06 January 2010

The Book is Published and our Products are Production!

Last year was quite the year for the SQL Developer team, who worked on and released a number of products and releases.

SQL Developer Releases
On the SQL Developer side of things we released:
  • SQL Developer 1.5.4: The first full translation release supporting Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese and Korean (March 2009)
  • SQL Developer 1.5.5: Shipped with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (July 2009)
  • SQL Developer 1.5.6: Part of Oracle JDeveloper 11g (July 2009)
and then in December 2009, we released SQL Developer 2.1. This is a significant release for the team with the introduction of Unit Testing and the Data Modeler Viewer. In addition to these two feature chunks, are a multitude of other features. Based on community feedback, the team have rewritten the SQL Worksheet to support the ability to run tasks in the background. Feature lists and details of the new features are on OTN. You can download SQL Developer from OTN and of course get involved in the discussions on the forum. Kris and Barry have been blogging about some of the latest features.

Data Modeler Releases
We also have a few developers on the team dedicated to the Data Modeler. The first production release of SQL Developer Data Modeler was in July 2009 and we released the first patch release in December 2009. This patch release is a full install and addresses many of the initial customer issues.

SQL Developer 2.1 Publication
On a personal note, I spent many a weekend writing last year and in December '09, my book on SQL Developer 2.1 was published. Having been approached by the publisher in 2008, I asked other authors if this was a good idea. I was told there three phases:
  • Before the book - seems like a good idea, what fun and all that.
  • During the book - not a good idea, will this ever end, who's idea was this? and all that
  • After the book - that was easy...where's the next?
Well I'm not sure I've quite reached the last phase yet, but it was a strange and good feeling to finally see the hard copy of the book. The most difficult part of the exercise was writing with the product changing as I was doing so. It is true that most of the product remains the same as in earlier releases, which means that you can and should be able to use the book and stay on SQL Developer 1.5.x or even earlier. In addition to the new features in SQL Developer 2.1, what has changed is much of the look and feel, so menus will be in different places and icons have been updated and so on. We have tried to consolidate menus and tidy things up a bit to ensure we keep an uncluttered UI.
The other snag about writing a book as the product is being developed is that very new features or last minute updates won't make it into the book. The case in point here is that there is no section on Unit Testing. Perhaps next time.
If you have no idea about SQL Developer the first few chapters provide an easy walk through and examples of the product and features. While designed as a "dip in and read" book, the later chapters go into more detail about lesser used features. Although the full read/write capability of the Data Modeler is not part of SQL Developer, there is a complete chapter on this product, allowing you an insight into the complete functionality. You can also use the read-only viewer built into SQL Developer.

In the meantime, I'm going to take back my weekends for photography, my garden, and my other hobbies, so I need to dust down my camera and get out into the country side again. Aah, and the cover shot on the book was taken in Scotland, at the foot of Ben Nevis.

To order the book, use Packt.com, where you can buy the hard copy or an eBook. Packt also provide a list of other book sellers such as Amazon. Happy reading!