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Configuring Oracle SQL Developer for Windows 7

May 29, 2009

I’m fully Vista-free now and loving it; however, Oracle SQL Developer has (once again) decided to simply be annoying to configure.

<rant>Yes, I realize Oracle hates Microsoft.  Girls, you’re both pretty—please grow up.</rant>

Anyway, after a bit of hunting, I think I’ve found a good mix for those of us who love SQL Developer for coding and testing, but don’t “use” a lot of the Oracle proprietary junk features that comes with it.

Originally, I was going to include a couple of the configuration files; however, they’re spread out EVERYWHERE and, frankly, I can’t find them all. :(  I also can’t figure out a way to import settings (without blowing my settings away first).

File Paths

As I mentioned before, some of the configuration files are spread out—everywhere.  Here’s where the most common files are located.

sqldeveloper.conf – <sqldeveloper folder>\sqldeveloper\bin\

ide.conf – <sqldeveloper folder>\ide\bin\

User-Configured Settings – %appdata%\SQL Developer\

I prefer to make my modifications in sqldeveloper.conf; however, a lot of the resources that pop up on Google make them in ide.conf.  Why?  I’m not sure.  sqldeveloper.conf simply CALLS ide.conf.  Meh.

Fixing Memory Consumption on Minimize

I found a reference to JDeveloper (another Java utility) that discussed how JDeveloper (and similarly, SQL Developer) pages everything when you minimize the window.

To fix this, open up sqldeveloper.conf and add the following line:

AddVMOption -Dsun.awt.keepWorkingSetOnMinimize=true

Fixing Aero Basic Theme

Tired of your IDE swapping back to Aero Basic whenever you launch SQL Developer?  Me too.  For now, Oracle reports that SQL Developer doesn’t support the full Aero Theme… or does it?

To enable Aero support (or at least keep it from bouncing back to Aero Basic), open up sqldeveloper.conf and add the following line:

AddVMOption -Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true

The Oracle forums also recommend trying the following line:

AddVMOption -Dsun.java2d.ddoffscreen=false

That option; however, never resolved the issue for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Cleaning Up The UI

The default UI leaves a lot to be desired for Oracle SQL Developer.  Here’s a few UI tips to try out.  These settings are found under Tools > Preferences.

Change the Theme – Environment > Theme. 

I like Experience Blue.  It’s clean, simple, and goes well with Windows 7’s look and feel.

Change Fonts – Code Editor > …

There are quite a few fonts that can be configured.  Here’s what I changed:

Code Insight – Segoe UI, 12
Display – check ‘Enable Text Anti-Aliasing’
Fonts – Consolas, 11
Printing – Consolas, 10

Disable Unnecessary Extensions – Extensions > …

Honestly, I don’t use ANY of the extentions, so I disabled everything as well as unchecking ‘Automatically Check for Updates’.  I’ve noticed that load time for the UI is insanely fast now (well, insanely fast for a Java app on Windows).

Window Locations

The only thing that I can’t figure out how to fix is the window location and placement.  Example: When you open a new worksheet, the results area is not visible (you have to drag that frame up each time).  That annoys me to no end and I can’t find a place to ‘save current window layout’ or similar.  Ideas?

That’s it!

With that, SQL Developer loads up quickly, connects, and displays just fine in Windows 7.

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  1. JButurff
    September 1, 2009 at 8:44 am | #1

    Thanks, the Aero tip works great. In the latest SQL Developer, the ddoffscreen setting was already there, so obviously it doesn’t fix the issue. But your setting for noddraw does.

  2. John
    September 2, 2009 at 11:08 pm | #2

    the Aero trick worked for me. Thanks for posting.

  3. Stuart
    September 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm | #3

    Thanks, the Aero tip also fixed the display/refreshing issue I was having in the script output pane.

  4. Manuel
    September 23, 2009 at 12:12 am | #4

    Thanks the aero trick works 100%

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