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 🙂

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.

thatjeffsmith
Author

I'm a Senior Principal Product Manager at Oracle for Oracle SQL Developer. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.

36 Comments

  1. I am using the SQL Developer with Data Modeler active. I am trying to align the entities within my physical data model (i.e. Align Top, Align Left, Same Width, Same Height). However, when I look under the Edit menu there is no Align options. Where do I find this? Its driving me crazy

    • thatjeffsmith

      If you’re running Modeler in SQL Developer, you would go to Edit Menu, then the flyout up very top for Data Modeler, and then under there you see Align Left & Top, Equal Width & Height

    • In my SQL Developer under the Edit Menu there is no Data Modeler flyout which is weird. I see it for the View Menu, Team, and Tools. I am using the version 18.1. Do I need to add a toolbar or something so that it shows?

    • thatjeffsmith

      It’s possible that was a bug in 18.1 – if it was, I don’t know about it. I can say it’s working for me in version 18.4 on my Mac and Windows environments.

    • My mistake I am using SQL Developer 4.0 I assume there is a bug in this?

    • thatjeffsmith

      Then if you’re in version 4.0, your software is more than several years old. Time to upgrade!

  2. Jeff,
    Hi Jeff,
    I have version 18.2.0.183 of SQL Developer. I can open a Model tab for a table, and see the ERD – but it is not at all editable. It shows blue anchor points etc., but nothing can be moved.
    Also, when I click on File -> Data Modeler -> Print Diagram –> To Image File — nothing happens (other choices do not work either).
    What can be causing this?
    Thank you.

    • thatjeffsmith

      The model tab is read only

      Hit the modeler button on the model tab toolbar to convert it to an official design

    • Thank you very much. I clicked all over the place, but missed that 🙂

  3. Søren Bech Christensen Reply

    Dear Jeff,
    I have version 3.2.20.10 of SQL Developer and version 18.2.0.179 of SQL Developer Data Modeler.
    The SQL Devloper has the connections view where I can work with my databases, but not the Data modeler features.
    The Data Modeler has Designs and Relational Models, but not the connections.
    How do I install these two products, so they act as one?

    • thatjeffsmith

      3.2 should have the data modelling features…but, that’s ancient. You should grab version 18.2 of SQL Developer.

  4. suresh babu naidu patti Reply

    HOW TO OPEN SAVED LOGICAL MODEL AGAIN AFTER WE SAVED IN COMPUTER FILES AND QUITTED FROM THE COMPUTER
    WHAT TYPE FILE WE HAVE TO OPEN AND WHEERE….
    THANK YOU

    • thatjeffsmith

      YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR A .DMD FILE. IT WILL BE IN THE DIRECTORY YOU SAVED YOUR DESIGN TO. IF YOU CAN NOT REMEMBER WHERE YOUR DEFAULT DESIGNS DIRECTORY IS OR DO NOT HAVE ONE DEFINED IN THE PREFERENCES, CREATE AN EMPTY DESIGN AND HIT THE SAVE BUTTON – MOST LIKELY THAT WILL BE WHERE YOU PUT THE OTHER ONE.

  5. 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 ‘Browser’). 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.

  6. Where to find data modeler option in oracle sql developer 1.5.5?

    • thatjeffsmith

      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.

  7. How to print the ER diagram once we drag and drop tables into Relational models.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

    Thanks,

    Rich

    • thatjeffsmith

      The UI has to fight for real estate – plus it gets its own JVM – very handy when you have larger models.

  10. 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.

    • BlackWoxs

      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?

  11. 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?
    Thanks

    Martin

  12. 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.. 🙂

    • thatjeffsmith

      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.’

  13. 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

    • thatjeffsmith

      You lost me at ‘some tables we have too much data for a query’ – what does that mean?

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