Eye on Oracle

Nov 4 2009   3:26PM GMT

Toad for Oracle: A consultant’s tale

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

We’ve been talking to you a lot recently about the new Toad for Oracle 10, including a sneak peak of the new version, a look at Toad 10’s best new features and a podcast on how to get the most out of the Oracle database tool.

In the podcast, Toad for Oracle product manager John Pocknell discusses many benefits of Toad for Oracle 10, such as its ability to greatly speed up routine tasks, how the tool appeals to a wide range of Oracle users and its capabilities compared to those of SQL Developer.

But what do the users think?

I recently spoke with John Weathington, President and CEO of Excellent Management Systems, about his experiences using Toad in his management consultancy. Weathington helps companies with a variety of management issues, such as the need to increase efficiencies and optimize organizational performance.

But Weathington is no stranger to Toad. He began using the database tool when it was free, well before it was acquired by Quest Software, Inc.  in 1998. He has seen Toad evolve from his time as an Oracle database consultant using the pre-Quest Toad to using Toad for Oracle 10 today in his management consultancy. He credits the tool for helping him “shine” at his job.

How? For one, Weathington, who mainly uses the Toad Development Suite, highlighted speed and efficiency as major benefits to using Toad as a consultant.  He discussed one project in which an organization was going through a major compliance effort and he had to mine its database. With Toad, he was able to profile the database and extract information very quickly, something that was critical to the success of the high pressure, multi-million dollar project.

In another situation, he had to perform a transformation load for a data warehouse. The load was taking approximately two hours to run and had to be performed somewhere between 50 to 100 times, Weathington said. But by using Toad’s SQL Optimizer, Weathington was able to cut the two hour load down to about two minutes.

Some of Weathington’s other favorite Toad features, including those in Toad for Oracle 10, are:

  • Toad 10’s new ER Diagramming Tool: Weathington says he uses this tool almost every day and thinks the idea of taking an ER diagramming paradigm to explore your database is “very innovative.”
  • Benchmark Factory: Being able to predict how your database will perform after scaling a small database to a 500-user production database is very important, Weathington said.
  • Quest Code Tester: Weathington thinks this automated PL/SQL code testing tool is undervalued and overlooked in the market. Since the importance of testing in general is often overlooked, it’s an important tool to have, he said.

As far as cost is concerned Weathington said it doesn’t matter: what you’d pay for new developers is far more than what you would pay to make your existing ones two to three times more productive with Toad. Over the course of his career Weathington said he’s never had a reason to embrace another tool. But what about you? We would like to hear from you about your experiences using Toad or other database developer tools and how they have or haven’t helped you perform better at your job.

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