Oracle SQL Developer has quickly become a popular graphical tool for database development. New features have been added in each release, demonstrating Oracle's commitment to continuing to enhance this product. With Oracle SQL Developer, you can browse database objects, run SQL statements and scripts, and write and run PL/SQL programs. You can also run supplied database reports and even create and save your own queries as reports.
However, one feature not included is the ability to create database diagrams. In particular, entity relationship diagrams (ERDs) are a popular way to represent the design of a set of database tables and their relationships in a compact, expressive manner. Oracle recognizes this need and has introduced Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler to provide a variety of data and database modeling tools and utilities.
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler has many features related to designing and implementing databases. It is based on standards including the Zachman Framework, as well as the Object Management Group's MetaObject Facility (MOF) and Common Warehouse Metamodel (CMW) specifications. As such, it streamlines the development process to promote robust, complete, and well-designed databases. Its many capabilities include code generation, import and export to a variety of destinations, formatting functionality, and rule-based validation of models.
This article will show you how to install and configure Oracle SQL Developer, generate an ERD based upon the supplied HR demonstration schema, and export a SQL Data Definition Language (DDL) creation script for the schema.
Prerequisites and Resources
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is platform independent and is compatible with Oracle Database version 126.96.36.199 and later. Currently it is available as a standalone product, but there are plans in the works to make it available as an extension to Oracle SQL Developer. The demonstration provided in this article runs on a Windows OS machine and uses the freely available Oracle Database Express EditionIf you have not done so already, do the following:
* Download and install Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE). More information about installing, configuring, and maintaining Oracle Database XE is available in the online documentation.
* Download and install the Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler software. The version of the product being demonstrated in this article is version 188.8.131.52.0, which was released on July 1, 2009. If you are installing a version that does not include a Java runtime environment (JRE), you will be prompted to reference one when the application is started that is at least 1.6.0_04. If in doubt, simply download and install the version that includes the JRE.
If you have not already done so, unlock the HR user's account.
Regardless of the installation option you chose, you can start Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler by double-clicking datamodeler.exe. There is a corresponding bash shell script supplied named datamodeler.sh for Linux users. The main application window will open, providing an interface similar to that used with Oracle SQL Developer. A browser with tree navigation appears on the left, various panels appear on the right, and menus and buttons are available at the top of the screen.
Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler provides the data architect with the ability to effectively manage, analyze, and implement data models in a well organized and integrated manner. It includes extensive documentation and a tutorial to get you up-and-running quickly. It is an excellent addition to Oracle's software suite, providing powerful tools for data management and architecture tasks.