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There are two kinds of Java downloads: developer kit (jdk) and runtime environment (jre). SQL Developer requires a jdk. If you do not already have one installed, or did not download the SQL Developer zip that includes a jdk (the one without the no-jre in its name, only for Windows), then get the certified Java 6 version here for your OS matching the bit version of SQL Developer (32 or 64-bit):
Java 7 will be certified for a future SQL Developer release. It works fairly well with the current product release (3.2.20.09.87), but some issues have been found so Java 6 remains the recommended version for now.
SQL Developer Team
I have separately installed Java 6 and the error which Frank received is removed now. But, in spite of that, SQL Developer is not opening. I double-click on the program and then nothing happens - SQL Developer window doesn't open. I also downloaded a very old version - Oracle SQL Developer 1.5.4 (with included JDK kit) - but the same problem happens with this, nothing happens.
Edited by: 1008814 on May 30, 2013 1:47 AM
Try running <sqldev>\sqldeveloper\bin\sqldeveloper.exe. (I'm assuming you are on windows)
That should display a console window which may display some error messages. If that still won't start try opening a command window and running it from there.