10 October 2008

First Early Adopter: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeling.

I've just put this announcement onto OTN:

The SQL Developer team is pleased to announce their first Early Adopter release of Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeling.

  • Review the main data modeling page, with links to initial documentation and supporting collateral.
  • Access the Early Adopter Download. This download link walks you through a brief one-time survey, before you can download the product. For future early adopter releases, you will not be required to repeat the survey.
  • Provide feedback to the the team through the Feedback application, where you can add all your comments and log issues.
  • Read the supporting Release Notes.

04 October 2008

The Oracle SQL Developer SIG kicks off at Oracle OpenWorld

I have entered the first post on http://sqldevelopersig.blogspot.com/ "What? Another Blog and you don't update this one regularly!" I hear you say. Yes, you may be right, but the new blog is a shared community blog. Well that's the plan, and it was suggested at the first SIG meeting at the Unconference at OpenWorld in San Francisco. When many of the delegates were turning to airports or having a last day lie-in, a small group of enthusiast joined a few team members to discuss the possibility of have a SQL Developer SIG. All ideas raised were discussed and noted and you'll find those ideas, and some initial feedback on http://sqldevelopersig.blogspot.com

Take a look, we'd love you to get involved. The great thing about a community blog is that you can write up an idea when you want and do not need to feel committed to be a regular contributor. You can, of course add comments at any stage.

Aah, and the team members will continue to update their own blogs in much the same way as we have to date. When we get the time and have something we really want to tell you. Entries are mostly driven by the former, not the latter.

01 October 2008

SQL Developer Visits Oracle OpenWorld

Last week the SQL Developer team met in San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld. We love it as it's a great opportunity to talk to customers and hear what they really like and don't like and to listen to ideas. It's also a great opportunity for the team to get together and catch up as we're scattered across a few countries!

OpenWorld is a huge undertaking for Oracle and many staff are involved on some level or other, whether at the event or behind the scenes before the show. There is a secondary developer focused event that runs simultaneously, this year starting on Sunday, called Oracle Develop. It's a smaller event, a conference-within-a-conference, and is focused on technical talks and hands-on sessions. We had a few talks and a variety of hands-on sessions at Oracle Develop and a few talks and demo pods at OpenWorld. Our talks and hands on sessions were mostly well attended, but it was the news of the new Data Modeling support that stole the show. Everyone was really interested in what the product will offer and of course when it will be available. As ever we can't provide exact release dates, but we're looking at 2009 for production. We're currently running internal preview releases and will move to external preview or early adopter releases within the next month or so. There are a few final things that need to be sorted before we do that. Watch the OTN Forum for an update on that.

SQL Developer SIG
We launched our SQL Developer SIG at OOW. One of the concerns we have is that writing XML extensions is easy and yet we don't hear of many folk doing that. Maybe you all are, but don't share your experiences! We also have a growing set of developers building more complex extensions, mostly java, who are looking for advice and pointers. We have now setup an area on http://wiki.oracle.com for the SQL Developer SDK and will continue to add detail and examples to this.
So the idea was that if we set up a SIG then we'd have a vehicle to talk to those developers regularly. But a SIG is also much more and so we held the initial, kick-off of the SQL Developer SIG the Unconference (at OOW) on Thursday morning early and we discussed options and plans. The SIG is for everyone using SQL Developer, not just those wanting to build extensions. There is so much to discuss and share and as ever it's good to get opinions and input from the community. One of the plans is to have a communal SQL Developer blog. More on that later.

More Conferences
There are still more conferences around, Oracle Develop is on the road and along with other events, SQL Developer is visiting Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, UK, China, and India and that's this year!

We're starting to plan our events for next year, if there is a conference near you or a subject area you think we should look into, let me know.

24 June 2008

Conference Season

I think the whole of 2008 is conference season! It's starting to feel like it. I think I don't travel much, certainly I know that Oracle Sales Consultants seems to be on the road permanently and I know some of the Oracle Server Tech PMs are really busy on the road. I tend to be desk based, well, that's how I see myself. So here's how a desk-based PM spends her time.

I'm at HQ this week - nice spot - lovely weather, although deceptively cold. I say that because the sky is the same colour as it was last week and the hotel room temperature is the same as last week, but it all changes when I step outside. Where I was last week might explain why I feel that. Last week was ODTUG in New Orleans!

Great event. Lots of very enthusiastic and experienced developers. Most willing to learn new technologies and excited and positive about the future.
As ever the conference supported 50% new attendees. Each year it does (as so most conferences) and each year we are surprised. "[shocked and amazed] You mean half of these folk have never been before? Where are the oldies?" Anyway, there were enough of "the oldies" about and that's great. Although sometimes I wonder what it feels like for the new folk, as there is something of a family feel about the place as folk catch up on news since last everyone met and lots of name dropping in the various talks as if everyone knows everyone else. I guess most do.

I did 2 talks. One I call my "drill down" talk, where I assume you use the tool or a similar one, and show some of the more in depth things you can do. Typically, I pick 4 features and spend about 15 mins on each topic. My personal favorite is the XML extensibility, which we can all do. No need for Java skills to extend some aspects of SQL Developer and certainly a nifty aspect to the tool. (Most DBAs I know have a collection of utilities or tasks they regularly perform). If you have no idea what I am talking about, search this blog or the OTN pages, there is a tutorial on the SQL Developer pages on just that feature.

My other talk is the SQL Developer overview and as someone pointed out, now requires more than an hour. Next time I'll skip the intro completely. I did a few positioning slides and then dived into a 50 minute demo. By all accounts - well received.

That an hour is a little short is easily illustrated - I was in Denmark a few weeks back, where I spent the day with a group of DBAs and developers, each armed with their laptops, and together we walked our way through SQL Developer, from the APEX support to the Migration, through XML extensions and reporting. It was a great day.

We were excited to bring some news of the next release of SQL Developer to ODTUG. You might have seen this in the "twittersphere", on other blogs, or have stumbled across our latest Statement of Direction. The plan is to incorporate data modeling in SQL Developer. This is a much requested feature in a tool already being used by many database developers and architects. We'll publish an FAQ on OTN in due course to address queries about this.

More Conferences
As I submitted abstracts to events and then registered for these events, I've meant to let you know of their existence, but did not get to it. So ODTUG is over for 2008, but I'll remind you now that it'll be there next year and that they'll probably be asking for abstracts in November-ish, so diarise that!

There are quite a few events that you have not missed yet, like Oracle OpenWorld coming up in September. Details of talks are already available and what's great is that the "Develop" part of the event is at the Marriott, so not blocks away from the main event. Easy access between talks and hands on sessions. SQL Developer has 4 different hands on sessions, and 4 different talks, not to mention the demopods, where you can meet the developers and ask questions.

I've submitted abstracts to DOAG (in Germany), Israel, UKOUG (Birmingham) and Scotland (Glasgow) and will be submitting to the New York user group. So if you missed the chance to hear more about SQL Developer, there should be something near you. You'll note there is nothing in APAC and regrettably I can't get to AUSOUG.

Let me know if there is a conference near you. I can add that kind of news to the SQL Developer Exchange News page and keep everyone up-to-date.

07 May 2008

Using Oracle Database 11g Hierarchical Profiler in SQL Developer

Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 exposes a few new Oracle 11g database features. These include the Flashback and the PL/SQL Hierarchical Profiler. For details on either of these feature it's best to dive in the the 11g documentation, available online here. The PL/SQL Hierarchical Profiler..."identifies hot spots and performance tuning opportunities... It reports the dynamic execution program profile organized by subprogram calls..."

I have recorded a brief demo to illustrate using the PL/SQL Hierarchical Profiler in SQL Developer.

Not only do you need Oracle 11g, you also need to have access to a set of tables and a new package called DBMS_HPROF. SQL Developer takes control of setting this up and so you need only acknowledge the steps being taken. If you don't want SQL Developer to create the required profiler tables, review the 11g documentation and ensure you set this up before hand.

Once you have created a profile you can review the detail. The reports provided include details such as:
  • Number of calls to the subprogram
  • Time spent in the subprogram itself
  • All subprograms that a given subprogram called (children)
Have fun!

29 April 2008

Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 is Production

You might be linked into the announcements RSS feed on the OTN forum and so will have received the alert from the SQL Developer team announcing that we have released SQL Developer 1.5.

The latest release of SQL Developer expands the file-based support by introducing tight integration with the CVS and Subversion version control systems. In addition to browsing and editing files in the file system, in this release you can now import files into your source control system, check them out, modify them, and commit the changed files back into the source control system.

SQL Developer 1.5 has two new navigators; a File Navigator, available on start up, and a Versioning Navigator. This latter is not opened by default, instead is accessed when needed using the View menu. Once you have created a connection to your version control system, you can use SQL Developer to import files and version files. SQL Developer tracks the history of a file and you can compare recent changes and accept or reject those changes. Once you have accepted changes and committed them back to the version control system, you can generate a patch, based on the differences.

SQL Developer 1.5 is more than version control. This is the release where we wanted to address as many of the community requests as we could. The snag with that is as soon as you respond to one request, a dozen more new ones pop up. We're no daunted by this, just accepted a long list of requests and if you look at the Exchange, you'll see that many made it into 1.5. Requests added include code insight, updated formatter and more connection options. For a full list of new features, you can review the New Feature list on OTN.

For all new supporting documents, please visit SQL Developer on OTN

07 March 2008

An Update from Five and a Half Hours East of ‘Normal’

Even though I’m not a regular blogger, here’s an update about why things are quiet now. As a rule I keep this blog for SQL Developer related comment or features. I plan to continue in that vein, but sometimes it’s nice to talk about or read something slightly different. I was pinged a few times in January by various friends and colleagues to add a list of “8 Things …” At the time I thought this was quite a fun activity and despite the various mumbles and grumbles on a few sites, planned to add a short list to my blog, thinking it would be a great way to get blogging in 2008 and to break my ever-sporadic habit. You are welcome to stop reading at this point, I should just add that this is not a list of 8 things…just one. For those who pinged me, this would have been on the list of ‘8 things you don’t know about me’

If you are a regular reader or know me, you’ll know that I live and work in London. This month I am living and working in New Delhi, India. I’m working for an Indian based charity called Asha. Dr Kiran Martin, a paediatrician, established Asha some 18 years ago, when she started to treat the slum dwellers during a cholera outbreak. Asha is now active in about 40 slums in Delhi, working with over 200 000 people, with a programme that encompasses community and individual development, working on environmental improvements and providing health care. Asha uses volunteers to help, with many hundred from the slum communities. The slum volunteers are trained by Asha staff and then become part of the team working together with professional health care workers. Last year I came out with a team for 10 days from the UK, during a break from Oracle, to help paint a clinic in one of the slums. I documented my trip during that time on this separate blog. http://delhiminimission.blogspot.com
While we were there, we were told about their plans to start English and Computer Literacy programmes and to call for volunteers to get involved. They were hoping for TEFL or TESOL trained volunteers who could spare 2 – 3 months. I am here for a month, as one of the volunteers, teaching children English in one of the slums.

I do have access to the Internet sporadically and so you might see me pop up on the forum from time to time, but I’m officially on leave, so if you think I’m quieter than normal, you might find me chatting here, http://delhiminimission.blogspot.com or maybe even here, http://sueharper.visualblogging.com

I’ll be back in April.

21 February 2008

SQL Developer EA2 is out now

Oracle SQL Developer1.5 Early Adopter's Release 2 (EA2) is out now. We made it available last night and already the forum is buzzing with EA2 feedback and the developers are focusing on the next phase.
Did you know you can build a gauge into a report or a data grid query in SQL Developer 1.5? Take a look at this quick demo. Below is a preview screen shot.

06 February 2008

New Year, New Features, New Release and a Few Tips!

I should be blogging! So much to tell you and so little time! I thought when I was first tagged for the "8Things", that I'd use that to start blogging again, and then the second time I was tagged I was sure I would, but even the third time didn't help... Aah well, maybe one day I'll tell you a few things about me that you don't know. I want to tell you I'm going back to India in March (did you know I went last year?) and never got around to that either. All in good time.

The SQL Developer news is that Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 Early Adopters 1 (EA1) is out. If anything that should have had me straight on the blog, but I am tracking feature issues and feedback on the forum and so didn't. Then one of the team sent me this tip and it was just too good to lose:

You can use alt-shift-# (where # is a number) to create a "editor bookmark", then use alt-# to navigate to it.

So, if you have a number of worksheets open, you can create a bookmark selecting alt-shift-1, which assigns an alt-1 navigator shortcut to the active editor. You'll see a small numbered icon on editor's tab. If you repeat that for each open tab, then you can then navigate between tabs using keyboard strokes, alt-1, alt-2, etc.

A Few Other Keyboard Strokes:
  • To use code editor templates you have created (in the preferences) use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+T.
  • The keyboard shortcut for the SQL History is crtl +up or ctrl + down. This replaces whatever is in the worksheet with lines from your history.
  • To create a new, unshared worksheet, use the keystroke ctrl+shift+N. This creates a separate, unshared worksheet. The unshared worksheets are labeled as follows: HR_ _<1>
Did you know that if you open a xxx.trc file in Oracle SQL Developer you'll see a sortable, formatted view of the file?

So it seems there are lots of tips about, which you might like to know about or which you have discovered on your own and wished someone had told you. I'm going to try to tell you more and often as I can. If you have some for me, I'd love to hear about them.