Sep 27, 2010 (04:09 AM EDT)
Toad Database Tool Gets Eclipse Extension

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Quest Software's database unit, maker of the popular Toad programming tool, is trying to bridge the gap between traditional relational database programmers and the NoSQL systems that seem to defy most of the tenets they've lived by for 20 years.

Toad, the tool, formerly known as the Tool for Oracle Application Developers, in fact has undertaken a two-pronged approach to enlarging Toad's role in building database apps in a changing world.

On the one hand, Toad can now be used for traditional database application development inside the Eclipse open source programmer's workbench, where it fits into a familiar integrated development environment used by millions of Java programmers. As a matter of fact, Quest claims to have over a million Toad users and 20% of them are application developers. Some of them are also Oracle database users, said Billy Boswort, general manager of Quest's database unit, as Oracle OpenWorld got under way in San Francisco.

Quest announced a beta version of Toad Extension for Eclipse was available for free download at www.ToadExtensions.com. It allows a Java programmer to work within the familiar Eclipse integrated development environment and workflow conventions with which they are familiar to build database applications with Toad.

At the same time, Quest is turning Toad into a tool for building applications to work with the new cloud-oriented, NoSQL systems, such as Amazon's SimpleDB and the Facebook-originated Cassandra, now an Apache open source project. Quest has had a beta version of Toad for Cloud Databases available for free download since the end of June and Bosworth said interest is strong among traditional database application developers.

"In many cases, the DBA has no familiarity with NoSQL and feels a bit overwhelmed. Toad for Cloud Databases enables you to take a familiar interface and workflow and apply it to the new technology," said Bosworth.

Quest is thus one of the few relational database tool vendors trying to bridge the gap between strongly entrenched relational systems and the up-and-coming NoSQL systems. A few NoSQL thinkers and developers say NoSQL systems will work inside the enterprise alongside and as a complement to relational databases.