Oracle developers are still speaking out about their favorite PL/SQL editing and debugging tools, and their opinions truly run the gamut.
Some prefer Oracle's
Developer Srinivasan Krishnan feels that SQL Developer is slower than Toad, and that PL/SQL Developer is the best choice when it comes to debugging. He also pointed out that for folks who haven't tried PL/SQL Developer yet, Allround Automations offers a free trial version on their Web site.
Steve Green, a systems analyst with Discovery Life in Johannesburg, South Africa, agrees that PL/SQL Developer is best in the area of debugging. But, overall, he prefers SQL Navigator.
"The only functionality that is really missing [in SQL Navigator] is dot lookup on all objects and DBA tools [similar to those] found in Toad," Green said.
Another PL/SQL editor and debugger option that people might want to check out, according to developer Barry Smith, is SQL Tools. But he points out that the software does have a downside.
"SQL Tools is free and uses a minimum of resources. Functionality wise, it perhaps lags a little behind, but where it matters it works," Smith said. "Development on it is a little slow nowadays, but it's on Sourceforge.net which will hopefully improve this."
As a senior applications developer with the U.K. National Health Service, Nigel Maddocks says he's found great success with Edit-DB. One of the things Maddocks likes about Edit-DB is that, because it's a Web-based Java application, users can install it once and then run it and update it from anywhere.
Edit-DB provides the majority of the "day-to-day" features that SQL Developer offers, but it performs better than SQL Developer in certain areas. For one, Maddocks said, Edit-DB is better at visualizing and filtering records in the multi-record view. For another, Edit-DB gives users the ability to double click a foreign key value in a column and, as a result, be taken to view that referenced record.
"With the resources behind SQL Developer, it is unsurprising that it contains a huge number of features, and I would use it for editing large packages," Maddocks said. "However, Edit-DB is more useful to the majority of developers who are not dedicated database administrators, but [serve a] split application/database programming role."
Marcel Hoefs, a senior Oracle consultant with Ciber Nederland, says PL/SQL Developer is by far the best SQL tool he has used. The consultant says PL/SQL Developer clearly excels in the areas of usability, speed, stability, value and customizability.
"PL/SQL Developer is an IDE that is more tailored towards developers than DBA's, but the handy DBA options Toad has are available as plug-ins," Hoefs said. "This makes PL/SQL Developer much faster at startup -- even with a lot of plug-ins -- and it uses less memory than Toad does."