Oracle SQL Developer v 4.0.0 – new GUI for multi-db management

Oracle have released a new version of their GUI database development tool: Oracle SQL Developer v 4.0.0.
This tool is provided free (it’s the various database engine flavours for which Oracle charge) and provides a wealth of features, such as browsing/manipulating database objects, writing/debugging/running SQL queries, managing security, comparing databases and running a large range of reports.

Particularly helpful is the ability to connect to a number of different database engines, in addition to Oracle; so far I have successfully connected to MySQL and PostgreSQL, but any database with compliant JDBC drivers (Java Database Connectivity) should work.

As SQL Developer is a pretty hefty tool, I’ll mention two topics here, which are helpful to have sorted early on:

  1. How to connect to a PostgreSQL database (or other non-Oracle db)
  2. How to avoid JavaVM errors due to heap space

Connecting to a PostgreSQL database

  1. Download the JDBC driver from:
    Use this version: JDBC41 Postgresql Driver, Version 9.3-1100 as it is compatible with JVM 1.7, used in SQL Developer 4.
  2. In SQL Developer 4, link to the JDBC driver via ‘Tools’, ‘Preferences’, ‘Add Entry’ as below:Oracle_connect_1
  3.  Now create a new connection (via ‘File’ / ‘New’ or the green cross in the ‘Connections’ pane).  If you have successfully linked  the JDBC library, you will have a new tab ‘PostgreSQL’ on the ‘New Connection’ dialogue.  Give the connection a name, set your database username & password and you should be ready to go…Oracle_connect_2

Increasing memory available to JavaVM

You need to edit the file ide.conf – this will be under the installation folder:


Find the following lines (probably at the bottom) and increase the memory available, for example:

// The maximum memory the JVM can take up.
AddVMOption -Xmx2048M  

// The initial memory available on startup.
AddVMOption -Xms512M 


In a future post I hope to look at database migration – there is a comprehensive wizard to allow migration of existing MySQL or PostgreSQL databases to Oracle. When I understand the options and get it working fully, I’ll let you know!

Please note this is an early version ( of the SQL Developer tool and there may well be odd bugs and quirks until it reaches a more mature release…