First Glance: Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler

A friend of mine runs a daily email newsletter called the Woodstock Wire and in this morning's wire was a note that Oracle has released a new tool called "Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler" - quite a mouthful even for Oracle.

Although I'm not an early adopter kind of guy I decided to take a peek and I'm thinking Oracle might have was "overdone" this one. It's clearly a newer version of Oracle's old school Developer tool and if I had to guess is not going to be taking market share from ERWin anytime soon. Yes it's free, but I tried building a couple tables in the tool and man is it unintuitive. Even the 6 year old version of ERWin I'm using has the ability to drag and drop foreign key relationships from one table to another. I can build tables in a manner of a couple minutes where the new Oracle tool I'm clearly overwhelmed by the complexity. The new tool seems to be targeting folks who know every bit and byte about Oracle whereas ERWin is just a Data Modeling tool which you can use to mock up a logical and physical data model very quickly and pass it off to a DBA who will worry about things like storage parameters and the like. Note: even though the old version of ERWin I have DOES support things like storage clauses I end up never using them as most DBA's will want the forward engineered scripts anyway so that they can do their thing in the model (add their Value).

here's a quick snapshot of the tool and until next time...Rich


Josh Stafford said…
The issue with ERwin is that it may be a world-leader as a data modelling tool, it doesn't really compete as an enterprise data architecture tool. Just as we wag our fingers at those who propose stovepipe-type applications where the same data is maintained in silos, we, as data architects should realise that ERwin retains its metadata in silos. Each diagram is a silo. If I have ten models, each with the customer entity, I have, effectively ten versions of customer.

Yes, CA attempted to get around this point with their Design Layer Architecture, but from experience, it is so buggy it isn't worth using it. Model corruptions are rife.

And getting CA to help out? Forget it - don't even go there. Their 'help' caused extensive corruptions on models that were previously OK.

Intuitive? Not a chance: I regularly get the error message that says "MM!" - and ask CA what that means and they don't know. I had to paste the error graphic into a window and then the "Support" person asked if I created the graphic.

So... give me SQL Developer Data Modeler even if it isn't intuitive: at least it doesn't corrupt the data models, and I get far better support from Oracle.

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