Oracle's free SQL Developer adds database migration tool

Oracle SQL Developer is offering a new tool that lets users migrate data from Microsoft and MySQL databases to Oracle.

The latest version of Oracle's free SQL Developer includes new capabilities designed to make it easier for users to migrate data from Microsoft and MySQL database management systems (DBMSs) onto Oracle.

Unveiled this week, Oracle SQL Developer Release 1.2's new Migration Workbench tool lets Oracle Database users browse or move data, database objects, tables and stored programs found in Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access and MySQL Database deployments, according to Oracle.

Oracle says the chief purpose of the Migration Workbench is to reduce the time, costs and risks associated with migrating data from non-Oracle to Oracle DBMSs.

According to Oracle, the new Migration Workbench enables users to migrate a single table or several databases at once using an included migration wizard. The tool also features parsers that recognize T-SQL Syntax, as well as single statement translators that let users paste T-SQL code into an editor and change it into PL/SQL code. T-SQL, or Transact-SQL, is a set of programming extensions from Sybase and Microsoft that add features to SQL, such as transaction control, error handling or row processing capabilities.

SQL Developer, which was first released in March 2006, lets database developers run SQL statements and SQL scripts, edit and debug PL/SQL code, view and update data, and conduct object browsing and creation. Oracle unveiled the free tool as a way to get developers to standardize on Oracle technology. Popular for-a-fee products in the space include Quest Software Inc.'s Toad for Oracle, Allround Automations' PL/SQL Developer, and Oracle's own SQL Plus.

Shelby Spradling, founder of Spradling Consulting of Austin, Texas, said he uses Oracle SQL Developer frequently and has used Toad for Oracle extensively in the past.

The consultant said that, overall, he likes SQL Developer better, mainly because the product is free, and he can't very well move around from client to client asking them to purchase Toad software.

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"Having SQL Developer is awesome for me, but the debugger is a little bit [quirky] at times," Spradling said.

He will sometimes debug PL/SQL Code using SQL Developer, and everything will seemingly go fine. But when he tests the code, problems arise, and he doesn't find out what the issue is until after he pastes the code into SQL Plus.

"You get what you pay for, but you're getting an awful lot with SQL Developer," he said.

Spradling hasn't seen the new Migration Workbench yet, but he says it's something he would be interested in.

"I run into Access and SQL Server quite a bit," he said. "So yes, I think the Migration Workbench would be helpful."

More details

Oracle SQL Developer 1.2 is available for free download from the

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