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: http://jdbc.postgresql.org/download.html
    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:

../../sqldeveloper/ide/bin/ide.conf

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 

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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 (4.0.0.13) of the SQL Developer tool and there may well be odd bugs and quirks until it reaches a more mature release…