The Problem Should Define the Process, Not the Tool

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 20 Comments

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All around awesome tool, but not the only gadget in your toolbox.

I’m stepping down from my SQL Developer pulpit today and standing up on my philosophical soap box. I’m frequently asked to help folks transition from one set of database tools over to Oracle SQL Developer, which I’m MORE than happy to do.

But, I’m not looking to simply change the way people interact with Oracle database. What I care about is your productivity. Is there a faster, more efficient way for you to connect the dots, get from A to B, or just get home to your kids or to the pub for happy hour?

If you have defined a business process around a specific tool, what happens when that tool ‘goes away?’ Does the business stop? No, you feel immediate pain until you are able to re-implement the process using another mechanism.

Where I get confused, or even frustrated, is when someone asks me to redesign our tool to match their problem. Tools are just tools. Saying you ‘can’t load your data anymore because XYZ’ isn’t valid when you could easily do that same task via SQL*Loader, Create Table As Selects, or 9 other different mechanisms. Sometimes changes brings opportunity for improvement in the process.

Don’t be afraid to step back and re-evaluate a problem with a fresh set of eyes. Just trying to replicate your process in another tool exactly as it was done in the ‘old tool’ doesn’t always make sense.

Quick sidebar: scheduling a Windows program to kick off thousands if not millions of table inserts from Excel versus using a ‘proper’ server process using SQL*Loader and or external tables means sacrificing scalability and reliability for convenience. Don’t let old habits blind you to new solutions and possibilities.

Of couse I’m not going to sit here and say that our tools aren’t deficient in some areas or can’t be improved upon. But I bet if we work together we can find something that’s not only better for the business, but is also better for you.

What do you ‘miss’ since you’ve started using SQL Developer as your primary Oracle database tools?

I’d love to start a thread here and share ideas on how we can better serve you and your organizations needs. The end solution might not look exactly what you have in mind starting out, but I had no idea I’d be a Product Manager when I started college either 🙂

What can you no longer ‘do’ since you picked up SQL Developer? What hurts more than it should? What keeps you from being great versus just good?

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Comments 20

  1. When I use SQLDeveloper, it aways makes me sad when it requires to choose the connection to operate.
    Typically I do not use more than 1-5 connections simultaneously, however SQLDeveloper pops up silly “choose connection” drop down list.

    I wish: SQLDeveloper to automatically use current connection (or even better is to use unshared with current connection), and I wish to have active connections listed on the top.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
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    1. thatjeffsmith Post
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        1. thatjeffsmith Post
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  2. Here’s another question. When viewing a table, and I click on the Partition tab, how am I able to see the partition key without going into Edit or onto the SQL tab to see what it is?

    FS

  3. Actually, I am still using Toad because of the Session Browser. It’s some times the most important tool. Anything else I can do with the SQL Developer

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      That’s OK Kari! Stay productive, stay happy! I only want you to be aware of what our tools offer so you can make informed choices.

      Have you seen the Tools > Monitor Sessions screen? This does much of what your other tool’s Session Browser offers.

      As far as ‘other things’ – that all depends on what it is you do on daily basis. If you want a quick idea, check out my SQL Developer Resources page – it’s the link up at the very top of this page.

      1. I used Toad before too and really miss the funtionality to see locks and blocks in the “Monitor Sessions screen”.

        You can open the “Monitor Sessions screen” quiet fast, but its becoming a chore to open the report “Blocking locks by user” manually every time I need it. (quite often I need it pretty fast due to my nervous users 🙂 )

        Apart from that: thanks for your work, I really like SQLDeveloper!

        1. thatjeffsmith Post
          Author
    2. Kari, I’ve made the transition into the Monitor Sessions available in sqldeveloper and found that it gives you the same info just in a different form from Toad. You can also use the Reports section (Database Administration > Sessions) to have some canned queries that also provide some info. You can create your own as well.

      1. thatjeffsmith Post
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      2. The Reports section is very important. We keep a good sized list of reports in there. The benefit of this attack over others is the ability to write any report you want, and have it work the way you want. This allows you to get reports in ways that are specific to your needs, and not a broad report that you have to sift through.

  4. TJS,

    I and most of my team have transitioned to the mac world and am using sqldeveloper exclusively now. Prior to that I had been a Toad user for 7+ years. In transitioning, there are some things that I have come across that I used to be able to do. Part of our work involves executing scripts in production or deploying packages etc. I have found that if I kick off one longer running process in a connection, then that’s the only thing I can do in that connection. Could be a rookie mistake. Before, I was able to open up a sqlplus session or qsr and let it run on the side or, if I enabled the option, running multiple threads as part of the tool. There are a lot of things in sqldeveloper I like but change is hard and can be cumbersome and getting accustomed to the new world takes time and guidance. Thanks in advance!

    FS – @slaytanic70

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      Kick off an unshared worksheet and run your long running query/script there. That worksheet will be tied up, but you’ll be able to run queries and work normally in your other worksheet and throughout the rest of the tool. Use the worksheet toolbar – there’s a worksheet button there. Hitting that will open a new dedicated connection to the same database just for that new worksheet.

        1. thatjeffsmith Post
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  5. I love this thought, and productivity is ultimately what helps us get more done in less time. What I have run into at our organization is that at one time the “best” most efficient way is found…but then it is NEVER reexamined, when tools evolve and new technology and thought processes emerge. I think intentionally remaining open minded and in a learning frame of mind is very important so that we don’t get “stuck” doing the same thing forever. I know I can get tempted to stay ‘heads down,’ but that keeps us from stretching, growing, and ultimately pioneering new and better ways. Plus, it keeps life a little more interesting. Great post and would love to see you do more of this type of writing.

  6. Set echo on
    F5
    Result: the “prompt” is just a greater than sign.

    Now paste that into the OTN forum and submit, and that sign becomes some HTML garbage.

    Just put SQL> instead of > and you will make my day.

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