5 SQLDev Features I’m Thankful For

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I hope this post isn’t too cheesy.

But it’s Turkey-week here in the USA, and the theme demands that homage be paid.

So here are 5 features in Oracle SQL Developer that I use all the time, and am truly thankful for. They help me conserve energy, AND they make my job easier. I want to make sure YOU’RE aware of them too.

In no particular order, mostly…

1. The Statements Panel

I use this to figure out why a page or feature in the tool might not be ‘working’ for a customer. I can see which data dictionary views we’re hitting, what predicates are being used to ‘hide’ stuff, etc.

It’s new for version 4.1. It’s avail for Oracle JDBC connections. It’s there when you need it.

View – Log. Click on statements. It’s an ACTIVE panel, and by that I mean, a ton of stuff is printed to it. So use the filter to find stuff. And click off of it and onto another panel if you don’t want it to jump up and grab your attention.

Everything that runs, including bind parameters, and how long it takes to run.

Everything that runs, including bind parameters, and how long it takes to run.

2. Code Insight and Grammar Checks

I like that it never gets in my way, and that it frequently gives me what I want – much quicker than I could type it myself. And when I am typing w/o thinking, it usually catches my mistakes. Now the trick for me is, being able to NOTICE the grammar check feedback BEFORE I go to run the query. I’m slowly getting there πŸ™‚

Mouse over grammar squiggle for the info.

Mouse over grammar squiggle for the info.

Don’t forget to set your preferences to make sure our code insight feature doesn’t get in YOUR way. I turn off the automatic options, and use the keyboard to invoke the help.

3. Visual Representation of Foreign Keys

Do you have foreign keys?

You don’t know? Well, check. We make it easy to see now. You could always look at the constraints page for type ‘R’ – but we also go in the other direction, looking for tables with FK constraints coming back to your table of interest.

This helps me help others more than it helps me directly, but that’s good enough for this to make my list.

Open a table, there's a new panel, 'Model.'

Open a table, there’s a new panel, ‘Model.’

4. Reports

I insist on continuing to harp on y’all to use the reports feature more. Because it’s good. Because it will help you. A LOT. I use a couple of reports to make things easier for me to demo OTHER features.

Example, finding tables having specific data types to answer questions like, ‘do you support BLOBs?’

All of the datatypes in my database mapped to existing table columns

All of the datatypes in my database mapped to existing table columns

5. Result set formatters

Having a wizard to get my data out to Excel is whiz-bang. But having my query come back directly as json or xml or csv is tip-top!

--to set for everything coming back in SQL worksheet or SQLcl
--to set for ONLY the current statement
SELECT /*json*/ * FROM ...

I like this because I’m lazy, and I love it because showing this to our customers makes them very happy. And then it’s very easy for me to show them 10 more things they might like.

Other things I’m thankful for

  • having an employer that values reaching out to our users (best job evah!)
  • having made so many friends out there in the greater Oracle space
  • having the opportunity to travel to great places for work
  • your continued support and encouragement – I never take this for granted

Oh, and I completely forgot this one, and it’s VERY important:

I’m very thankful that the powers that be, AKA Larry, decided to make this technology FREE to all of our users. I can concentrate on helping them instead of selling them. Mostly.

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