Organizing Connections with Folders in Oracle SQL Developer

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 37 Comments

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How many Oracle databases do you work with on a regular basis? I’m guessing the answer for most of you lies between 1 and 500. This post is really geared for those of you who deal with more than just a handful (5) of database connections.

Filters are nice when you need to work with a subset of table data, or even a list of tables. So why wouldn’t they be just as useful for organizing your connections? Here’s my complete list of databases:

The folders aren’t there by default, you add them as you need them.

Now this isn’t an overly large connection list. But when I need to fire up an impromptu demo for a customer, it’s very nice to be able to drill down into JUST those ‘safe’ environments. This actually saves me a few seconds every time I need to connect to one of my databases. So while it’s a very simple feature, it’s one of those things that I recommend EVERYONE take advantage of as it will save them hours of time over the long haul.

Easier to find means I get to work a few seconds faster.

This also helps me from making mistakes in ‘production’ environments!

How to Add a Connection Folder

Select a connection you want to organize. Mouse-right-click, and choose ‘Add to folder.’ You can throw it into a new container or an existing one. Lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary.

The only trick is remembering to right-click!

Special thanks to @dresendi for today’s topic! He asked how to do this and I realized I hadn’t blogged the topic yet 🙂

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Comments 37

  1. Hi, After DB connection copied from Sql Dev 17.2.0188 to, all my folders got removed only connections were copied , please let me if there is way if my folder can also get copied to target new Sql Dev

  2. Hi,

    Consider I have created 2 folders each folder has 4 connections.

    Can I export this details into xml that should include the folder structure as well and import the xml into other sql developer.

    Note : I need the folder structure which I created to be migrated when I import the xml in other sqldeveloper

  3. Thank you for the tip. But I have an issue with sql Developer
    Is there a way to save the folders that I created? Because I lose the folder structure everytime the sql developer is restarted.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  4. Hi Jeff ,

    was wondering if there is a way to export connections from for instance the sql developer 4.1 and import it to an older version.

    My problem is that the version 4.1 has some issues with listing, describing some objects when connecting to Oracle 9i.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. thatjeffsmith Post

      If you make a thick driver connection using an client, that 11gR2 driver should play nicer with Oracle Database 9i.

      What exact issues are you having with 9i and 4.1? We don’t support 9i anymore, but maybe there’s an easy fix.

      We changed the connection/password scheme in 4.1, so I don’t think you can export 4.1 and import that to v4 or v3.2 for example.

      You could look at the connections.xml file itself and and try to move it over to an older version – it might be worth it if you have dozens/hundreds of connections for a dozen.

  5. I have lots of folders (about 50) and I’m pretty clumsy, and sometimes I manage to accidentally drag and drop a connection so that it now resides in the wrong folder – and I don’t know which one. Apart from opening each folder in turn and taking a peak, is there any way I can find out where it went?

    1. You can take a look in %APPDATA%\SQL Developer\system4.\o.sqldeveloper. (the exact version numbers may depend on your version of SQL Developer). product-preferences.xml contains a section that contains a list of connection folders and their contents.

  6. I’d like to see a way to add a connection to the desired folder when creating a connection via the “sdcli migration -actions=mkconn” command, creating new folders if they don’t already exist. As an experiment, I tried putting a slash in the connection name when creating a new connection with this command, where the text before the slash was the name of an existing folder, but it just ended up creating a connection with a slash in the name.

    As the other posted had suggested, being able to specify the desired folder when creating a new connection via the UI would also be very helpful. But being able to do this via the command line interface would be awesome, as this would finally make it feasible to automate keeping SQL Developer connections up to date via an external source, with the added benefit of organizing all newly created connections in folders.

  7. Great thing.

    I would really like it, if the folder gets a “connected”-sign too, if there is an activ connection in the folders connections.
    So you could easily see active connections even if the folder isn’t expanded.

  8. Hello!
    Great feature. I was aware of it but then I somehow forget where and how to.
    I wanted to add my folders back but I have no option in context menu.

    Is it possible these folders are dependent on one of the installed (switched on/off) features in the Manage features and updates window?

    Thank you.

    1. Hello again!

      I guess I can answer my question by myself now – enabling the “File navigator” feature got back all my previous folders… 🙂


    1. thatjeffsmith Post
    1. thatjeffsmith Post
    2. Are there plans to implement nested folders? Your example looks nice when you’ve got about 20 connections, but when you’ve got about 200 of them even a single level of nested folders would be a lot more useful.

    3. thatjeffsmith Post
    4. Put my vote in for nested folders, too! As a consultant, I have multiple companies, and then multiple environments (dev, qa, uat, prod), and sometimes multiple product lines – with multiple connections in each one. Nested folders would definitely help a lot!
      (And thanks for the folder tip. I had found that previously but somehow lost it, and was doing a google search and came across this article. I’m glad to have found this blog!)

    5. Same here. It would be a Blessing to be able to nest folders. As I am working with system with more than 5 users per Oracle instance, and more than one instance a server.

  9. This was a huge help! I looked everywhere for this option. Is there any way to reorder the folders or reorder the connections within a folder.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  10. Thanks for this tip.
    Is there a way do mark (by coloring [like TOAD] or putting a box around the frame [like DbVisualizer]) a certain database connection?
    I have often more than one database connected (i.e. devel-db, test-db and prod-db). I want to be warned when interfere with the production database. Otherwise I have to look twice before clicking around.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  11. Thanks, Jeff.

    A nice improvement would be to put New Connection on the folder right click menu. As it is I create a new connection then immediately move it to the desired folder.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post

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