Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toad Extension for Eclipse..and the burden of using SQL Developer

I am not a huge fan of DB specific and DB oriented development. For years now I have been participating in projects using different systems like MySQL, Ingress, SQLServer and of course Oracle. The last one one (Oracle) seems to be dominating in these recent years in most of the projects I 've seen. When it comes to interfacing with the DB most of the times I use the famous SQL Developer, from Oracle. For the type of work I do with the DB, most of the time just querying the DB during development and bug searching rather than doing real development on it - I want a good SQL editor, with code completion and session management. 

I have tried many clients but at the end I was just downloading SQL developer and that was it. The thing is that I really dont like SQL Developer, is slow, bulky, it almost never manages to shut down properly on a Mac and feels like a Java Application ...of the 90s. On the other hand it is simple enough in terms of interface, gives me this simple SQL tab and I just run my queries or examine the table's meta-data.

Yesterday I was reading this article at the JavaCodeGeeks Site, regarding DB related tools for developers. In the list of suggested tools, I discovered that Toad,(another known and proven tool, especially for Oracle Use) has a community edition as an Eclipse plugin. It is free as well. I have used Toad in the past, it is like what SQL Developer should be like in term of performance (but sometimes a bit bloated with features for my developer taste). 

Anyway, I though I would give a try and install on my Eclipse Indigo. So, it is not bad at all. It takes a bit to initialize in the start (depending on your oracle version or driver I suppose) and fetch any related metadata - but for my taste and daily work requirements, offers the very same features, simple SQL tab, simple table metadata browsing and session management. I think I am going to keep using it for a while see how it goes, especially on memory consumption as an Eclipse plugin.

It is for sure easier to just switch tabs from your Java coding tab to Toad Tab, rather working with another bulky app.

Let's see.


  1. Code completion and session management - SQL Developer offers this. Have you tried out latest version, 3.1?

    Code Completion can be disabled, and you can run concurrent queries and watch their progress, and view all sessions running in your database with the Monitor Sessions screen under the Tools menu.

  2. Hi Jeff, I am (was) using 3.1.06 and despite the fact that functionality wise the app is ok, I am not satisfied with the user experience, init shutdown issues and in general cluncky UI (IMHO). I am mac user, java 1.6 and quite a strong machine.

  3. You can streamline the UI and cut down on the resources (memory mostly) by disabling the infrequently used extensions - here's a 30 second 'fix' that might give you what you're looking for.

    For the shutdown issues, can you provide a description of what you're seeing? I run SQL Developer on a MAC Mini, and many of our developers build and run it on MBP's. I'm wondering if there's an environmental issue that we can help you debug?

    Also, what version of the JDK are you running?

    Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, it really does help us build a stronger tool and experience for our customers.

  4. Sorry, one last thing, is the official supported release. If you're running an older or EA version of the tool, that might explain your less than awesome experience.

  5. I will give it a try (the very latest one) and let you know with a new comment.

    I using a MacBookPro 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo,8 Gig RAM + SSD as main disk.
    I using jdk 1.6.0_31-b04 - Apple release (the official one)

    I am not using an extentions at all - never got into them before - but I will check your post and make sure that I dont have by default things running that I dont use.

    I actually like code completion, but is sooo slow. To be fair, the toad extention is slow as well but only in the start - then in the editor - when I type sql queries it seems that most of the stuff are cached and come up really fast.

    When it comes to shutdown, the app will never shut down properly, It will cancel any automatic shutdown, it will promot that it was running, and then prompt. Sometimes when there is no reason - I got the system message - the system shutdown was cancelled by SQL Developer :(. A bit tiring...

    Thanks for your feedback. I will come up with an update. But give Toad extention a is really handy..

  6. I've given it a try, believe me ;)

    SQL Developer loads with many, many extensions as core features, including the Migration technology. If you're not migrating objects and data from SQL Server, DB2, etc to Oracle, then you can disable these for a leaner, meaner copy of SQL Developer.

  7. Do you have any idea why toad extension with eclipse Juno not working properly?

  8. Sorry havent tried it yet. I have severe performance probs with Juno, still on Indigo.