What is Oracle SQLcl?

SQL Developer Command Line (SQLcl) was introduced in 2016 and is a new Command Line Interface (CLI) for working with the Oracle Database.

Why? What about SQL*Plus

When compared with SQL*Plus, SQLcl provides a modern way of working on the command line with features such as object completion, inline editing and a history of commands regardless of the operating system. SQLcl also makes it easier to transform a query result set into formats such as CSV, JSON, XML using the SET SQLFORMAT command.

Is it the end for SQL*Plus?

No. SQL*Plus is not going away.

The relationship between SQLcl and SQL Developer

The SQLcl script engine is based on the one in SQL Developer which means you can run SQLcl commands from SQL Developer.

How do I get it?

Starting with 12cR2 SQLcl is included in releases of the Oracle Database. It is also available as a separate download from the SQLcl home page on OTN.

Need more help?

Please get in touch and I will be glad to help.


The information in this post has been distilled from many of Jeff Smith’s superb blog posts. Jeff is a Product Manager at Oracle and is a super nice guy, both on line and IRL and his generous work in the community is something that I really appreciate.

The other source used was the SQLcl user guide.

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