22 August 2006

SQL Developer Exchange is Launched!

Over the years the Oracle users have often asked for some way of logging feature requests. It's part of what I do, collect feature requests and take them to development and present the business case. The thing is, which request is important? Is it the guy who shouts loudest and longest? Is it the eloquent chap who puts forward a good business case or is it the big spender? If it is any of these, no luck then for the quiet guy in the small company, who might have a very sound idea. Even when we have a list of features, does it make sense, for Oracle, for the product, for the broader community, to add this particular feature to a particular product? It's not worth getting bogged down in the possible negatives, product feedback and feature requests are important.

The SQL Developer team launched the web site SQL Developer Exchange this week, to support the SQL Developer user community. The Exchange has a few sections, they include:
SQL Developer has a bunch of shipped reports. They're great. They are the kind of reports I used to run when I was steeped in doing SQL and PL/SQL stuff in the good ole days. They're the reports we all have in scripts and carry around with us. The tool also offers you the ability to add your own reports. So if the scripts you carry around have more reports than we ship, then just add your reports to SQL Developer. This reports.xml file, of user defined reports, can be saved on the network and you can share this file. (see earlier blog entries on creating reports) What's useful about the Exchange is that you almost certainly have a few fab reports that others might find useful. Next time you run a report that you run daily or weekly, consider sharing it on the Exchange. I'm sure others will find it very useful too.
I've recently blogged on adding snippets, now you should share the snippets you have added! Remember, not every function, date conversion etc from the Oracle online database doc is in our list of snippets, so you can just use the code from the online doc and add these to your snippets file. Perhaps you and your team use bits of code regularly, add them to the snippets section in the Exchange.

Tip and Tricks
You know how sometimes when you watch someone else using a program and you see them do something quick and easy, something that you never knew about, something that causes you to say "oh wow". That's what we want added. You know the "hey, did you know that you can rerun any report for any user, by toggling the user in the drop list to the right of the screen?" type of comment.
And if you like a tip, which has been added, then rate it!

Feature Requests
To bring you back to where I started. You can request features in SQL Developer. Once a feature request has been added, you can rate the features. So you might think the feature warrants a "must have" (score = 10), but someone else might rate it 3 or 4. The more votes we get, the better we get a feel for whether something is really wanted or if it's a lone voice in the dark. Our main concern is that while we have tracked many feature request on the forum, we're concerned that some smaller enhancements may have become lost in threads.

I should warn you that this does not guarantee a feature will make the product as there are a lot of reasons why something does not make the cut, but we want to build a product that the community loves, so your feedback is key.

The site is built using Application Express, referred to as APEX in the corridors of Oracle and probably known to you as HTMLDB! ;-) So as soon as you type in http://sqldeveloper.oracle.com you'll be flicked through to an APEX URL for the SQL Developer Exchange

Have fun, and do send us feedback


Anonymous said...

Can we not show so many digits after the decimal point in score?

Sue said...

Thanks! It's now fixed.


Ben Ruming said...

Great addition Sue. While working for Oracle I was constantly asked by customers to have this sort of resource for products such as Portal, JDeveloper etc. It is great to see the SQL Developer team pushing the boundaries.


Sue said...

Hi Ben,

I'm glad we've been able to do it too! I must say that it was APEX (HTMLDB) that helped us move from the desire to do this to actually getting it done.

I've had a few other teams approach me about doing the same in their areas, so maybe you'll see more of this in the various product areas in time.

Thanks for the positive response.


annerose said...

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

Sue said...

Thank you. It's always good to know if something is useful. We're then inspired to do more!