SQL Developer Utility & Oracle 11 Database Client Installation


January 8th, 2014

After installing the Oracle RDBMS 32 or 64-bit client software, the SQL Developer utility included with the installations is a handy GUI tool to create RDBMS connections and examine the contents of user schemas. However, there are required steps to perform in order to get it working properly due to the following:

  • SQL Developer is a Java based application, and thus requires a Java JDK install location that must be manually referenced when first launching the program.
  • SQL Developer provided with both the 32 and 64 bit Oracle Client installations is a 32-bit only application, and thus requires a 32-bit Java JDK. If the Oracle 64-bit Client is being used, the JDK included with the Oracle Client install cannot be used with SQL Developer, and a separate 32-bit JDK must be installed.
  • With some Oracle Client versions, the executable filename referenced in the SQL Developer launch shortcut is incorrect and must be manually updated

Note the steps below are based on an Oracle RDBMS 11.2 Client installation


After installing the Oracle RDBMS Client, check the Properties for the created program icon:

Make sure the Target executable referenced is a sqldeveloper.exe file. With some installs, the created program icon will instead reference a non-existent SQLDEVELOPER.BAT file. If this is the case, manually update the program icon to reference sqldeveloper.exe.

When launching the SQL Developer icon for the first time, the above prompt will appear, and require a valid location for a 32-bit Java JDK install to be provided, specifically to the java.exe executable in the JDK’s \bin folder. Note this must be a full Java JDK(Java Development Kit), not a JRE(Java Runtime Environment) location.

If the 32-bit Oracle RDBMS Client has been installed, a 32-bit Java JDK is included that can be referenced and used with SQL Developer. Note the screenshot above references an Oracle 32-bit RDBMS Client that is included with Oracle’s EPM software installation.

After referencing a proper 32-bit JDK location to the \bin\java.exe, SQL Developer should launch successfully.

Note the JDK location being used by SQL Developer is stored in a sqldeveloper.conf configuration file as the SetJavaHome parameter

If the 64-bit Oracle RDBMS Client install is being used, then a separate 32-bit Java JDK will need to be downloaded and installed. Note in the screenshot above, the JDK 1.7 Update 40 release was the specific version installed. Note again, a full Java JDK install must be used.


After installing the 32-bit JDK, launch SQL Developer and browse to the JDK’s \bin\java.exe location.


SQL Developer should launch correctly after following the previous steps


Note the updated SetJavaHome parameter in the sqldeveloper.conf configuration file


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The TopDown Team includes members of TopDown Consulting who want to let the community know about webcasts, conferences, and other events. The team also conducts interviews on various EPM industry topics.

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