What is Oracle SQL Developer?
Well, according to this document on OTN…
What is SQL Developer?
Date: May 2014
Oracle SQL Developer is the Oracle Database IDE. A free graphical user interface, Oracle SQL Developer allows database users and administrators to do their database tasks in fewer clicks and keystrokes. A productivity tool, SQL Developer’s main objective is to help the end user save time and maximize the return on investment in the Oracle Database technology stack.
Ok, sounds pretty straightforward. Where does the confusion lie then?
Some People Use SQL Developer to Connect to 3rd Party Databases
SQL Developer allows you to register 3rd party database JDBC drivers. The 3rd party being a company OTHER than Oracle that makes a database product. You know who they are (SAP, MSFT, IBM, etc.)
But maybe you don’t understand why we support these types of connections?
It’s for one driving reason.
To Help You Migrate to Oracle Database
Yes, you get a worksheet and a tree to query and browse those systems. But, the real meat and bones there are around our migration projects and our translation scratch editor. At the end of the day, it’s there so you can move your data from say Sybase ASE to Oracle Database.
On a side note, the migration technology was previously available in a separate application, the Migration Workbench. The technology and the awesome people behind it were folded into SQL Developer. So when asked what SQL Developer is, I say it’s the Database IDE and the official 3rd party database migration to Oracle platform.
So anyways, when you ask for better support for another 3rd party provider, we deliver that support based on that business driver. If another 3rd party database jdbc driver is introduced, it’s because we have a lot of customers migrating from that platform. We’re not adding it to make it easier for you to work with SQL Server on your Mac. But, if you find that useful – that is cool. It’s just not why we’ve got the support for SQL Server connections in SQL Developer.