ThatJeffSmith

The Problem Should Define the Process, Not the Tool

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?