SQL Developer vs toad for oracle

I have a client site where the customer is thinking of switching from Toad for Oracle Suite to SQL Developer because SQL Developer has all the tools needed. Before I could argue that schema diff were one reason to stay with TOAD but now SQL Developer has it and the tool is free. What are some of the strongest cases to use to persuade my client to stay with TOAD. I am partial too, I love the tools but a certain group of consultants are pushing for SQL Developer.

a certain group of consultants are pushing for SQL Developer

Easy answer: so let them while leaving everyone else alone!

I know, that doesn’t help. Unfortunately I can’t help much.
We’ve had Toad removed from our use and are on SQL Developer now as well.
With the little work I’ve actually done in coding (lots of work elsewhere
the last 2 years) I’ve had little exposure to SQL Developer.

I can tell you that with the time it takes to start up, I’ve defaulted
back to the SQL Plus + Text Editor method. Mainly I’ve had to do quick
lookups in the database and I’ve got what I need done in SQL Plus before
SQL Developer loads.

Roger S.

Something that Toad does very well that SQL Dev does not seem to handle at all:

When your function returns a record set with nested structures, Toad shows the
record and allows you to “drill down” into the data. This allows you
to quickly view the data you are focused on.

On the other hand, SQL Dev shows only what SQL PLus would: a long text string
with the values comma separated and in brackets to show the nesting. You have to
work through the structure yourself to identify exactly which data you’re
concerned with.

Is there a plugin in the SQL Dev community that handles that? I don’t
know. We’re not allowed to install anything on our PC’s so the
efforts to get a plugin installed is generally not worth going through in the
short term. Tight project deadlines, always additional work being added, etc.

I think that’s part of the biggest selling point for SQL Dev: plugin
capabilities. If you can’t find a plugin for what you need, it’s
possible to develop one. Java of course.

Caveat: the selling point shouldn’t be construed as a point Toad does not
have. Toad is vastly modifiable by the developer so I’d personally be
hard-pressed to identify something you could make SQL Dev do that you
couldn’t make Toad do.

Roger S.

It’s a tough call, we’ve recently had the same discussions and its hard to quantify the benefit TOAD provides from a development perspective. I’d say the main differentiator between the two is the Schema Browser, this saves so much time when looking up objects etc, SQL Developer still doesn’t have anything like this (it’s on their feature request list though so hopefully…).

If cost is an issue, and it was for us, you can get PLQSL Developer for a fraction of what TOAD costs and it was used by the majority of PLSQL developers who preferred it over TOAD for writing their PLSQL (even when they had a choice between TOAD and PLSQL Developer).

Me though, I’ve always preferred TOAD, I can’t imagine how long it would take me to do my daily work using the other tools - and that’s the hard bit to quantify when management are asking for dollar figures about productivity.

Off the top of my head, things I would be lost without if I couldn’t use
TOAD are (in no particular order):

F4 – I love that I can F4 from just about anywhere in TOAD to get more
details, including the explain plan, text windows displaying contents of blobs,

Script manager

Templates & Auto-Replace

Searching in the Option dialog to find the option I’m trying to set
– seriously, that is so brilliant I can’t believe everyone
isn’t putting that into their programs

The Grids – the ability to customize columns, do sums, view long fields,
group, sort, find, filter, etc.

Syntax highlighting – especially via the link to the DB for the object
name highlighting

The Navigator on the editor

DBMS output window

Explain Plan

Make Code/Strip Code – the new menu buttons for this on the Editor are
used probably more than anything else for me right now


Formatter – I really like neat, readable code but like being able to be
lazy so I don’t have to keep it that way myself

Code Folding – actually, I would like it more if the hints for defining
sections would work – they’ve been broken for a while

Right-click – Output Statements – Make Output Statement

Right-click – Action Console

Insert to table from Excel/Text/Access

Split Editor


Comment/Uncomment block

Session Browser

Schema Browser

App Designer

Syntax Checking on the fly – sometimes it is faster to see a squiggly red
line than the fact my semi-colon ended up getting typed as a colon

Positioning of the cursor exactly where the problem in my SQL is when I use F9
to run it

Positioning of the cursor on the PL/SQL line that is wrong when I compile
– plus the list of other errors in the Messages tab that I can click on to
bring me to their position in my script

The list could be much longer if I took a few more minutes more but I need to go
home. Being a developer, most of my items are ones that live in the Editor. And
because I am so familiar with TOAD because I’ve used it for so many years,
for me to switch to another SQL editing tool would probably slow me down
significantly. Yes, I could learn it, but the initial cost would be a lot and
with the loss of the features that I use every day, could cost my employer
having to replace me as I go to another company where I can use TOAD. J

Sure, I can cut the grass with a cheap lawn mower with dull blades, but I can
cut it so much faster and it ends up so much healthier when I cut it with a good
mower with nice sharp blades, right?


I should add to this list one more thing – Spool SQL – being able to
spool the SQL has allowed me to learn the data dictionary – at least as
much as I need to – and I’ve been able to use SQL that I’ve
spooled to write specific SQL that does almost what the SB does – or to
create stored procedures to loop through records in the dba_ tables to do all
kinds of fancy things in my packages.

This is kinda like asking a sniper to use a rifle from Walmart. Sure the both
shoot straight, and the both do about the same thing, but the bottom line is
that as developers and DBA’s we have spent years fine tuning our
productivity to work with the best tool for our job. Learning a new tool that
has most of the functionality is much more expensive than the cost of Toad. Over
the course of a year that it would take to get up to speed with SQL Developer,
you will probably lose more than a week becoming familiar with it. What is the
cost of a week of your time? At $200 billing per hour, that’s $8,000.
Contrast the price of the full suite of Toad to the cost of our education,
familiarity with our tools, and learning new tools, Toad is practically free.

It really doesn’t matter what features the other tool has. This one is
yours, you know how it feels in your hand, you know how to make it do what you
want. This sounds like “This is my rifle…”

Not to mention you simply can’t get better support for a product than the
Toad for Oracle devs!!!


Disclaimer: I am not now or never have been in the military J

I like your sniper reference much better than my lawn mower one, Chris! J

We’re hired guns…no?

The sniper also represents a high level of training and skill with very specific
tools. That is what I think of the Toad community.


Great feedback from all of you. Thanks!

Sorry for the plug, but please check out this Technical Brief I wrote recently
which compares the two and hopefully will persuade your client to stick with



Great feedback from all of you. Thanks!

Sorry for the plug, but please check out this Technical Brief I wrote recently
which compares the two and hopefully will persuade your client to stick with



I always using TOAD since 2008, but now I using SQL Developer.