MySQL Design and Administration Tools – Q1 2011

MySQL (http:/, the web database formely fully open source, then bought by Sun for $1bn, which was then swallowed by the all mighty database giant Oracle ( is finally growing up.

From MySQL 5.0 with the introduction of views and stored procedures (terrible performance) to 5.1 which stabilized the features to 5.5 (the latest GA) version which provides a true relational database experience. Oracle is positioning MySQL as the low-end database to compete against Microsoft SQL Server (, Postgre (, Firebird, Interbase etc, with an eventual upgrade to Oracle at the high end

As a database the tools for managing MySQL database have been “inferior” at best, or needing a commercial license of over $100. The most common tools are:

a) PhpMyAdmin ( – web based, opensource and free and one of the best available at the time

b) Adminer ( formerly PhpMinAdmin -web based, opensource and free -single file database management tool simpler and with less features than PhpMyAdmin

c) Navicat SQL ( – commercial GUI – probably the best MySQL GUI available

d) Webyog SQLyog ( commercial GUI – a similar feature set to Navicat, more powerful but not as userfriendly

e) MySQL Gui Tools ( – opensource GUI – administrator, Query Browser and workbench – free tools which were merged into MySQL Workbench 5.2 as a single tool

The latest MySQL workbench is making inroads into the territory for commercial tools, as it improves the quality of its adminstration, modelling and query tools.


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