As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2007

From the Editor

Tooling Around

By Tom Haunert

New and updated tools get the job done.

A contractor was replacing some old plumbing in my house. This particular contractor had been in the business a long time, shared a lot of great stories, and talked with me about a variety of things.

During one conversation, the contractor talked about the changes in the tools he used for his job. The conversation stopped, and the contractor examined the tools he was using, and then all of the tools in his toolbox. He looked up and shared his epiphany with me: all of his tools were "new." Some were simply improvements on the tools he had been using for years, some were new tools for new products and processes, and some replaced the functions of multiple other tools. The contractor was consistently investing in new tools but carrying fewer tools than he used to, and he was still able to do all of the work he used to do. And with the new tools, he could also work with new products designed for increased safety and reliability to meet building codes that didn't exist when he started in the business.

Make It Better

The tools for plumbing, framing, and plastering are obviously very different from the tools used to build and maintain enterprise applications. But the need for new or updated tools—physical or digital—comes from the same basic business requirement to do something better.

Back in the very early days of the Java language, there was a factoid that I used to hear developers offer as a reminder of the age of the language: the most popular or most frequently used Java integrated development environment (IDE) was vi.

And whether vi really was the most popular IDE for Java early on, there was a tremendous but as yet unmet demand for a better Java IDE, and very soon there were many Java IDEs to choose from. Java IDEs have evolved, and today IDEs such as Eclipse and Oracle JDeveloper are really more than IDEs—they are also complete toolkits and platforms for tool development. Developers can extend these IDEs with additional tools, adding and consolidating tools at the same time.

At Issue

This is the annual developers' issue of Oracle Magazine . It's about Oracle and developers adding new tools to their toolkits. It's about updating existing tools, integrating old and new tools, and migrating from old tools to new tools.

In last year's developers' issue, I recommended Oracle SQL Developer to our readers and mentioned that I planned to use it in place of SQL*Plus, but that I would still keep SQL*Plus around. As of this writing, SQL*Plus is still around, but I have not used it in many months. I installed and used, however, the latest releases of Oracle Application Express, Oracle JDeveloper, and Oracle SQL Developer in the making of this issue of Oracle Magazine .

Next Steps

READ more about
Oracle Developer Tools
Oracle Application Express
Oracle JDeveloper
Oracle SQL Developer
Oracle WebCenter

Check out "Develop with Choice" to see how different customers and consultants are using different tools for Oracle development. Read "Journey to the Center of Fusion" and see how customers are using the tools of Oracle Fusion Middleware for immediate benefit today and in preparation for Oracle Fusion Applications in the future.

The Browser-based column by David Peake describes how to quickly and easily migrate Microsoft Access applications to Oracle Application Express. The new SQL Developer column by Sue Harper describes how to create reports using new report styles in Oracle SQL Developer. Harper goes beyond simple queries in her demonstration and uses bind variables, but Harper's text and the new release of Oracle SQL Developer made creating graphical reports using bind variables so easy, even this magazine editor could do it.

Try Early, Add Often

Oracle acquires, creates, and updates the tools in its own toolkit to offer customers more choices and better, more productive ways to do business. Developers have choices for tools and technologies to build Oracle enterprise applications, and Oracle encourages developers to use the development solutions that are right for them—and to never stop updating the tools in their toolkits.

Tom Haunert, Editor in Chief

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