Developers turn on to free Oracle download

Oracle's recently released free database development tool is already among the top three downloads on Oracle's website, according to the firm.

Oracle's recently released free database development tool is already among the top three downloads on Oracle's website, according to the firm.

The attraction of SQL Developer - formerly Project Raptor - is that it has a graphical interface, making database development much easier, Oracle said.

SQL Developer is a graphical version of SQL Plus, a command line SQL and PL/SQL language interface that ships with the Oracle database. It allows users to browse database objects, run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and edit PL/SQL statements.

The tool also features pre-built reports and allows developers to build custom reports related to their projects. It has a code formatter and code snippets, helping programmers to reduce the amount of coding they have to do.

SQL Developer can connect to any Oracle Database from version 9.2.0.1 and later, and runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

Ken Jacobs, vice-president of product strategy, server technologies division at Oracle, said, "With a few clicks you can easily create and debug stored procedures, and test SQL statements and view optimiser plans. SQL Developer is small, fast, and fun, and perhaps best of all, it is free."

Oracle said SQL Developer was the third most popular download on its technology network web portal, behind Oracle Enterprise Edition 10g and XE, the company's free database.

"Anything you can do to make the developer's life easier and more productive is a good thing," said Rob Hailstone, research director at analyst firm IDC.

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