How to Open the Data Modeler in Oracle SQL Developer

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 24 Comments

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You are using Oracle SQL Developer, and you want to create or open a design in the Data Modeler. How do you GET to the Modeler?

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a standalone solution that is also shipped in SQL Developer as an extension. The user interface of the Modeler is folded into SQL Developer.

The Modeler is listed as an Extension - you can disable the modeler then.

The Modeler is listed as an Extension.

If you are going to be doing just a quick-and-dirty operation on your design, working with SQL Developer will be just fine. However, if you plan on spending more than 15 minutes in your model, then I recommend you download and install the Modeler separately.

The features are equal between the two – that’s because it’s the same code, assuming we’re looking at the same versions. This also means your designs can be opened and saved between both tools.

If you want to open or activate the Modeler inside of SQL Developer, then the easiest way to do so is:

  1. Go to the View menu
  2. Expand the Data Modeler menu
  3. Select the ‘Browser’

Now if you want to do a Reverse Engineer from a Data Dictionary, you need to access the Data Modeler’s ‘File’ menu, which is under the SQL Developer File menu.

Clear as mud?

Maybe a movie would help?

Easy to do, once you know how :)

Easy to do, once you know how ๐Ÿ™‚

And some pictures too?

The File Menu

Access the Data Modeler 'File' menu stuff under the SQLDev File Menu...

Access the Data Modeler ‘File’ menu stuff under the SQLDev File Menu…

The View Menu

Do you see a pattern here?

Do you see a pattern here?

The Tools Menu

Now you're getting it!

Now you’re getting it!

The Help

The Data Modeler Help document is attached as a separate book in the SQL Developer Help guide.

One last thing – both tools are free. People keep asking me this. Yes, no money is required to use the tools. Support is covered via your existing database licenses.

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Comments 24


  2. Hi Jeff,
    After I open a new logical model, I do not gain additional buttons in my ribbon. For example, I do not see the Add Entity button. Am I missing something obvious? I followed your steps (Go to the View menu, Expand the Data Modeler menu, Select the โ€˜Browserโ€™). I then right clicked Logical Model and clicked Show. This creates a new tab, but no additional buttons appear in the menu.
    Thanks for the help.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      1. thatjeffsmith Post
    1. thatjeffsmith Post

      It’s upgrade time. Don’t think the Modeler was included with SQLDev until version 2.something.

      Version 1.5.5 is almost 10 years old, you need to upgrade anyway.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  3. I need to do version controlling of each and every script executed on the database. please let me know if it can be done using data modeler. Or u know any other best tool for this.

  4. Jeff,

    You wrote “However, if you plan on spending more than 15 minutes in your model, then I recommend you download and install the Modeler separately.”

    Would you be able to spend a few moments providing a why on this? Other than ‘less buttons to click’ I can’t think of a reason to have both tools on my machine when one tool is entirely within the other…



    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  5. The images above show ‘Recent Designs’ under File – Data modeler, is this still available under version 4? I can’t see it under my setup.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
    2. thatjeffsmith Post
      1. It re-appeared in 4.0.2 but seems to only be present for the first time SQL Developer is run. Subsequent starts (Mac and Windows) result in SQL Developer no longer showing “Recent Designs” – am I missing some sort of preference option?

  6. I’m using these queries for crystal reports, like a soruce data for new calculations and they are big.

    You mean it’s better to optimize the queries rather to write a script?


    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  7. Dear Jeff

    I mean, in any tables I have more then 50.000 values.. and for a query I need maybe 4 -5 tables like this.. it takes time.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. thatjeffsmith Post

      I have tables with millions of rows, which isn’t very man, running on my laptop. Rebuilding your tables every day will probably put more of an I/O load on your server than it would take to run your queries. Maybe your queries just need tuned.

      Can SQL Developer rebuild tables for you? Yeah, if you wanted to write a script and then push it out as a database job. But, before you do ANY of that, I would try to find out why your queries are taking too long to run. It’s not b/c they are ‘too big.’

  8. Dear Jeff,

    In some tables we have too much data for a query. Therefore I created many tables, which I delete and update manually every day at once.
    Is it possible to create an automatical table, which one will deleted and updated manualy every day. Data are from a query.

    Thanks in advance and nice weekend.

    Best regards Angraget

    1. thatjeffsmith Post

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