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The Scratchpad/File Interface

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The left side of the page organizes your SQL code in one of two hierarchies, selectable by a tab: either the Scratchpad or the file system.

The Scratchpad

When you first install Hora, the folders Personal SQL and Team SQL appear under the Scratchpad tab. By default, both of these represent real folders and files within your My Documents folder, but they can, if desired, be equated to other locations in the file system. You can keep these predefined root nodes, delete them, or add others to organize your personal SQL queries. If you are sharing a node on a network drive with other team members, you may use the Refresh subtree context menu item to obtain a current view.

It is important to note that for each entry in the tree structure, both a file and a folder are created in the Windows file system. However, you should not use Windows Explorer to add or delete nodes in the Scratchpad structure. Instead, just right-click on a folder to add a new subsidiary item or to remove the selected item.

To change the physical location of a root node in the Scratchpad, as you might want to do in order to move a node from a local drive to a network drive, just do the following:


Create a file folder for the new location, if one does not already exist.


Use the Configure context-menu item to create a new root-level node. Use the same Logical Root Item Name as before. The dialog asks you to choose a new physical location for the node.


In File Explorer, use the Explorer context-menu item to copy the corresponding physical file structure to the new location. You can also invoke Windows Explorer or My Computer directly, if you prefer.


Highlighting the new node, select Refresh Subtree from the Scratchpad context menu to verify that the items may now be accessed in their new location.


Use the Explorer context-menu item to delete the physical files at the old location.


Use the Remove context-menu item to delete the old node from the logical view. Note: this will also remove the physical folders and files.

When you work with the Scratchpad, your code is automatically saved if you navigate out of the node. Anything that you type in the code window will replace the previous contents of the current Scratchpad node.

Each node of the tree can contain one or more SQL statements or anonymous PL/SQL blocks. The following features are available when right-clicking under the SQL Scratchpad tab:


Add item

Creates a new, empty, item under the current location.


Remove item

Removes the current item and any subitems that it might have from the logical structure of the Scratchpad. It does not remove any Windows folders or  physical files.


Refresh subtree

Refreshes the portion of the tree that is dependent on the current node.


Run Windows Explorer

Opens a Windows Explorer window with the current location as the top level.



Removes the current item from its location and copies it to the clipboard.



Copies the current item to the clipboard.



Places the item on the clipboard underneath the current location.


Copy file name

Copies the name of the selected file, including the full path, to the clipboard


Add new root

Selects a new root directory for the current tree

The File Explorer

Clicking on the File Explorer creates a classic Windows Explorer-like view of the folders (at the top left) and files (at the bottom left).

A binary file, such as a Word document, can be opened directly from the File Explorer by clicking on it. Not only SQL and PL/SQL, but all ASCII files can be displayed in the integrated editor. The most common languages can be displayed with syntax highlighting and code folding  (for more information, see code window)

When you open Windows Explorer, you can drag and drop folders or files from Windows Explorer to the File Explorer.

When you close Hora, the File Explorer notes the last directory that it displayed. If you log in to the database again with Hora, it will automatically display that directory again.

It is also possible to manipulate source code that is stored in version control systems that conform to the Microsoft Source Code Control (SCC) interface. Currently, Hora has been tested with both Microsoft Visual SourceSafe or Serena® Version Manager™(formerly PVCS). We will incorporate support for other SCC products in the near future.

Note that the view displayed in the File Explorer includes your entire computer (including accessible network locations), and will not necessarily show the folders matching the Scratchpad nodes when you first open the File Explorer. This allows you to select folders within the file system that contain SQL and PL/SQL code, other than those represented in the Scratchpad.


The File Explorer's (upper) Folder Window has its own context menu, with the following features:


New Folder

Creates a new folder under the current location.


Delete Folder

Physically deletes the highlighted item.


Go Up

Shows the next higher level of the hierarchy.



Opens a search dialog.


Run Windows Explorer

Opens a Windows Explorer window with the current location as the top level.


Copy Directory Name

Copies the path to the directory to the clipboard


The File Explorer's (lower) File Window has the following context menu:


New Folder


Creates a new folder.


New SQL File


Creates a new file at the current level.




Deletes the highlighted file.


Shell open


Opens the file in the standalone SQL Editor


Version Control >


Enables access to a project within the source code control (SCC) system. Details are dependent on the particular system.




Creates a local copy of a file from the SCC database, which remains unchanged.




Creates a local copy of a file from the SCC database, and prevents others from checking out the same file until it is checked in.




Updates the SCC system with a new version of a file that had been previously checked out.



Undo Checkout

Reverses the effect of a previous checkout. The file that had been checked out is again made available, in its previous state.




Allows the addition of a new file to the SCC database from a local file.




Removes a file from the SCC database.


Compare File with


Opens the File Comparison Tool




Removes the file from the current location and places it on the clipboard.




Places the file on the clipboard.




Inserts the file on the clipboard at the current location.




Shows file properties


SQL Recording


You can designate any of the .sql files that appear in the file window of the File Explorer as the log file for the current session. This allows you to copy the results of a query to this file, as well as any DML statements executed from the Execute Query command and DDL statements executed from context menus.


Include Windows context menu item


Opens the Windows Explorer context menu


Note that SQL Recording may also be set on or off from the Extras menu, as well as by clicking on the pencil icon on the status bar.