I guess everyone knows by now that Raptor has arrived now. I downloaded it and had a little play and here are my first impressions:
- It takes an age to start up. No doubt this is due to it being based on the JDeveloper framework. The words “Java” and “Fast” are rarely used in the same sentence where GUI applications are concerned.
- Once loaded, the application is quite quick and responsive.
- The look and feel is clean and simple, not dissimilar to PL/SQL Developer. Not at all like the “junk-yard” that is TOAD.
- There are a few nice touches. When dealing with large numbers of objects, expanding the navigator does not list all of them. Instead, it lists the first few and gives you the option for more. This is much better than waiting around for ages, especially when you’ve expanded the wrong node 🙂
- I’m not totally sure the editor window deals with fonts correctly. On my installation 12pt looks really chunky, but 10pt requires a magnifying glass to read. I usually use 8pt for my regular text editor, so something is a little fishy here.
- It has all the things you would expect for a PL/SQL development tool, like syntax highlighting, debugger, PL/SQL beautifier etc. In addition it has a reporting tab that allows you to produce predefined and user defined reports. This is a nice touch for those people that have an endless array of custom scripts.
My initial impression is very positive, although it will be the New Year before I get to use the product in anger. I’m glad Oracle have resisted the temptation to build an “all things to all people” product. I find most IDEs annoying because of the shear volume of junk included. If Oracle keep it simple and keep it free this is going to be a bigtime winner.
I see no reason to pay for a product like PL/SQL Developer when you can use Raptor for free. TOAD may be a different matter though. Personally, I prefer Raptor’s clean interface to the clutter of TOAD, but if you are somebody that uses all the rubbish included in TOAD, then Raptor is probably not for you.
Over the last few months I’ve seen myself slip into a very negative frame of mind regarding Oracle products. Perhaps Raptor is a turning point. Keep up the good work!