Oracle SQL Developer is a relatively new product included in the range of Oracle products. It was first introduced to the world in September 2005, by its code name Project Raptor. Raptor is a name many still cling to, despite being replaced very quickly with the full product name, Oracle SQL Developer (and referred to in the rest of the book as SQL Developer). The first production version was released in early 2006 and had many Oracle customers both skeptical and excited.
SQL Developer is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for browsing and working with databases. Primarily developed for the Oracle database, it also provides a GUI for a selection of popular non-Oracle databases. As technology has evolved, many developers are looking for modern tools to assist them in daily tasks. A clean, easy to navigate interface is essential and many tools are judged on looks, performance, and functionality.
Initially billed as a light-weight, clean, easy to install GUI for the Oracle database, SQL Developer is gaining momentum in the market and broadening its scope in its offering.
The skeptics mentioned are ever concerned that Oracle is not really interested in the product, backing up this concern with the fact that SQL Developer is free. Disappointing as it is that "free" is equated with "poor quality", the last couple of years have considerably stilled many of these dissenting voices and the market using SQL Developer continues to increase. Time will tell.
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