Nov 19, 2018 5:09:24 AM by John Pocknell
I'm pleased to announce the second release of Toad for Oracle this year which went GA on October 18.
This is a brand new feature that addresses the needs of DBAs concerned about data privacy with the emergence of GDPR as well as some other significant enhancements around PL/SQL debugging and Oracle 18c support.
This release of Toad for Oracle forms part of the Toad for Oracle Editions 2018 R2 release and comprises the following product updates (depending which Toad Editions you own)
So let's get right into the new stuff!
Sensitive Data Awareness (Professional Edition and higher)
As a DBA, I’m sure you are probably aware by now there’s been a lot of recent coverage around data breaches and access to personal data. You may also have heard about the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation that went into effect on May 25th this year.
The maximum penalty for non-compliance is 4% of annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher. Lower fines of up to 2% are possible for administrative breaches, such as not carrying out impact assessments or notifying the authorities or individuals in the event of a data breach. This puts data protection penalties into same category as anti-corruption or competition compliance.
You might be asking yourself, so what do I need to know and how do ensure our business is protected?
The first thing you need to consider is one aspect of GDPR called “Privacy by Design”. This requires a fresh look at how you should design your systems with data privacy as a priority. This starts with data discovery.
How do I know what data in my databases is “Personally Identifiable Information” or PII?
In the new Toad Options window, you can use some of the pre-defined rules to determine what types of sensitive data you need to identify or you can modify or even create your own rules.
Figure 1: Defining your Personally Identifiable (Sensitive) Data rules
Having selected which rules you want to use, you can expose where table columns are being used which could contain sensitive data as you can see in the Alter Table script below.
Figure 2: Identifying Personally Identifiable (Sensitive) Data in a table
Sensitive Data Search (Coming Soon)
After discovering where sensitive data resides, the next step would be to decide on the most appropriate course of action to protect the data from unauthorized access. Do you use Oracle’s Data Redaction feature or go for data encryption using Oracle’s Transparent Data Encryption features? Toad already leverages these features as a part of the DB Admin Module. You will also be able to export a report containing the results of the search.
Figure 3: Sensitive Data Search identifying PII for protection
The Sensitive Data Search capability will also extend the existing DB Health Check feature (DB Admin Module). Since both Sensitive Data Search and DB Health Check can be automated, it means you could include this capability into your DevOps Continuous Integration/Continuous Testing process.
Although these capabilities don’t form a part of this Toad release, they are coming soon, so watch this space!!
Migrating to Oracle Database 18c?
We’ve added a number of features which exploit some of the new features in Oracle Database 18c
These include (but are not limited to):
GLOBALLY AS clause
tables in Oracle 18c.
We’ve also provide additional support for Oracle 12c R2 and 11g R2 to exploit additional features.
Debugging improvements (All Toad Editions)
Throughout Toad’s history, the PL/SQL debugger has worked with Oracle’s DBMS_DEBUG package, and this will continue to be the case for now.
However, Oracle have deprecated support for the DBMS_DEBUG package as part of the Oracle Database 12c R2 (12.2) release, and recommend using the DBMS_DEBUG_JDWP package instead. In this release of Toad, you now have the option of using either.
Setting up Toad to use JDWP debugging requires some setup changes and these are simplified using a brand new wizard which walks you through the necessary steps and checks your environment to make sure it’s properly setup.
Figure 4: Setting up JDWP debugging in Toad
So far as the debugging workflow is concerned, there are no changes so you won’t see any differences to your Toad debugging experience.
Improving the Toad Freeware/Trial experience
We introduced some changes to the way Toad Freeware and Trial work in our June release, but I thought I’d include a reminder in this blog in case you missed it.
Our Toad Freeware continues to be extremely popular so, for all you freeware users out there, you’ll love this!
The first 30 days of Toad Freeware use will give you full access to all the features in Toad Professional Edition plus all the features in the DB Admin Module. After that time, the freeware will revert to its usual mode showing the Base Edition features. If, during your use of Freeware you would like to evaluate the commercial features again, you just click the Toad for Oracle community link which takes you to Toad World where you can click the Downloads button to download a Trial version.
Figure 5: New Toad Freeware fully featured for 30 days
It might be that you don’t have enough time during the 30 day evaluation period to fully explore what Toad can offer. Currently, the Toad Trial would simply stop working after it expires and you’d have to go get another Trial. What will happen now is that Toad will revert to Freeware mode, which means you can carry on doing some limited evaluation, until you receive your new Trial license which you can enter into Toad’s Licenses window and be up and running again without having to download another Trial version.
So that's it! I hope you enjoy this exciting new version and if you don't yet use Toad and would like to try it, please click here for the trial download. And if you already own Toad for Oracle and have a support & maintenance contract, upgrade your Toad here.
Written by John Pocknell
John Pocknell is a senior market strategist at Quest Software and part of the Information Management business unit. Based at the European headquarters in the U.K., John is responsible for synthesising analyst data and customer interviews in order to create and evangelise solutions-based stories and messaging which relate to major IT initiatives for our extensive portfolio of database products, worldwide. He has been with Quest Software since 2000, working in the database design, development and deployment product areas and spent over 10 years as product manager for the Toad product line. John has been successfully evangelising Toad and other database solutions at various conferences and user groups around the world for the last 19 years as well as writing blogs and technical papers both internally and for the media. John has worked in IT for more than 30 years, most of that time in Oracle application design and development. He is a qualified aeronautical engineer with more than 10 years of experience in provisioning IT consultancy services and implementing quality assurance systems to ISO 9001.