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MySQL Admin and Development Tools Round-Up


The most popular and best open source database is MySQL. Simple as that. It is consistently fast , reliabile and very, very easy to use. One of MySQLs main features is its cross-platform support, it will run on almost all operating systems, including Windows, OSX, Linux and many more. So, MySQL is the best database, and we all use it. The question now is which is the best MySQL Admin and Development Tool?

In the overview below we present some of the most useful and most popular MySQL Admin and Development Tools for Mac, Windows and Linux, for beginners and for professionals. Among other tools we feature phpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench, HeidiSQL and SequelPro. Please let us know if some useful MySQL-tool is missing in the list by commenting upon this article.

You may be interested in the following related posts:

MySQL Workbench (Win, Linux, Mac) Link

MySQL Workbench
This application is a fully featured visual database design package that includes database design, modeling, creation and maintenance bundled into a single environment for the MySQL database system. The free version is the Community Edition, which is loaded with features that will meet almost all your requirements. If you feel adventurous you could always go for the commercial version (Standard Edition).

MySql Tools Screenshot

HeidiSQL – MySQL made easy (Win, Linux) Link

Heidi SQL
Heidi SQL is lightweight and fast with a flexible interface, it allows you to browse and edit your databases databases, manage tables, view and edit records, manage user-privileges, import data from text files, run SQL queries, synchronize tables between two databases and export selected tables to other databases or SQL scripts, and all this from an intuitive Windows interface.

MySql Tools Screenshot

You can also download a small app for the iPhone called jHeidi Mobi, whicht is the only application to offer Oracle and MySQL access in a mobile application. jHeidi Mobi Download Page

Aqua Data Studio (Win, Linux, OS X, Solaris) Link

Aqua Data Studio
This complete IDE, has four major areas of functionality: Database query and administration tools; a suite of compare tools for databases, source control and file systems; integrated source control client for Subversion (SVN) and CVS; and a powerful database modeler. The Studio has a single consistent interface to all major relational databases, this allows the developer to simultaneously tackle several tasks from within a single application.

MySql Tools Screenshot

phpMyAdmin Link

This very popular, feature rich and easy to use free tool, written in PHP (obviusly), has been built to handle the full administration of MySQL. It can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, manage users and permissions, and manage keys on fields. A nice feature from this legendary tool is that you can download and change the theme (not exactly a monumental feature, but a unique feature), download themes here: phpMyAdmin Themes (remember themes are version specific).

MySql Tools Screenshot

SQLyog MySQL GUI (Win) Link

SQLyog is another popular SQL management tool that has a couple of useful features such as visual schema designer, visual query builder, intelligent code completion and a data / structure synchronization. It support HTTP / HTTPs / SSH tunneling and SSL connections. You can also specify a job manager, define a scheduled database backup and use a notification service to be reminded when some jobs are finished. There is a free Community version and a commercial Enterprise edition. You may also use MONyog, a MySQL Monitor and Advisor.

SQLyog MySQL GUI Screenshot

MySQL-Front (Win) Link

This graphical GUI for the MySQL database, is a “real” application, it can offer a more refined user-interface than is possible with systems built on PHP and HTML. Response is immediate, as there is no delay of reloading HTML-pages. If your provider allows it, MySQL-Front can make direct contact with the database. Otherwise, only one small script needs to be installed on the publishing website. Login information are stored on your hard disk, so you no longer have to log on to different web interfaces.

MySql Tools Screenshot

Sequel Pro (Mac OS X) Link

Sequel Pro
This MAC OSX database management app gives you direct access to your MySQL databases on local and remote servers with support for importing and exporting data from popular files including SQL, CSV and XML. Sequel Pro started as a fork of the open source CocoaMySQL project. It is the self proclaimed “Best Looking MySQL Database Management App for the Mac OS X“, going by the screenshot below they wouldn’t be wrong, it is sleek and cool.

MySql Tools Screenshot

SQL Buddy (Web-App) Link

SQL Buddy
This cool lightweight ajax powered database management tool is amazing. It is very, very easy to install, unzip the folder to your server and thats it. As for upgrading, delete the older version and replace with the new version, simple. Being powered by Ajax, it is browser friendly so you can use normal browsing actions like “bookmark”, “back” and “refresh”. There is also a useful range of keyboard shortcuts, which you can view here: SQL Buddy Keyboard Shortcuts.

MySql Tools Screenshot

EMS SQL Manager (Win) Link

EMS SQL Manager
EMS SQL Manager is a fairly high performance tool for database administration and development. Features include MySQL triggers, views, stored procedures and functions, InnoDB foreign keys, it allows you to create/edit all MySQL database objects, design databases visually, run SQL scripts, import and export database data, manage users and their privileges and has many other useful features. There is a commercial version, but download the free version, its fairly powerful and offers plenty of features.

MySql Tools Screenshot

Navicat Lite MySQL Admin Tool
Navicat is a fast, reliable and popular (millions of downloads) Database Administration tool purpose-built for simplifying database management and reducing administrative costs. Designed to meet the needs of database administrators, developers, and small and medium businesses, Navicat is built with an intuitive GUI which lets you create, organize, access and share information in a secure and easy way. Navicat Lite is available as a free download only for non-commercial customers.

MySql Tools Screenshot

DreamCoder for MySQL (Win) Link

DreamCoder for MySQL
DreamCoder works with all MySQL versions from 3.23 to 6.0 and it supports all MySQL features including tables, views, procedures, functions, triggers, InnoDB Tables, foreign keys , UDFS, BLOB Types, etc. It also includes the most advanced options for data manipulation, build queries visually, execute queries, script execution, reports generation, database monitoring and export and import data to/from most popular file formats. DreamCoder for MySQL is easy to use for the novice MySQL user and is powerful enough for any expert user.

MySql Tools Screenshot

Toad MySQL (Win) Link

Toad MySQL
Toad for MySQL is a database development and administration tool that provides productivity features for rapidly creating and executing queries and managing complex database systems. It provides utilities to compare, extract and search for objects, manage projects, import/export data and administer the database. Changes to the interface recently has been the the introduction of the “Tabbed Document Interface”, this means you can view a fully maximized window without the need for you to constantly resize, arrange, or tile the windows.

MySql Tools Screenshot

DB Tools Manager Professional (Win) Link

DB Tools Manager Professional
DBManager is a fairly powerful application data management data management. With builtin support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, Interbase/Firebird, SQLite, DBF tables, MSAccess, MSSQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and ODBC database engines, making it one of the most advanced database application. The free edition (Standard Edition) has a minimun set of features that makes it ideal for new database users to perform basic database management, you can use this for non commercial use.

MySql Tools Screenshot

MyCon – MySQL GUI (Win) Link

MyCon is an extremely powerful windows based graphical user interface, MySQL GUI, for administering and working with MySQL server databases. This easy to use MySQL GUI front-end client includes all the functionality and tools you will need to be productive in MySQL as a DBA, developer, manager, report writer or a general end-user.

MyDB Studio (Win) Link

MyDB Studio
MyDB Studio is a complete collection of powerful tools for MySQL Server administration. MyDB Studio (freeware) is designed for MySQL developers and administrators to rapidly manage, create and execute queries and develop SQL and Php code more efficiently. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Adobe Air version of MyDB Studio, that will be cool.

MySql Tools Screenshot

MySQL Sidu (Win) Link

MySQL Sidu
MySQL Sidu is a FREE MySQL client that works via your web browser, it is simple, intuitive and an easy database tool to use. Sidu is not as powerful as other similiar tools but packs enough punch to merit its place in this list, its features may be limited but it does do exactly what the name says (Sidu stands for Select Insert Delete Update).
You can also use a Firefox Extension in conjunction with Sidu that enables you to insert data from text fields & textareas in a webpage. View the details here: Firefox addon for MySQL Sidu.

MySql Tools Screenshot

apache friends – xampp (Win, Mac, Linux, Solaris) Link

apache friends – xampp
It’s not easy to install an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. It is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract and start.

MySql Tools Screenshot

Finally, here are some further general references to MySQL and MySQL-related resources.

What MySQL Admin and Development Tool Do You Use? Link

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Paul Andrew is a freelance Web designer. He is chief admin for Speckyboy - Design Magazine, a Web design, Web development and graphic design resource blog.

  1. 1

    Another great article by SM. Good round up. I would love to know what other people use for MySQL tool. A poll for this would have been nice :-)

  2. 2

    YourSQL (Mac) is a handy little freeware program that does some nice things. Easy to use, Mac-oriented interface.

  3. 3

    Mysql Workbench is worthless unless you buy it. Can’t even create a database schema to export.

  4. 4

    You’ve got SQL Buddy listed as (WIN) … its a web app…

  5. 5

    Awesome. I use phpMyAdmin, which is good and all, but wanted a standalone app. Something similar to MS-SQL Server 2005 Management Studio. And this was just it.

  6. 6

    Smashing Editorial

    March 25, 2009 4:46 am

    @Priyank Vira (#1): the poll was added, thank you!

  7. 7

    Jonathan Hedrén

    March 25, 2009 4:51 am

    The DB plugin in Aptana Studio is also working surprisingly well for existing DBs/tables.

  8. 8

    When MySQL-Front went silent a couple of years ago, the developer pulled it for personal reasons, I came across a MySQL GUI client tool called SQLyog:

    “SQLyog MySQL GUI is the most powerful MySQL manager and admin tool, combining the features of MySQL Query Browser, Administrator, phpMyAdmin and various other MySQL Front Ends and MySQL clients in a single intuitive interface. “

    A strange name, still don’t know what it means, but the tool has been great for the past 4 years. They also have a MySQL Monitor and Advisor tool called MONyog:

    “MONyog MySQL Monitor and Advisor is a “MySQL DBA in a box” that helps MySQL DBAs manage more MySQL servers, tune their current MySQL servers and fix problems with their MySQL database applications before they can become serious problems.”

  9. 9

    Some very good resources, thanks for the article.

    Another good one for Mac OSX users is MAMP for setting up a local server environment for testing MySQL and PHP apps.

  10. 10

    Mysql Query Browser? Kit download with MySQL Tools

  11. 11

    Great help. Thanks. I’m looking for some good mysql client and this is such a good article for that.

  12. 12

    The MySQL Administration Tool kit from Mysql works great.

  13. 13

    Mysql sidu works on any apache + php + mysql
    Then works on linux, mac, freebsd, win.

  14. 14

    Yes, definitely a killer article ! Quite a few apps I didn’t know !

    One rather unpleasant detail is that MySQL Workbench is available only for Mac OSX Leopard, while I have Tiger and I am stuck with MySQL Query Browser which is not really polished and not to mention crashes rather often …

  15. 15

    Two things.

    You left off the default tools found on the MySQL website (which is probably for the best because they’re worthless).

    I greatly appreciate articles like this, but if you’re just telling us about them it doesn’t help a ton. How about some sort of rating system? At least a thumbs up thumbs down sort of thing? Also, some sort of indicator that an app is free, shareware, paid in full would be helpful. You did indicate that some of the apps are free. Can I assume that by your omission, the others are paid?

    Thanks again.

  16. 16

    I am surprised that MySQL Control Center was not discussed. For whatever reason, I can’t get phpMyAdmin up and configured on my system, and when someone suggested MySQLCC, I was able to get it up and running in no time.

    It’s really worth a look.

  17. 17

    I’m using Navicat Mysql. Not lite.

  18. 18

    Good article SM people!

    I think SQLyog (free & commercial versions) are excellent alternatives not mentioned in this article.
    You can get it here: .

  19. 19

    MySQL Workbench seems great so far but haven’t had time to play with it much to have a worthwhile opinion on it. Part of the reason is that it did not want to install on 64bit Ubuntu so I had to install it onto the windows VM. Also, my db-fu isn’t great so not sure how valuable my input would be. I didn’t know Xampp has a tool, going to have to check that out. Thanks for a list of alternatives.

  20. 20

    Smashing Editorial

    March 25, 2009 5:39 am

    @Sebastian (#16): thank you, SQLyog was added to the overview.

  21. 21

    HeidiSQL has a wrong download link, it points to the jHeidi (Java) version. Correct link would be: . Thanks for fixing that.

  22. 22

    Good list, but I think maybe you’ve got too many things on it. Why not try out all the tools and pick and handful of your favourite and explain why they’re good, it would be a lot more informative.

    For example, MySQL Query Browser is available on Win/Mac/Linux but has different bugs in each version. The windows version has issues showing the table info for tables with title-case names, the linux version doesn’t let you delete multiple rows through the UI and the mac version is just unpolished and fiddly to use.

  23. 23

    I’ve been using an older version of dbForge Studio for MySQL by Devart (was Corelabs). It’s very good indeed. I prefered it over some of the products mentioned above.

    I also use Mysql Workbench to generate my schema via the export function.

  24. 24

    Richard Spencer Davies

    March 25, 2009 6:01 am

    I find Querious ( for the Mac pretty good, don’t know if its that much betetr than Sequel Pro though, and its $25.

  25. 25

    Clifford Helsel

    March 25, 2009 6:23 am

    If you develop on OS X then this is the best tool I’ve found SQLEditor Database Design for Mac OS X. It’s a nice OS X Cocoa interface if you’re tired of the page refresh madness that is phpMyAdmin and other web based tools.

  26. 26

    The stock applications are nice but are very limited in functionality.
    I have since purchased Navicat Standard and have not looked back. Primary reason for this move is dealing with legacy databases and migration/enhancements.

  27. 27

    great article thanks :) just installed HeidiSQL and *loving* it. Have used phpmyadmin for years but I just may switch to a thicker, faster client that is HeidiSQL :)

  28. 28

    Great article!

  29. 29

    Is phpMyAdmin the most installed MySQL Admin Tool? I guess it is. Most of the hosts I know have phpMyAdmin installed on their servers.

  30. 30

    Hi, nice article.

    I would like to know what is the best (and simplest if possible) tool to [[ graphically ]] show database schemas in an existing mysql database, links and cardinalities between tables, primary keys, etc…
    Any idea in the above list or another tools?


    | Table 1 | 0,1 ————> 1,n | Table 2 |


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