What about today’s Oracle database developers’ business process and data modeling needs?

It was the good old days of Client-Server applications and at that times my company was migrating our applications from Powerbuilder to Oracle Forms. I was so fan of Powerbuilder and also so young, this change was making me sad and crazy.

Last week I met and worked with Power Designer, a very good data modeling tool to my first impressions. This success reminded me how I was miserable after Forms migrations and still after 10+ years Oracle’s only answer to data modeling seems to be Designer.

I did several searches on OTN and Oracle documentation, only alternative poped up to be Jdeveloper which Oracle database developer’s rarely installs after all those years;



Today’s Designer is still inside Oracle Developer Suite 10g and is still seems to be closely integrated with Oracle Forms only.

We now have APEX inside 11g database installation, cool
We now have OWB inside 11g database installation, cool+
We now have SQL Developer inside 11g database installation, cool++

But what about today’s Oracle database developers’ business process and data modeling needs? I hope Oracle has plans for SQL Developer at least to have some designer capabilities soon.

Until that day Power Designer rocks! :)

PS : one need, several solutions, so who says SQL is always faster than PL/SQL? :)

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  1. nicolasgasparotto says:

    Hey, you got this discussion !

    But, yes, in that case PL/SQL was much faster (especially in that case with mass rows generation and calculation) than all the suggested SQL queries. Even the last one, which was the fastest SQL query, took more time than my PL/SQL solution. And you know why ? We can skip some loop in PL/SQL…

    As always, when someone ask you what is the fatest way to have the result, you have to answer : “That depend…”

    Have fun,


  2. Kubilay says:

    I strongly share Tonguc’s thoughts and disappointment on Oracle data modelling tools. Because of my own experience in research of the “Golden Data Modelling Tool” in the past, I thought I type this, a bit lengthy, comment. But Tonguc motivated me for it.

    Who does data modelling anyway?

    Maybe this is the reason Oracle will not create and give us for FREE a great modelling tool. Will force us DBAs who haven’t got a clue about Java, to go and download 1gb +plus JDeveloper on our desktops in order to see Oracle tools plotting data models.

    Because nobody does data modelling any more, I can only see developers around me who actually don’t care about not having data models because they have Object Models, there is now Objects, Methods, Encapsulation, Polymorphism… etc. What is a data model anyway? It sounds archaic and is old school. For developers nowadays a database is almost equivalent to a hard disk.

    Every time I change jobs and start in new company as an Oracle DBA in the first weeks at work I usually ask to see a data model of the production database. Guess what, there isn’t one! Nobody can show me one! Developers ask me why do I need it anyway? All data relationships, entities, primary keys and foreign keys are stored in the RAM of their brains. What a volatile situation don’t you think so?

    One can argue that there are tools out there, yeah Tonguc is talking about Power Designer, I know few others myself DBDesigner, Druid etc.. which by a “click” of a button will connect to your production database schema and do reverse engineering and draw for you on an A4 sheet all your entities and their relationships within 30 seconds. Pure Magic, bless!

    Hmmm.. I am still sceptical. Because I tried them. And all you see in the “Reverse Engineered” model is really a “Total Mess” of a database. And all this because there wasn’t a data modelling exercise and use in the first place. Don’t we realise we still work with RDBMS and the RDBMS theory is based on Algebra and especially in the subset of the Algebra called “set theory” Oracle 11g is still a relational database. The relation model commands us to use Entity Relationship modelling to design and create our databases. Why are we not using it? Are we being bad students?

    Why when we reverse engineer databases with such tools, we see entities not in relationship, 200 300 tables with their relationship lines, if any, trying to fit on an A4 sheet including tables which start with “TMP_MYTABLE..”. Here you go, here is your data model, someone says ironically with a hidden grin behind their lips.

    I think I start to understand why Oracle doesn’t care about data modelling. Who uses it anyway. Kimball and Inmon say in their books a data model, rarely changes in 25 years. So if you have drawn an ER data model in the 70s probably your database is still the same and you must have it somewhere drawn with a pencil in your drawers in the archive of the company. Make sure you don’t carry it to developers meetings, don’t show it to anyone who starts developing a new application. But the best thing to do is to not mention it at all. Funny old world!

  3. Good news by Lucas Jellema from ODTUG 2008 Kaleidoscope –

    Very soon, SQL Developer will have support for modeling. Satisfying a growing popular demand, Oracle has acquired the CWD4ALL modeling solution from IKAN (see: http://www.cwd4all.com/index.asp?siteID=3 ) and will make its functionality part of SQL Developer. This will provide ER modeling at two levels (conceptual and logical/technical) as well as functional modeling.


  4. Oracle’s new data modeler is ready for the test drive now – http://tinyurl.com/3teqaj

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