We had our monthly meeting tonight with Jeff Smith from Toad.
Although I am mostly a SQL*Plus snob, I can appreciate good tools (snicker...wait, that didn't sound right). Ummm...nevermind. No matter how I say it, it's not going to sound right. You know what I mean...get your mind out of the gutter.
My first exposure to Toad was...I was looking for a picture, but I can't find one. Let's just say this reminds me of it:
That picture is courtesy of The DailyWTF
Needless to say, after the Google-like simplicity of SQL*Plus, I had no desire what-so-ever to try it.
Like most things, it has evolved. The interface is much cleaner and is (maybe was always?) highly configurable.
Let's just say I didn't run screaming from the room this time.
I was a Microsoft Access "developer" masquerading as a secretary for a state run university. Access, at the time, was the best thing since sliced bread.
When I came to the Oracle world I was "handed" SQL*Plus and a tnsnames.ora file and told to get to work. Where were the pretty pictures? How can I "see" my tables? Within a week or two I believe I created an ODBC datasource and used Access as a front-end so that I could "see" stuff.
In Mr. Smith's capable hands, Toad didn't look so bad. I'm not ready to pay for it yet, but it was much better than I previously thought.
The session was informal with Mr. Smith taking a survey of the audience; naturally dominated by those neavil DBAs. I do know, and have used, the DBA module in Toad and found it quite useful.
One very cool feature was the ability to generate random data...with referential integrity. Awesome feature if you "like" to test. Building fake data can be a very time consuming process...building data that has RI, well, it is just painful.
The best feature was Spotlight. This is more of a DBA tool; it let's you view high level performance metrics and the interface to this is very cool...star trek like.
For a non-RAC system:
Post-presentation festivities included a trip to the local Mexican restaurant and chance to meet SQLChicken, a local SQL Server guru guy who was born 4 years ago.
I haven't shaved in about a month and my beard is completely out of control, so hopefully I didn't scare them too much.
Thanks Jeff (and Quest) for extending your stay so you could speak to our group.