Visual Expert for Oracle Features

Find references (Impact Analysis)

Avoid regression bugs: if you need to change any items in your application (procedure, table, column, variable...) Visual Expert can list all components related to this item. You can then evaluate the consequences of the change and avoid unexpected side effects.

For instance, you can ask for all triggers, cursors, functions and procedure including SQL statements using a DB column, as well as a %rowtype definition.

In case you develop PowerBuilder applications any PowerBuilder-to-PL/SQL reference is also taken into account.

Document your code

With Visual Expert, generate a complete, customized and always up-to-date technical documentation of your PL/SQL code.
Easily transfer the knowledge of your application.

Document the references and calls in your code.
Easily navigate between these using hyperlinks in the documentation.

Customize your documentation

  • Select the details you wish to display. For example, for a table you can show or hide properties, columns, indexes, triggers, references and impact analysis.
  • Adapt the documentation style by matching the colours and fonts to your company's visual identity.

Schedule your documentation

  • Run automatically once a day/week/month or at a specific time.
  • Free up resources by scheduling it when you're not using your computer.
  • Update it and have it available when you need it.
  • You can also generate the documentation from a Server to a shared location. Each team member will then get a fresh online documentation whenever needed.
See an example documentation here.

Explore and Understand complex code

When maintaining large or complex applications, you may need to understand some code you’re not familiar with. In such cases, Visual Expert is the perfect companion for your development tool:

With Visual Expert's treeview, explore your PL/SQL components (Packages, functions, procedures, blocks, triggers...) and their dependencies.

With Visual Expert's code browser, navigate in your code like you never have before: any reference found in the code comes with a hyperlink to jump to the referenced item; tool tips appear with more information on the selected item.

Easily explore the code structure and components.

  • Display the calls between DB items, see a cascade of successive calls.
  • Check out the dependencies between packages, and see which objects inside a package are calling objects from other packages.
  • See the references between components, and see the specific line in the code where the item is referenced.

Advanced String Search

With large volumes of code, string searches often return too many results, making such searches tedious and non-productive. Visual Expert addresses this issue as follows:

  • Use multiple search criteria to reduce the result
    • Restrict search to comments only
    • Restrict search to one or several object types
    • Search for exact words, or words starting/ending with…
    • Search with regular expressions
    • Match case
  • Search into several databases at the same time
  • Include any text files in the search (SQL, java source, shell scripts, ascii..)
  • Analyze the result with advanced exploration features
  • Share results between team members

Try Visual Expert

Why Use Visual Expert?

Knowledge Management

You save the knowledge of an application in a tool.
The knowledge remains available at all times, to every developer and project leader.

Change Management

Visual Expert automates Impact Analysis to avoid unexpected side effects that may possibly be generated by a modification.

Cost Saving

Up to 30 % of your development efforts are reduced thanks to Visual Expert

Immediate Benefits

A tool may be efficient; but it still has to be used! It will take you less than an hour to install Visual Expert and to have a good grip on it.

Detailed Features

Impact Analysis


  • Tables and Columns
    First, you can select a table or column.
    Then, Visual Expert will list the procedures, functions, block, triggers, cursors... referencing this table or column.
    If you also develop with PowerBuilder, all PB references are included in the result (read more about Visual Expert for PowerBuilder)
  • PL/SQL Procedures and Functions
    Visual Expert can also list all PL/SQL components calling a procedure or a function.
    See an example
    If you also develop with PowerBuilder, all PB references are included in the result
    (read more about Visual Expert for PowerBuilder))
  • PL/SQL parameters
    Same concept: Visual Expert can find any reference to PL/SQL variables and parameters. and variables
  • Oracle Datatypes
    Visual Expert can list all variables or parameters declared with a given datatype.
    For instance which variables and parameters are created with the VARCHAR2 datatype.
  • Oracle Functions
    You may need to know where a given Oracle function is used (such as Count, decode, to_char...).
    Visual Expert will list every call to such a function.

Code Exploration

  • Stored Procedures
    After analysing your project, Visual expert may display several lists of Procedure:
    * List of the procedures defined in your project
    * List of the procedure referenced by your project (no matter if the code is included in the project)
    * Procedure by Access type (Procedure including Delete, Update, Insert or Select Statements)
    * Procedures which name and/or source code contain a given string
    * Procedure called by PowerBuilder Components(1)

    (1) This requires Visual Expert for PowerBuilder
  • SQL Queries
    After analysing your project, Visual expert may display several lists of Procedure:
    * SQL statements defined in the project.
    * SQL statements by access type (select, insert, update or delete Statements).
    * SQL statements by definition type = defined in PL/SQL code, PowerBuilder Script(1) or Datawindow (1).
    * SQL statements containing a given string (text search focused on the SQL statements of the project).

    (1) This requires Visual Expert for PowerBuilder

    You may also select packages, procedures, functions, block, triggers or cursors and list all SQL defined in the selected items.
  • Code Architecture
    First, you may select one or several packages, procedures, functions, block, triggers or cursors.
    Then Visual Expert will open a treeview with the architecture of the code of the selected items.
  • Hyperlink Exploration
    When displaying your code, Visual Expert adds a hyperlink for each reference found.
    Clicking on this hyperlink will open the source code of the referenced item.
  • PL/SQL Components
    Lists of the Packages, Procedures, Functions, Blocks, Triggers, Cursors and Aliases defined in the application.
    Each list opens in Visual Expert treeview.
  • String Search
    You may search for a string in your project. Several options are available:
    * Global Search in the whole project (including PL/SQL code, PowerBuilder Code, SQL files, ...).
    * Search restricted to a given type of component (For instance, you may search for triggers only).
    * You may search in the name and/or the source code of components.
    * You use regular expressions in a search (click here to read about regular expressions).
    * You may search into a selection of components (for instance after selecting some procedures in the treeview).

PL/SQL References

  • Procedures and Functions referenced
    First, you may select one or several packages, procedures, functions, block, triggers or cursors.
    Then Visual Expert will list all Procedures and functions, cursors and variables referenced by the selected items.
  • PL/SQL Cursors
    Visual Expert can also list the PL/SQL cursors referenced by packages, procedures, functions, block, triggers or cursors.
  • PL/SQL parameters and variables
    You may list all variables and parameters referenced in packages, procedures, functions, block, triggers or cursors.
  • Calls from PowerBuilder Objects to PL/SQL Procedures
    If you also develop with PowerBuilder, you may list all references from PowerBuilder objects to PL/SQL:
    * per PBL (list of the Stored procedures called by each PBL)
    * per Object (list of the Stored procedures called by each PowerBuilder Object) (read more about Visual Expert for PowerBuilder)

Database References

  • Table and Columns referenced
    While reading your code, Visual Expert will extract and analyse the SQL queries in your code. As a result, you can list all table and columns referenced by your PL/SQL code.
  • Aliases
    Visual Expert can also list the aliases used in your SQL queries.
  • Oracle Functions
    You can list all Oracle system function (such as Count, Decode, To_char...) used in your PL/SQL code.