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.)

Registering 3rd party JDBC drivers in SQL Developer
Registering 3rd party JDBC drivers in SQL Developer

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.


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


  1. Prathamesh Joshi Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    I am working on a big Sybase ASE to Oracle migration. Apart from SQL Loader what can I use for a huge dump let say 8Gb delimited data for a table out of 900 tables (around 40 Gigs/0.4 Billion rows) .Of course I’ll use direct method. SQL loader works quite well but is PITA on a large scale or can’t be used in CICD automations. As far as I know SQL developer uses Migration user to do the same/similar activity for Offline migration. Can I use any other faster/automated method like Db link/Data Pump?
    Hope to listen from you.

  2. Suresh Meduri Reply

    I followed the steps in Oracle site to migrate to Oracle from Sybase. I have live connection to Sybase and not able to convert to Oracle using SQL Developer. I follow the steps where it does not show the list of databases from the source which is Sybase. When I click on the details it says that plugin is missing.

    Please help.

    Suresh Meduri

    • What plugin is missing?

      I’m going to be out, so I suggest you post this to our Migrations Forum on OTN. You’ll get a more timely response…

  3. Hi Jeff, is it possible to connect to Paradox? We want to migrate it to Oracle πŸ™‚

    • No, but how big is it? If you can dump the table data out to a delimited format of sorts, we can suck it into an Oracle database.

Write A Comment