New Tools to Help Ease Oracle Database Application Development

Oracle has announced that Oracle SQL Developer version 4.1, Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.1, and Oracle REST Data Services version 3.0 are now generally available. A common theme across all three new releases is an emphasis on making developers lives easier, said Kris Rice, senior director of database tools, Oracle. “Everything revolves around the data.”

Oracle REST Data Services version 3.0

Oracle REST Data Services  makes it easy to develop modern REST interfaces and is available both as an Oracle Database Cloud Service and on premise.

Originally called APEX Listener, Oracle REST Data Services has been around for 5 years now. While in 2.0,there was a lot of custom development that users had to do, the 3.0 provides the ability click on a table and RESTfully enable that table, said Rice. The services also take care of setting up the RESTful services for querying the table, inserting the table, doing deletes, or even doing bulk loads. “In SQL Developer or programmatically in PL/SQL, it is just one click and you can enable a schema or table,” said Rice.

Also new in Database 12c is native JSON support , said Rice.  ”We have taken JSON support and leveraged it over REST to make a document-style storage for the database  that is more of the name/value pair kind of storage.”

And a third new feature is the addition of support for exposing Oracle NoSQL Database tables as REST API endpoints.  The data stored in the tables can be created, queries, updated, and deleted using REST with JSON filters. “We took the same API we have for document style and we applied it to the NoSQL database as well so there is a consistent mechanism to access relational, non-relational or document style data to relieve the developer of having to make that choice on the back end. The developer can have a consistent interaction with the system regardless of which model they pick.”

The goal overall is to simplify and add flexibility to the development process. “There are lots of frameworks out there, but to my knowledge every one revolves around writing some amount of code. We are trying to take that complexity away so that database developers can live and breathe in the database, but still have modern, web-based access.”

Oracle SQL Developer version 4.1

Oracle SQL Developer, which is both an IDE for the Oracle Database as well as the graphical user interface for the database, has also been upgraded. “We are very happy with the uptake of this tool. It has been around for 10  years now and it is the defacto Oracle Database tool out there,” said Jeff Smith senior principal product manager, Oracle.

“We have 4 million active users and we see that number growing pretty significantly year over year. We take users’ requests and use that to build the tool going forward and of course we are always adding tooling to support the database features as they evolve.”

A key advancement in Oracle SQL Developer version 4.1 is a new feature for database administrators that allows them to move an on-premises Oracle Database to the Oracle Database Cloud Service with what is effectively a “one-button click solution,” said Smith.

Oracle SQL Developer also provides tighter integration with Oracle REST Data Services, and starting with the 4.1 release, SQL Developer will install, configure, and run Oracle REST Data Services version 3.0 without any additional downloads.

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler version 4.1

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler version 4.1 is a solution for designing and deploying both Oracle Database and Oracle Big Data Appliance data models. It is a no-cost solution for designing and deploying both Oracle Database and Oracle Big Data Appliance data models.

The theme for the data modeling tool is increased flexibility, said Smith. In the new release, there is support for comparing physical data mode elements such as storage properties for tables. In addition, security around users, roles, and their permissions is now available.

In the new release, users are also able to define user-defined properties. “For most people, 80% of what they do is very straightforward and simple, but the last 20% gets really tricky. We have spent a lot of time on that last 20% so they are going to be able to define extended properties, basically their own user-defined properties, on a data model,” said Smith.

In addition, he said, at the end when a tool spits out the code so the user can push it in the system, the 80/20 rule again takes care of most users’ needs, but there are times when additional capabilities are needed. For example, said Smith, “When someone is designing a system they want to concentrate on describing what is being stored and not spend a lot of time on the metadata around that. Now, if they want to add journaling to a table, there is a feature where they can have it automatically generate those journaling tables for all or subsets of the model or the design.”

The tool is also enhanced with additional support for taking advantage of new database features in Oracle Database 12c Release 1, Smith added.

To read Jeff Smith’s blog about Oracle SQL Developer version 4.1 and Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler 4.1, go to and, to read a blog about Oracle REST Data Services version 3.0, go to