Getting started with SQL Developer in less than 5 minutes

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 51 Comments

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It’s easy to forget that many people still have not discovered SQL Developer, or are just getting started. Many of my recent posts have been on advanced topics, hidden tricks, and productivity tips.

I want to spend some time in the next few weeks helping the beginners out there.

I can’t think of a better place to start than with how to ‘install’ SQL Developer.

I’ve been telling anyone who will listen than you can get up and running with SQL Developer in under 5 minutes. That’s a pretty big claim, and I reckon I should back that up now.

Disclaimer: I have a hi-speed residential network connection that was averaging 15.93Mbps this morning. I realize many of you have connections that are both slower and faster, so keep that in mind when I make my ‘5 minute’ claim.

The Basics – Download SQL Developer

The hardest part is the first step – picking your download and waiting. If you have a 64 bit Windows machine, you’ll need to download the 64bit 1.6 JDK first.

JDK? JRE? Java? What?!?
SQL Developer is a Java application. To run it requires the Java Virtual Machine – this is the ‘go box’ for java applications. If you’ve ever seen that funny icon popup in your systray while running apps over a website, that’s probably java.

JDK – Java Development Kit. I call it the ‘Toolkit’, but it’s just a ‘Kit,’ but not THAT K.I.T.T.

The Java Runtime Engine (JRE) is a smaller and less powerful ‘go box’ for Java applications, but SQL Developer relies on some of the libraries included only in the JDK – so get the JDK!

Many versions of Java out there – 5, 6, and 7 are the most common. The name is ‘6’, but the version is ‘1.6.’ We develop, test, and support SQL Developer for 1.6. You can run other versions, but may get less than awesome results.

It’s an archive, not an installer. After you’ve downloaded SQL Developer, there’s no installer to run. Just extract the folder, then find the ‘sqldeveloper.exe’ and open it.

If you’ve downloaded the 32 bit windows version with the JDK bundled, you’re all set.

If not, you’ll need to tell SQL Developer where it can find it’s Java master, AKA the Java Virtual Machine. Be sure to point to the ‘java.exe’ in the full JDK (not the JRE.)

Tell SQL Developer where it can find Java

Once you hit OK, you’ll never have to answer this question again.

You can change this location later in the /sqldeveloper/bin/sqldeveloper.conf file. Change the following line –
[text] SetJavaHome ../../jdk
[/text]

SQL Developer will then start, and you can proceed by setting up your connection.

Before you can connect, you will need the following:

  • database user account (complete with username and password)
  • location of database (either via TNSNames, LDAP, or servername/IP, port, and SID/Service)

If you don’t have an account, don’t go online asking people for a ‘default.’ Find the owner of your application or database and ask them for an account. If you don’t want to involve them, then you’re looking for a backdoor and could be labeled a ‘hacker.’

Now what?

Now you get to learn by doing. Many of you won’t have access to formal training, and I think that’s a real shame. If your organization provides training or compensation for taking classes – do it! Lots of free resources out there, including my blog of course.

Here’s a rundown of the official stuff from Oracle:

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Comments 51

  1. Hi Jeffs,

    I have a requirement. I Should be able to open sqldeveloper client new connection window from windows command prompt. Operating system is Windows 10. Please help me regarding this..

    Thanks in advance

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  2. I’m using an WIN7 64 BIT HVD (Hosted Virtual Desktop) and desperately trying to connect to a db using Oracle SQL Developer, however getting the o’l Network Adapter could not establish the connection error code 17002. Thing is i can connect using TOAD just fine and run the SQL Developer on my physical laptop just fine, and can TNSPING the database from my HVD just fine…but what in the name of “Johnny Cash” is preventing it from connecting while on HVD machine? Any help is appreciated.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
      1. I’ve tried it all, but basic is preferred. had to build a TNSNAMES.ora connection to the DB, after that gets same error and it looks like it errors immediately, very strange. one last thing, i also tried to telnet that port in my case 1524 and it works just fine as well, so ruled out a firewall thing. However TOAD works just fine…weird.

        1. thatjeffsmith Post
          Author

          you using a network name or IP address?

          I’m at a loss as well, however

          You say that that other program can connect…try a THICK connection in SQL Developer. Go to
          Preferences > Database > Advanced

          Select your Oracle Home and enable it – then try your connection. That will give you a connection like what you’d have in SQL*Plus.

          1. thatjeffsmith Post
            Author
          2. only get the TNS:protocol adapter error when using the IP, if i go back to the DNS name I get the ORA-12545: Connect failed because target host or object does not exist.

          3. thatjeffsmith Post
            Author

            you might want to open an SR with My Oracle Support

            I’m not sure what would be going wrong, but the jdbc driver can’t get to the database..

          4. thatjeffsmith Post
            Author

            there are net tracing utilities you could probably run where you can see the packets coming out of different processes, etc. – but Java is just making the networking request, we’re not saying use net adapter bad vs good

          5. FIGURED IT OUT!
            So HVD right?
            In HVD our config the desktop isn’t really the desktop, its a share on the network.
            move the SQLDEV folder to ProgramFiles86 or something on the REAL or in this case virtual C drive and all is well.
            So that says SQLDev has to run from local drive I guess.
            interesting 🙂

  3. An error was encountered performing the requested operation:

    IO Error: The Network Adapter could not establish the connection

    Vendor code 17002.so,what is the solution for this…?

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  4. Hi Jeffs, My SQL developer was working fine until one day Operations decided to reboot the It computers while I had my applications open. Now, every time I start SQL developer 4.13 it opens up find but as soon I try to select a connection or just by moving my mouse it shuts off automatically. The funny part is that it does not happen if I remote to my pc from another location; SQL Developer opens up fine. Could it be a memorey issue or a display issue? since while remoting it does not use the local display settings. Thank you!

  5. Jeff,

    Do you have any tips for how to resolve the error: ‘Unable to find main class. Class specified is: oracle/ide/osgi/boot/OracleIdeLauncher’. I have downloaded SQLDev 4.1.3. and JDK 1.8.0_72. I have tried it several times, I have rebooted my PC, tried to add the JDK location to my Path env variable etc. Nothing seem to help. Please know that I did initially entered an incorrect path when asked to enter the full pathname for java.exe. I have looked and cannot find product.conf that you refer to in previous posts. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Marie

    1. I found the product.conf file in C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\sqldeveloper\4.1.3
      My AppData folder was set to Hidden, so it didn’t initially find the file. Anyway, updating the SetJavaHome value solved my issue.

      Thanks

      1. thatjeffsmith Post
        Author
  6. Hi Jeff,

    Nice blog, this one!

    I am also one among millions of SQL Developer user. And i have been facing same issue mentioned above comments. “I/O : Network adapter could not establish connection”. I have checked and rechecked, and found everything in place in tnsnames.ora and listner.ora files.
    I have searched lots of blogs, forums etc. but there is no exact solution this issue.

    If you can guide me on this issue, it would be a big help.

    Regards

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  7. Could able to run the SQL Developer for the first time but later when I start the SQL Developer again it throw an error “unable to instal modules “..I tried to delete the unzip folder and started working it as fresh….but still could see the same error even after that….any help will be grateful..

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
      1. It’s located on the desktop and additionally I tried running it as an administrator…It worked very first time but not now..

  8. Hello Jeff,
    I’m not a java wiz so that might be a dumb question :
    Since SqlDeveloper is a java app, shouldn’t I see a java.exe (or javaw.exe) child process running along sqldeveloper64W.exe ? (as all my other java apps do)
    It has to be by some jvm by itself I guess since jvisualvm.exe actually identifies sqldeveloper64W.exe pid as such (oracle.ide.osgi.boot.OracleIdeLauncher)
    Can you provide some explanation (or interesting link) about the phenomenon ?
    Thx

  9. can you help me , i do not now why program no make connection
    i type in connection name , user name and password hr
    please help me

  10. error : io error: network adapter could not establish the connection.
    i am getting this error after downloading the sql developer. and i am not able to work on it.
    please help me out

  11. So i used SQLDeveloper in the last time very often and it always worked.. but since today I cant open the program..the progress bar at the beginning stuck after about 15-20% of the bar..
    Then I get no error and the program get closed automatically..what could be wrong? or is there an logfile to see whats wrong?

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      You in Windows?

      If so, go to your Application Data directory, Roaming Profiles, SQL Developer folder. Find the subfolder with the SQL Developer version number you’re using in the directory name, and try renaming or deleting it.

      Try again.

  12. I’ve installed everything and when it prompted me to select the location of the JDK file, I used a 64-bit JDK location. Evidently it only works with a 32-bit file so I downloaded the 32-bit x86 version. You said “You can change this location later in the /sqldeveloper/bin/sqldeveloper.conf file.” How do I access this file? Where is it found? I’m new to all this and can’t find that anywhere.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      We support 64 bit JDK – what makes you think otherwise?

      The JDK specification location depends on the version you’re running. Versions 4.0 and higher use product.conf in your $USER$ directory. Versions below that use sqldeveloper.conf in the bin directory.

  13. THE SQL DEVELOPER SOFTWARE ON MY SYSTEM ASKED FO THE FULL PATHNAME OF THE JAVA.EXE FILE. I DOWNLOADED A JDK 6 FROM ORACLE WEBSITE AND I PUT IT THERE. IT ACCEPTED , BUT IT SHOWED AN ERROR THAT- UNABLE TO FIND THE MAIN CLASS , CLASS SPECIFIED IS =ORACLE/IDE/BOOT /LAUNCHER. CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO AGAIN PUT A SEPARATE JDK FILE IN THE SAME PATHNAME NOW ?

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      WHY ARE WE YELLING?

      What version of SQL Developer are you running? If version 3.x and lower, you’ll need the JDK 6. But if you’re on v4 or higher, you’ll need JDK 7.

      1. I am still new to developer and had to reinstall it on my work computer. I am having the same issue as Bunty did. I checked your response and I’m running developer 4.0.2 and pointed it to the JDK 7 path. However I still get the same error ‘Unable to find main class. Class specified is: oracle/ide/osgi/boot/OracleIdeLauncher’

        Any hints? I promise not to yell.

        1. thatjeffsmith Post
          Author

          It kinda sounds like one or more files in the zip are missing/bad/something. Can you download it and extract it to a fresh directory?

          And no need for promises. I won’t yell either, but I will remind you’ve we’ve got Java 8 and SQLDev versions 4.0.3, 4.1.0, 4.1.1, 4.1.2, and 4.1.3 that are newer, better, faster than the version you’re trying to get working.

  14. Thank you Jeff, your website is very helpful. We considered TOAD but could not justify the cost to ourselves. I’m not 100% satisfied with Oracle SQL Developer but your website makes things better :o). PS: I believe the newest version of SQL Developer bundles the JDK

    PS: Is there anyway to get SQL Developer to auto-save open files? On occasion I also get memory errors but I have been unable to successfully update the maximum memory, any suggestions?

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      Yes, you can increase the amount of memory available to the JVM – where you do that depends on the version of SQL Developer you’re running.

      There’s a 32 bit JDK bundled available for SQL Dev v3 and lower and a 64 bit one for v4 and higher

  15. hi,

    Need help, I’ve been searching the web for the solution of “IO Error : Network Adapter could not establish the connection – Vendor code 17002” using Oracle SQL Develop 4.0.

    Using below info with iSQL Plus I have no problem.
    URL : http://204.102.0.237:5560/isqlplus
    username : xxxx
    password : xxxx
    connector identifier : orcl

    In the installation process, JDK ver 7 is install first followed by SQL Developer.

    When running SQL Developer using below info, i have this error message
    hostname : 204.102.0.237
    port :
    1521 – if used, error message will be same on first sentence on top
    5560 – if used, status message, Failure – test failed : string index out of range: 1238
    connection type : basic

    Below is my PC system spec
    64 bit
    i7, 12gb memory
    antivirus norton 360

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  16. thatjeffsmith Post
    Author

    Some follow-up information for those reading Dennis’ comment. It turns out that SQL*Plus will read all upper(filenames) starting with ‘TNSNAMES.’ So if you have multiple old copies archived off as tnsnames.old1, tnsnames.old2, etc – SQL*Plus will see all of those entries.

    SQL Developer has the same behavior. Since we have a TNSNames selector, you may see multiple entries of the same name – that’s SQL Developer parsing multiple TNS files. To avoid this behavior, add a _ or any other character to the beginning of your old TNSNAMES.ORA files.

  17. The is one issue that you should point out which I ran into the other day. In the directory which was set a the location of the tnsnames.ora file I had a couple of files called for example tnsnames.sav or tnsnames.old. I had a failure to connect to databases using the TNS method in SqlDeveloper until I removed all files having any name that started with tnsnames. When asked I was told that it is a known issue but not a bug? I’m not sure why it isn’t a bug since there can exist on one tnsnames.ora file at a time but it took a bit of time to figure out what was causing the issue.

    1. JeffS Post
      Author

      Dennis, were you working on the OTN SQL Developer Forums or did you contact support? If support, could you send me the SR details to my email, [email protected]?

      I’m of the same opinion as you, but I’ll withhold judgement until I can gather all the facts 🙂

    1. JeffS Post
      Author

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