SQL Developer Trouble

Yesterday I started my instructor led course on PL/SQL programming. Our setup included Oracle SQL Developer running in a virtual machine. SQL Developer is a free tool for SQL and PL/SQL work. It is a scaled down tool compared to Oracle JDeveloper, which has all kinds of features for Java development.

Right now the class has SQL Developer 1.2 installed. Now this is an older version of the software. And I am seeing a bunch of problems that are annoying. Each time I try to save an SQL file using the File Save command, the program tries to go to the A: drive. This is a virtual machine. So there is no A: drive. The program nonetheless keeps trying to access this non drive.

I can cancel out of the A: drive problem eventually. However I need to run a lot of PL/SQL scripts. The routine is to click the button to run the script. Any text sent out using DBMS_OUTPUT is supposed to be captured in a separate SQL Developer tab for DBMS_OUTPUT. That tab allows you to SET SERVEROUTPUT ON with the click of a button. The problem is that this usually does not work and none of the output is displayed.

Some other developers in the class have found a weird combination that works. You must (1) disconnect from the database, (2) reconnect to the database, (3) run your script, (4) toggle SERVEROUTPUT to OFF, and (5) toggle SERVEROUTPUT back ON. This usually cures the problem. But that is a lengthy work around to getting my output to be displayed.

The instructor tried upgrading to the latest version of SQL Developer. It did not help the DBMS_OUTPUT woes. I am not sure why this is happening. However it might be time to drop all the way back down to using SQL*Plus. I am confident that if I SET SERVEROUTPUT ON, I will see the DBMS_OUTPUT text in the SQL*Plus window. We have the Oracle client installed on the virtual machines. This is truly a pain. At least I did not have to pay money specifically for SQL Developer. I did pay a lot to attend the instructor led training though.