Brief Overview of Oracle SQL Developer
Updated May 2014
Oracle SQL Developer is a free graphical tool for database development. The initial release, in March 2006, provided users with a graphical interface to interact with database objects by providing the ability to browse the database, run SQL, PL/SQL and SQL*Plus statements, execute SQL scripts, and edit and debug PL/SQL statements. This initial release also provide a suite of reports to further interrogate the dictionary. SQL Developer 1.0 was quickly followed by 2 patch releases and the SQL Developer 1.1 in December 2006.
Today, SQL Developer is used by more than three and a half million users worldwide and is the de-facto Oracle Database IDE.Current Release
Oracle SQL Developer 4.0 (December 2013)
Oracle SQL Developer version 4.0 is a major release offering an updated framework and support for Java 7. Performance, load time, and the general look and feel have all received major improvements. Additionally, popular features such as the Object Search, Reports, and the Cart have been enhanced. DBAs can now run their ASH, AWR, and ADDM reports in the new Performance page in the DBA panel. Finally, a new command-line interface has been introduced which allows users to batch script popular features such as the SQL formatter, reports, unit tests, and several DBA features.Previous Releases
Oracle SQL Developer 3.2 (November 2012)
Oracle SQL Developer 3.2 introduces support for managing your Oracle Application Express Listener (not Oracle Rest Data Services) installations. Version 3.2 also includes improvments to the popular Database Diff and DB Doc features. Version 3.2 is also the first release to officially support Oracle Database 12c.
Oracle SQL Developer 3.1 (February 2012)
Oracle SQL Developer 3.1 introduces support for Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) and Data Pump. The Reports feature was also updated to support PDF reporting.
Oracle SQL Developer 3.0 (March 2011)
Oracle SQL Developer 3.0 provides a broad range of new functionality, including a new Query Builder, DBA navigator and Schedule builder. The latest release includes significant updates to the Import and Export functionality and adds more support for tuning your SQL code. For more detail on these and other new features see the following documents:
Oracle SQL Developer 2.1 (Dec 2009)
SQL Developer 2.1 introduced PL/SQL Unit Testing and the integrated Data Modeler viewer, along with a number of other new features, such as the updated SQL Worksheet and additions to the Third party database migration support. See the 2.1 Release Notes and Release 2.1 New Feature list for more details.
Oracle SQL Developer 2.1.1 (March 2010)
Oracle SQL Developer 2.1.1 is a patch release to SQL Developer 2.1. This patch release resolves a number of the issues raised and addresses a few additional feature requests raised on the SQL Developer Exchange. See the 2.1.1 Release Notes.
Oracle SQL Developer 1.1 (Dec 2006)
The main goal of SQL Developer 1.1 was to bring file-based PL/SQL Editing to the user base, while also broadening the general offering of the tool.
SQL Developer 1.1.x patches
Oracle SQL Developer 1.2 (June 2007)
Oracle SQL Developer 1.2 was known as the "Migration Release", as it included the Developer Migration Workbench, tightly integrated with Oracle SQL Developer to provide users with a single point to browse database objects and data in third party databases, and to migrate from these databases to Oracle...Read more...
Additionally SQL Developer 1.2 includes support for Oracle Application Express 3.0.1(Oracle APEX). Read more...
SQL Developer 1.2.x patches
Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 (April 2008)
Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 is the "Version Control" release, as it includes integration with open source version control products, CVS and Subversion .Supporting the version control is a File Browser to browse and read files stored in the file system. You can open and edit these files from within SQL Developer.
In addition to this central addition to SQL Developer, release 1.5 includes many updated features, such as SQL Formatting, Schema Compare, Copy and Export wizards and the addition of migration support for Sybase.
Times Ten support is also integrated with the product.
SQL Developer 1.5.x release detail
To find out more about the new Migration Workbench, see this dedicated site on OTN.