This article hopes to compare Toad v13.0 and Toad Data Point v4.3. The versions of each product are not most important, as I cover the major features that both products have in common then will highlight what each of the products does best. I will expand on this blog postby Mathew Phan, do a bit more feature-by-feature comparison and give my two cents worth on who should be using which product.
Both tools are based off of the SQL Editor, now called just the Editor panel. This editor has automatic popup column assistants called in-sites. This popup allows you to select one or more column names using your mouse. In class, I show this and about five additional ways both Toad and Toad Data Point can create SQL without having to type or even know SQL.
Both tools have the SQL recall, a history of executed SQL statements. I use this feature a lot when doing performance tuning. Power users can use this feature to find and re-use SQL from the prior day or so. SQL Recall is customizable and saves the last 500 SQL statements executed.
Both tools have code snippets…drag-and-drop code assistants for various functions and features of the connected database. Toad Data Point has quite a few of these for various other relational databases as well.
Both have code templates that contain code substitution! This is one of the lab exercises in my class as I find this a cool way to set up your own templates for common SQL you might use. Both also allow for the auto-replace to be used to create your own shortcuts as well…i.e., short code templates.
Both tools also have the Query Builder. This powerful feature allows for the building of both simple and complex SQL using just your mouse. This feature is perfect for the SQL novice, the person who doesn’t know much at all about SQL. This feature also allows you to reverse SQL from other tools such as Hyperion into Toad Data Point where you can then run it from the Query Builder or the Editor window.
Both tools have the Automation Wizard, which allows for the equivalent of work flows to be assembled. This automation includes the ability to run SQL, export the results, and then email these results to a common list of end users.
Both tools come with a report writer. This feature starts with a simple Report Wizard that builds a basic report from any given SQL statement. The report writer feature allows you to significantly enhance the report to your specific needs.
Both tools work with Toad Intelligence Central (TIC), a shared environment where you can share your code and reports with others and you can receive reports and data created by others. TIC is a great department or team repository to share code, automations, documents, and data.
Toad for Oracle (or any of the supported databases) is an excellent tool for the Oracle programmer. Toad editor supports PL/SQL with a variety of code templates and features, such as the PL/SQL Debugger, PL/SQL Profiler, and PL/SQL Code Review.
I find Toad quite the SQL Tuning tool…it has a chapter in my latest book, Toad for Oracle Unleashed, and plays a key role in my SQL Performance Tuning course. I like the flexibility of the explain plans AND if you work with SQL Trace…there is nothing better than the Toad Trace File Viewer! This feature organizes the SQL by wait events; you can quickly and easily see which SQL is waiting on which event.
Toad contains excellent DBA features that allow for user maintenance, tablespace maintenance, creating/starting/stopping databases and pluggable databases, and more. Toad also has database health checks.
Toad also contains Code Analysis, a nice review using industry-standard rules to view code complexity, complexity of SQL, and quality of code. Developers can see how they did with both complexity of the PL/SQL and SQL code. Team leads can quickly see the complexity of the code and make sure the correct people are assigned to a coding project. Click here to read my blog on Code Analysis.
Toad has quite the integrated testing suite as well. This feature is nice for regression testing and testing of modules as features are added to the application. Click here to watch a video about using Code Testing.
Toad Data Point Features
Toad Data Point is designed with the business analyst in mind. This tool is designed to make data access across multiple data stores easy. This tool also can work with data stores without any real knowledge of SQL.
Toad Data Point will connect with over three dozen different data sources, including ALL of the popular relational databases, Microsoft Office products (Excel, Access), and anything that can connect via ODBC. Toad Data Point allows you to build a single SQL statement that can pull data from any (or all) of these data sources!
Toad Data Point works easily with Microsoft Access and Excel. You can read in your Excel spreadsheets as if they were another relational table.
Toad Data Point has this cool feature called Toad Views that allows you to save any SQL you create for ease of reuse and easy use as a data store to be referenced by other SQL you create. You don’t need any special permission to do this in Toad Data Point, as the Toad View is used by Toad Data Point users. This feature also allows you to share complex SQL with others including people new to SQL and those who don’t know SQL well.
Toad Data Point creates and saves pivot table data in both SQL and Excel formats.
Toad Data Point allows for the results of a SQL to be saved as table data to be used again or shared with others. Toad Data Point has its own local storage and can easily share data with your team using the companion product Toad Intelligence Central.
When to use Toad vs. Toad Data Point: My Take
Toad and Toad Data Point share many common features. I have done a lot of training for business analysts using Toad as their tool of choice. Toad Data Point works better with spreadsheets, both as data sources and as data output. Toad does an excellent job of PL/SQL development. Click here to review my class offering for Toad Data Point. This class is typically mixed with my Intro to SQL course…a great combination for business analysts. I also have classes were I use Toad such as my Toad Tips and Techniques course along with my SQL, PL/SQL, and SQL Performance Tuning courses.
Quest has Toad products for over a half dozen different databases. There are different flavors of Toad for your specific needs. Click hereto see a Toad Product Matrix.
Quest offers a couple of flavors of Toad Data Point. The Professional version allows for the access of multiple databases from a single SQL statement. Click hereto see a Toad Data Point Product Matrix that also shows all the supported databases!
I hope you find this information helpful when working or reviewing these tools.
Still not sure which product is right for you? Try them out.