KeepTool 12

We are proud to announce the release of KeepTool’s 12th edition. With over 50 improvements and a visual overhaul of the interface, KeepTool 12 is one of our biggest releases yet.

Windows 10 Compatibility

All KeepTool 12 client editions now run on Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 and the corresponding server versions: 2008 release 2, 2012, 2012 release 2 and 2016.

KeepTool Free

Our new Free Edition consists of Hora Free—the compact successor to Hora Light that has been designed for end users who are focused on data entry, mining, and reporting.

Improved Oracle Spatial Support

Oracle Spatial support has been improved. We have added maintenance of spatial indexes, coordinate system changes including data transformation, configuration of the bounding rectangle and automatic creation of comments for MDRT tables implicitly created by Oracle.

New Oracle 12c Features

We continue to add support for new Oracle 12c features. For example, KeepTool 12 now supports the EXPLICIT NULLS clause, invisible columns and Oracle identity columns.

Visual Facelift

KeepTool 12 introduces a new look and feel. All button images have been repainted to blend seamlessly into Google’s new Material Design standard. The skinned user interface is now enabled by default, showing fewer edges and lines than before.

Over 50 Improvements

Many pages, particularly in Hora, have added new functionality. The Release Notes for Version 12 provide a complete list.

KeepTool Features

Current version: - last updated April 9, 2017


Hello! Welcome to our first KeepTool newsletter of 2017. This issue will focus on two of the enhancements recently added to Hora: Running an initialization script after connecting to the database Avoiding character set conversion pitfalls when migrating to Oracle 12c Then we’ll point out how the Reverse Database Engineer can be called from a … Continued

Hello, and welcome once again to our quarterly KeepTool newsletter, Keeping in Touch. In this issue, we’ll be highlighting a few of the new features that were introduced with Version 12.1.1, which was released in September 2016. KeepTool 12.1.1 is entirely compatible with Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. Support for NLS_LENGTH_SEMANTICS on the PL/SQL Page A … Continued

KeepTool 12.1 released

July 18, 2016

Welcome to the KeepTool newsletter for July, 2016. This month, we are pleased to announce the release of KeepTool Version 12.1.0. The new version offers several ways to simplify your coding efforts, as well as the addition of a “license borrowing” function for network licenses. New “license borrowing” function for using KeepTool 12 outside the … Continued

If your table has a foreign key to a master table, it is always a good idea—although not required—to have an index on the foreign key column to improve performance. If you should find situations where the index is missing, it’s easy to create it with Hora. Here we’ve cloned the HR schema into HR1 … Continued

KeepTool 12 released

March 1, 2016

We’d like to introduce you to KeepTool 12, which offers additional support for Oracle 12c as well as for the depiction of Oracle Spatial data. We’ve also instituted a new, easier licensing process and made the user interface blend in with Google’s Material Design standard.

In Version 12, Hora Light, our compact version of Hora for end users, has been renamed Hora Free, and as its name says, it is absolutely free to download and distribute.

Please continue reading to learn more about KeepTool 12.

Release Notes

  • A new menu item Schema | Create BYTE to CHAR semantics conversion script ...
    helps you to change nls_length_semantics of existing columns from BYTE to CHAR semantics. That can be performed best before changing from single to multi-byte character set, e.g. as a pre-migration task to Oracle 12c.
  • The SQL scratchpad now shows a slightly different icon for files that are stored on a network drive.
  • For better performance, the Tables page now comes up with the most essential (identifying) columns only. A toggle switch “show all columns” forces the remaining columns to be shown as well.
  • Improved performance for tooltips shown in SQL editor window (Table comments.)
  • “Create table”, “Add column” and “column properties” dialogs now highlight most-often-used data types ‘NUMBER’, ‘VARCHAR2’ and ‘DATE’ in data type dropdown lists using a bold blue font.
  • A new set of buttons below data grids allow dataset navigation, including an info panel showing record index and count.
  • A new dialog “view comments wizard” allows you to selectively propagate table column comments to view column comments. That makes it much more easy to having column comments for views.
  • A new menu item “Show DDL” for table columns generates SQL for adding the appropriate column including single-column constraints and column comments.
  • For performance reasons, the column “Referenced constraints” has been removed from the tables | constraints grid. This information is still available as detail information for the currently selected constraint.

  • Each filter row in DataContent grids now allows you to select an operator such as “=” from a drop-down menu, depending on the data type of the column.
  • New page Additional | Flashback archives for Oracle 11g and later
  • The SQL page shows root folders in red font if it is not found, for example when working offline. You do not have to confirm another message box for each non-existing folder any more.
  • In data content view, tooltip hints show a preview of the content of CLOB columns.
  • New search box on the PL/SQL page allows you to restrict the list of methods showing only items that contain the search string.
  • On ER Diagrammer, the “tidy up” button has been removed. The function is now called automatically each time an entity has been moved or resized.
  • ER diagrammer snaps entity shapes to grid on resize and move. Grid size can be configured.
  • For CLOB fields, both “create INSERT script” and “create UPDATE script” commands now pass VARCHAR2 chunks to dbms_lob instead of hexadecimal encoded strings. Besides that is better readable by human, it works independently from the character set of the database.

  • Since version 12.1.1, the PL/SQL page allows you to navigate to another procedure or function implementation within the same package body by Ctrl-clicking a procedure call. Now we added two buttons ‘go back’ and ‘go forward’ to the tool bar that allow you to navigate back to the original editor position and vice versa.
  • Editor windows now supports SQL*Plus command EXEC
  • Both “Show DDL” context menu command for tables and Reverse DB generate an insert statement for spatial columns as defined in user_sdo_geom_metadata (bounding rectangle). Clear Schema menu item now deletes from user_sdo_geom_metadata.
  • New main menu item “Schema | Find VARCHAR2 columns with long BYTE length ...” searches for VARCHAR2 columns that may cause problems when converting to a multi-byte character set such as UTF8:
    • Because the length exceeds 4000 bytes
    • Because columns using BYTE semantics will not fit the column length defined in bytes.

Use this dialog to check long VARCHAR2 columns before you migrate your database to a multi-byte character set such as UTF8.

  • Hora’s settings dialog allows you to define one or two startup windows. Some minor differences between window names and name order used in the dropdown lists of the settings dialog now have been reconciled with the captions and menu item sequence used in Hora’s toolbar. Please re-check your startup windows setting, because under some circumstances the stored index may now refer to another startup window.
  • When the build-in direct TCP/IP connection is used, you now have another option for entering the database connect string using service name:


This is an alternative to the existing syntax hostname:port:SN=servicename

Oracle 12c database requires a connection by service name. For connection to Oracle11g or prior databases by SID, you can still use any of

hostname:port:sid hostname:port:SID=sid

  • In both data content grid and sql query resultset views, all cell texts are now aligned to the top. In the past, only memo fields, that are capable to display multi-line text, had been aligned to the top, whereas all single-line controls had been vertically centered.
  • Besides tables and views, the data content browser now also shows local synonyms for tables and views.
  • The expandable section in the bottom of the connect dialog now allows you to enter an initialization script name. It is executed automatically each time after connect. You can use SQL and PL/SQL commands.
  • On the tables | columns page, all columns on band “column usage in WHERE predicates” have been moved over to the “statictics” tab. The band “column statistics”, has been removed from the columns tab, since the information is already shown on the statistics tab. This eliminates duplicate information and speeds up performance on the columns.