Project Raptor, announced and demonstrated at Oracle Open World, this Fall, has now been released (sort of, as it is still an early adopter release). A free download (60Mb) is available, for Windows or other platforms that run a JDK.
Project Raptor is a new, free graphical tool that enhances productivity and simplifies database development tasks. With Project Raptor, you can browse database objects, run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and edit and debug PL/SQL statements. You can also run any number of provided reports, as well as create and save your own. Raptor is direct competition for tools such as TOAD and PL/SQL Developer and joins the ranks of other free tools such as SQuirrel and many others. Note: Raptor is not open source.
For those of us that have done database development and PL/SQL editing using the facilities in JDeveloper, Raptor will feel familiar. While it has been extended and is more focused than the database oriented functionality in JDeveloper, much of it has been taken from there. An overview of all features can be downloaded here: Feature Matrix
An Early Adopter release is now available for download for Windows and Linux. Project Raptor can connect to any Oracle Database version 126.96.36.199 and later. Support for this release is provided via an OTN Discussion Forum. Go to the Raptor Project Page on Oracle Technology Network.
Project Raptor was developed in Java leveraging the Oracle JDeveloper IDE framework. Default connectivity to the database is through the JDBC Thin driver (no Oracle Home required); the JDBC Type 2 driver (OCI client side driver) is also supported. Raptor is bundled with JRE 1.5 (with an additional tools.jar to support debugging). Installation is performed simply by unzipping the downloaded file. There is support for the Windows and Linux platforms today; Mac OS X support is planned for a future release.
Installation of Raptor
The Installation Guide – stripped of all overhead – boils down to: "1.2.1 Windows Systems with JDK1.5
To install and start Raptor on a Windows system on which the Sun Java SDK release 1.5 is installed, follow these steps:
1. Unzip the Raptor kit into a folder (directory) of your choice (for example, C:\Program Files). This folder will be referred to as <raptor_install>. Unzipping the Raptor kit causes a folder named raptor to be created under the <raptor_install> folder (for example, C:\Program Files\raptor). It also causes many files and folders to be placed in and under that directory.
2. To start Raptor, go to <raptor_install>\raptor, and double-click raptor.exe.
After Raptor starts, you can connect to any database by right-clicking the Connections node in the Connections Navigator and selecting New Database Connection. Alternatively, if you have any exported connections (see Section 1.3 or Section 1.7), you can import these connections and use them."
First Impressions and Remarkable Features
My first impressions: installation is really as simple as it is made out to be (just like JDeveloper in fact): unzip and run. Took about 5 minutes – it is a big archive to unzip. Setting up a Connection is very simple. A familiar Database Object Tree or Navigator is shown. You can quickly inspect the objects available under the connection that was just created. Multiple connections can be created and can coexist.
Raptor has a SQL Window, where statements can be edited and executed. During editing, it provides Code Insight – for example offering a list of available columns when you have typed table alias.. Code Completion is invoked with CTRL+Space. It shows a list of Tables, Views, Functions, Procedures and Packages available to the current connection.
Executing the script with F6 or clicking on the 5th button in the button bar will display the Explain Plan results. It is good for SQL Developers to have that at their fingertips… The tab OWA Output presumably – though I did not find anyhing about it in the help – shows the results of htp.p commands used in code to be run with the PL/SQL WebToolkit. I had hoped it would show the interpreted HTML, instead it returns the full HTML. Still, it can be useful.
The SQL Worksheet can run scripts and supports SQL*Plus commands to a certain extent: The SQL Worksheet supports some SQL*Plus statements. SQL*Plus statements must be interpreted by the SQL Worksheet before being passed to the database; any SQL*Plus that are not supported by the SQL Worksheet are ignored and not passed to the database. The following SQL*Plus statements are supported by the SQL Worksheet: @
acc[ept]conn[ect]def[ine]desc[ribe]doc[ument]exec[ute]exit (Stops execution and reinstates the specified connection)
pro[mpt]quit (Stops execution and reinstates the specified connection)
A production release of Project Raptor is scheduled for early 2006. The production release will be supported by Oracle Support for any customer with a current Oracle Database support contract. The enhancements made for Raptor will be included in a future release of Oracle JDeveloper (post 10.1.3).