mySQL Tools

Coming from a cocooned world of Microsoft development where the SQL Server Management Studio pretty much handled the spectrum of database administration and management – my immediate focus was to find similar tools for my SQL.
The surprising thing I found was that while GUI tools on Windows for mySQL were plentiful – GUI tools for mySQL on the Linux environment were scarce. On further reflection the assumption that there would be GUI tools on Linux shows considerable naiveté’ on my part. After all, if you are using the Linux environment on a day to day basis you would probably be looking for command line and shell scripting tools rather than GUI tools.
mySQL has adopted the approach of exposing an api for 3rd party tool builders. They have built a set of pretty basic tools that I talked about earlier but nothing that performed from end to end.
Once I let go of the approach of looking for 1 tool that did everything, however, I found better success. While still meager on the Linux side – there are some pretty useful tools for mySQL in the windows world .
My picks for desktop based tools are :

  1. SQLYOG :- This tool is the product of a small Indian software company. However it has a decent Query interface, data migration tools as well as good schema management tools. The price is a perfectly affordable $70 for the enterprise version. The only quibble I have with this tool is that it seems to use up a lot of CPU and memory.
  2. Toad for mySQL :- TOAD doesn’t need much introduction to database administrators. It is pretty much the de-facto tool that is used for Oracle. They have built a free-ware version of their tool which is pretty compelling. Admittedly it is lighter on features and does not seem to be able to browse data without throwing up errors but this would be a good solution to those that are used to TOAD and thus can avoid too large a learning curve. And last but not the least – its freeware.
  3. DeZign for Databases :- This tool was recommended by a colleague (thanks Scott) as great database modeling tool. The trial version is hobbled in that all table are limited to a maximum of 8 columns but the tool IMO is well worth the investment. This is especially true if you need to keep updated ER Diagrams of all your databases and synchronize both from and to the database is needed.

There are a few web-based tools worth looking into also :

  1. PHP MyAdmin :- This is the one that is touted by most everyone who has worked with mySQL. It is cross-platform, easy to set up on central location, easily accessed by anyone with an internet connection and is open source. The main complaint I have with this tool is that it is web based and therefore cannot handle tasks that require significant amounts of time. This effectively eliminates it IMO as a tool that can be used for an enterprise level database with significantly large amounts of data. It is a great tool, however, for small databases that require a limited amount of tuning. I also find the interface a bit confusing and a little dated – but thats mostly the web developer in me talking :-)
  2. MonYog :- To be honest I haven’t really used this this tool very much. It is a beta product distributed freely by the makers of SQLYOG. It is an AJAX enabled tool used for monitoring the mySQL database.

4 comments on “mySQL Tools

  1. And one more thing – TOAD for mySQL has a Knowledge Xpert feature that is a godsend for mySQL DBA type folks. It details a lot of the mySQL architecture and more importantly the mySQL specific nuances when it come to the startup sequence and the index types, etc.

  2. Update: DeZine for Databases should actually be DeZign for databases as pointed out by Hunter.

  3. One other thing about PHPmyAdmin that you should mention is that it fails when uploading large files for import. This has to do with the file size limit placed on file uploads through HTML forms. I am a big fan of sqlYOG. Out of all the Windows GUI tools that I have used for mySQL I think it’s the most stable with the best set of features.

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