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I cannot seem to find a bug or forum reference for this issue at the moment, but I recall there was some problem on 10g connections where SQL Developer thinks you have DBA view privileges even when you don't. So, on 11g, a user with very basic privileges can do a Find DB Object without seeing the error you got on 10.2.0.4. On 10.2.0.x you should be able to workaround the problem if you can arrange to get grant select_catalog_role for that userid.