What is most valuable?
For the last few years: Ctl + F7. That shortcut will format my queries the way I desire. This is especially helpful since I work with a query generator (OBIEE) and sometimes have to look at hundreds of lines of SQL. Formatting it helps me read the SQL. If I didn’t have this capability, I would format it by hand which would add time to my day.
How has it helped my organization?
At a prior organization, we had no reporting capabilities. Business Users would ask me to run reports for them. Since there were restrictions in other delivery mechanisms (think: web front end), I ended up creating SQL Developer Reports and then distributing those to the Business Users. This isn’t an ideal way to distribute reports, but it worked, and freed up my time to do other more important things.
What needs improvement?
Feature-wise, it has everything that I need. My only complaint over the years has been memory usage, which seems to improve with each release. I also understand that this may be out of the developer’s control (i.e. Java).
For how long have I used the solution?
I have used this solution for 10+ years. I downloaded and used Project Raptor when it was first released.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service has been most excellent. The Product Manager is on Twitter (and happens to be a friend), Jeff Smith. I’ve bothered Jeff myself and have watched him help others routinely via Twitter and his blog. I honestly can’t think of a better PM out there. Additionally, Kris Rice (also a friend) was one of two of the initial developers (if I remember correctly). Technical Support
Technical support has been excellent. If Jeff (or Kris) can’t answer in 140 characters, he’s probably written it up as a solution for whatever ails you on his blog. I frequently go there to find answers before asking.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I would use Toad to monitor database sessions. It had a pre-built reporting solution for that. But Toad cost quite a bit of money. When SQL Developer (Project Raptor) came out, I installed it and built the same session monitoring reports there. No more worrying about cost.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup was very straightforward: Unzip, find the executable and go. I have it installed on Windows, Mac and Linux (Ubuntu, Oracle Enterprise Linux).
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I did not really evaluate other options before choosing this product. I mainly used SQL*Plus and occasionally Toad.