.

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Arduin

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      I hope this is what you’re looking for – ‘View – Find DB Object.’ If you don’t see that in your SQL Developer menus, please let me know what version of the tool you’re currently running.

      1. Hi Jeff,

        I had the ‘Find DB Object’ window already open. What I am looking for is a way to search all db objects (or only the PL/SQL code and packages) for the occurence of some string. Apparently in v2.3 this can be achieved by opening the ‘Find DB object’ window and setting the field ‘Type’ to ‘Search all objects’. Can you help me find another way to accomplish this task? Or tell me why this feature has been removed?

        Thank you,
        Arduin

        1. thatjeffsmith Post
          Author
  2. Hi Jeff,

    I just read few news, shall i understand that you replace Sue/ Kris?

    Although i’m not arguing about SQLDev – i love it, th frustration is very high between comunity members since ORACLE decided to release only max 2 versions/yeat.

    This is crazy and unfortunate SQLDEV will never ever catch the compettion. we – as users, are very upset by the fact that they need to wait > for a feature to be implemented.

    Hopeffuly someone from the mgmt/sql developer will undusetand our main issues .

    Cheers,
    Dani

    1. JeffS Post
      Author

      Hi Dani,

      It’s true, I have assumed Sue’s role as Product Manager.

      I’m glad to hear you love it! But, I can also understand where your frustration comes from. There’s no predetermined maximum number of releases to do in a given calendar year, sorry for any confusion. It would have been more accurate to state on average there have been 2 to 3 releases a year.

      I would love to go out and hire 200 developers and build every feature at once, alas even at Oracle that is probably not possible. However, the development investment in the product is very substantial, and I don’t want anyone to think that the customer base and their needs and frustrations are dismissed or taken lightly. In fact, I accepted the offer to join the team because I was extremely excited about the amount of progress that has taken place in the last 18 months.

      The 3.0 release of SQL Developer was a game changer. It’s a clear candidate to be anyone’s full-time IDE and productivity tool for Oracle RDBMS. Is it all the way there? In a word, ‘no.’ If you saw the wish list I am about to present to the team here in a few weeks, you’d see that I am perhaps not so far away from your point of view.

      So, this is a lot of nice words and I’m sure you are still frustrated. So what can I do?

      My main mission here on this blog has been to investigate and promote the under-utilized features in SQL Developer. The secondary mission has been to interface with the public via informal channels so I can be a better voice of the ‘user’ when developing requirements and specs for upcoming releases. I want to share my Oracle email address with you now, [email protected]. I’m also going to share with you my phone number, US 919-539-6646. I would love to continue this conversation here or via phone and email.

      What features can you not wait for? I have several hundred enhancement requests outstanding, and they must be prioritized. Version 3.NEXT of the tool is going to be a massive undertaking, but it would be all for nought if we did not head in the right direction.

      I’m very familiar with features that are popular in…what you would refer to as ‘the competition’, and I would also like to offer you and your team a free WebEx training session. We’ll cover the ins and outs of the tool, and you can have a better chance to spot out any deficiencies. This offer goes for anyone who feels as passionately about the product as Dani does.

      Dani, thanks for the passion and the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

      Jeff

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