Oracle SQL Developer 4: Windows and the JDK

A few things have changed when it comes to running SQL Developer on a Windows machine. In previous versions, the first thing you’d see when running SQL Developer would be a prompt asking for the location of Java.

Tell SQL Developer where it can find Java

Tell SQL Developer where it can find Java

Turns out, it’s hard for Java applications to run without Java.

On Macs and Linux/Unix environments, we don’t prompt for the location of the JDK. The OS tells us where it is. So why not do this for Windows too?

Well, for version 4.0, we’ve taken care of this.

The .EXE in the top SQL Developer directory does a few things when you run it in version 4.0:

  1. Is this machine 32 or 64 bit OS?
  2. Is Java here?
  3. Write the location of the JDK to the .conf file for future executions

So as long as this EXE can answer these questions successfully, you won’t see the old prompt for the JDK anymore. If it can’t, then it will ask you for some help. This will make getting SQL Developer up and running that much easier for Windows users :)

Now, for all time eternal, SQL Developer would look (for Windows) in the sqldeveloper.conf file to see where the JDK is installed and also where you could configure how the JVM runs with the appropriate set parameter flags.

In version 4.0, we no longer look in SQLDeveloper.conf for these specific Java flags and settings.

To accommodate shared Windows machines, we now look into the roaming profiles directory in the Application Data folder. Specifically for SQL Developer, it’s here:

Where we put the java settings for SQL Developer in version 4.0 on Windows

Where we put the java settings for SQL Developer in version 4.0 on Windows

Basically speaking, if you have 3 people sharing a computer, each of them can have their own settings for how to run SQL Developer.

If you open this ‘very well documented’ file, you’ll see the all-important line near the top:

Where is the Java?

Where is the Java?

If you upgrade your Java installation, you’ll need to update this file with the new location or install folder name.

A couple more notes

  • The 4.0 Windows download packages will be:
    1. Windows 32 and 64 bit
    2. Windows with 64 bit JDK (Server JRE)
  • We recommend you run Java 7 with SQL Developer 4

The Server JRE is a subset of the full JDK – but has everything we need to run SQL Developer. We’re making the Windows with Java download setup for 64 bit now as that’s the standard configuration for machines these days. This also includes Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler.