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TOAD Setup and Configuration

Bert Scalzo and Dan Hotka review some of the more common and critical setup and configuration steps necessary to fully maximize your initial TOAD experience.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Congratulations! You have just purchased TOAD, the market-leading Oracle integrated development environment (IDE) and productivity enhancement tool, and are now preparing to deploy it throughout your organization. TOAD has always adhered to one very simple mantra: to make all Oracle database interactions as easy and productive as possible. Thus, when TOAD has been properly configured, you should find it to be the single most effective and productive database tool on the market today. However, even the world's leading Oracle productivity enhancement tool requires a little attention to detail during both setup and configuration to achieve the best user experience possible. By spending just a few extra minutes wisely upfront, you should then be able to reasonably fulfill all of your various TOAD users' expectations—including database administrators (DBAs), developers, and data or business analysts.

With more than 1 million registered commercial product users, and even more freeware users, TOAD has already been deployed and utilized in just about any scenario imaginable. Regardless of whether you are working with older Oracle database versions such as 7.3 or newer versions such as 10g or 11g, you can rest assured that TOAD has seen action in those arenas. The TOAD development team takes enormous pride in supporting millions of users in a plethora of environments. You should, therefore, consider that any potential difficulties that you may encounter are most likely setup and configuration issues—and not automatically or necessarily anything particular or overly special related to your situation.

In this chapter, we review some of the more common and critical setup and configuration steps necessary to fully maximize your initial TOAD experience. While some of these steps may seem quite simple and fairly obvious, failure to address them properly can radically reduce your initial success. Once you've mastered this chapter's concepts, you should have TOAD set up properly and working ideally to support most users' needs.

Windows Platform Support

TOAD is a native Microsoft Windows 32-bit application. Such Windows 32-bit applications are very often referred to as Win-32 apps. TOAD is written in the Delphi 7 programming language, which is essentially just Object Pascal for Windows. You may have observed that some of Quest Software's newer TOAD product family members, such as TOAD for SQL Server, have been written in Microsoft C# and, therefore, require the .Net framework. But that's true only for these newer products, which don't have preexisting code bases. With nearly 2 million lines of legacy code, porting of TOAD to another language simply for the sake of porting is cost prohibitive.

As a Win-32 app, TOAD has been developed to run natively on the various Microsoft desktop operating systems, including these members of the Windows family:

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP (32 or 64 bit)
  • Windows 2003 (32 or 64 bit)
  • Windows Vista (32 or 64 bit)

Notice that all 64-bit versions of the various Microsoft Windows operating systems are fully supported. Microsoft created a highly compatible 64-bit environment where any well-behaved Win-32 app should run just fine within a 64-bit memory space. TOAD is no exception: It runs perfectly well on 64-bit versions of Windows. To ensure that it works, there is merely a requirement that the Oracle SQL*Net client installed for TOAD usage also be the 32-bit version. We'll cover this special SQL*Net client requirement in full detail in the next section on database connectivity.

What about older Windows versions such as Windows 95 and 98: Will TOAD run on those operating systems? The answer to this question is "probably." Unfortunately, the TOAD development team cannot reasonably or even realistically afford to undertake quality assurance (QA) testing for every possible Windows operating system version. Thus, while TOAD might function on those older operating systems, it will be more by luck than by intention. The same logic applies to newer but not yet commercially released versions such as Windows 7. TOAD may work on Windows 7 because it's based on Vista, but that platform has not yet been added to the officially supported TOAD QA list. Rest assured, however, that it will be supported once the new operating system becomes commercially available.

Another question that has come up a lot in recent times focuses on running TOAD on virtual machines that are themselves running Windows: Are there any problems with that setup? The basic answer is "no"; to TOAD, the virtual machine appears as just a Windows operating system as required. Nevertheless, we have seen some cases where memory management between the host operating system, virtualization layer, and client operating system can cause problems for applications such as TOAD. You may encounter these or other issues in your own system. For example, when scrolling a TOAD data grid all the way to the end via the slider control, TOAD may freeze up. So, when you are working on a virtual machine, keep that possibility in mind during troubleshooting efforts. The problem could be something within that technology stack.

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