Oracle on Monday is shipping an upgrade to its free database development tool, adding a number of enhancements, including the capability to access competing databases such as Microsoft Access and MySQL. Oracle SQL Developer Release 1.1 provides a graphical front end to build database applications, eliminating the need for a third-party tool or command-line interactions to build applications or perform functions such as adding tables and objects to a database.
"It makes users that work with the database very productive very quickly," said Sue Harper, Oracle senior principal product manager. The first version of the product, released in March 2006, was downloaded 394,000 times, she said. A key improvement in Version 1.1 is its capability to connect to non-Oracle databases, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Microsoft Access. This improvement is a precursor to a feature called Migration Workbench Extension, planned for Oracle SQL Developer 2.0 later this year and intended to help migrate data off other databases and onto Oracle.