7 Applications to Make Working with MySQL Databases Easier

MySQL is the most popular open-source database. Whether you’re an aspiring web application developer or a person working on an existing database-driven web application like a content management system, ecommerce platform, or blogging platform — there are a variety of handy applications that you can use to make MySQL database design and administration (relatively) a breeze. So if you find yourself in a position where you have to work with MySQL, you don’t have to use a command-line interface, check out these 7 outstanding applications to help you create, write, manage, and visualize your database.

1. TurboDbAdmin

TurboDBAdmin - Screenshot

TurboDBAdmin is a free web-based AJAX application that helps you manage, explore, and edit MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. It gives you the ability to export your database into a downloadable file which you can keep as a back up in case you need to restore your database. Installation is very simple, just upload the application to your web server, edit the config.php file to reflect your database information, and it’s ready to go — just navigate to your installation directory in your web browser to access the application. It works in Apache and IIS HTTP servers, and requires PHP installed and enabled on the web server.

TurboDBAdmin demo page

2. EMS SQL Manager for MySQL

EMS SQL Manager for MySQL

EMS SQL Manager for MySQL is a first-rate graphical interface tool for MySQL database administration and development. It comes in two versions: the Full version (which isn’t free) and Lite version which is still feature-packed. The Lite version of the EMS SQL Manager for MySQL allows you to effortlessly create and manage users and permissions without having to use a command-line interface. It also has several SQL editors that you can use that have syntax highlighting/coloring to make queries easier to read.

View the Feature List of EMS SQL Manager

3. MySQL GUI Tools

TurboDBAdmin - Screenshot

MySQL GUI Tools is a bundle of graphical user interface tools that includes MySQL Administrator 1.2, MySQL Query Browser 1.2, and MySQL Migration Toolkit 1.1. MySQL Administrator is a GUI for managing databases and has database optimization features, rapid back up and restoration of databases, access to log and error files, and more. The MySQL Query Browser gives you a script editor that can help easily edit and debug troublesome queries, among other things. MySQL Migration Tool Kit allows you to simplify the process of transferring MySQL databases into other server environments, providing features such as remote server-to-server migration and optimization of migration processes by creating scripts you can run again if you move or copy databases frequently.

4. phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin - Screenshot

phpMyAdmin is a browser-based MySQL database administration tool written in PHP. It’s my personal graphical interface administration tool of choice because it’s simple to use and has a big list of features and options. You can easily export a database for back up or migration into another server environment. You can also import a database effortlessly. Optimizing a database is a one-click affair, and is useful to try if your web applications seem sluggish (be sure to back up your database first though).

phpMyAdmin demos page

5. Instant SQL Formatter

Instant SQL Formatter

Instant SQL Formatter is a web-based application that “beautifies” your SQL code. It’s not strictly a MySQL database tool as it supports other databases such as MS SQL and Oracle. It can output scripts for many popular languages such as PHP, VB.NET, Java, and C#. There’s also a desktop version that has added functionalities such as additional formatting options, batch conversion of files, and highlighting/colorizing SQL statements.

6. DB Designer 4

DB Designer 4 - Screenshot

DB Designer 4 is another excellent visual database editor for MySQL. DB Designer 4 is an open source project released under the GNU GPL license and is available for Linux and Windows OS. It allows developers to create and share plug-ins to extend the existing features of DB Designer 4. It has two modes: Design mode – which is a visualization tool for creating and maintaining databases, and Query Mode – which lets the developer build complex SQL queries for use with PHP or another scripting language. DB Designer 4 also has a full set of documentation options to help you manage and record information about your database.

View DB Designer 4 screenshots

7. WWW SQL Designer

WWW SQL Designer - Screenshot

WWW SQL Designer allows you to model databases via your web browser. It’s a great way to document your database design, just use the print screen function key on your keyboard (or your preferred screen-capturing application), paste it into an image editor or word processing software, and you’ll have a document of your database model. Once you’re satisfied with the model, you can auto-generate the MySQL code. WWW SQL Designer is a simpler alternative to more complicated desktop applications, and if you just want to quickly create a database schema example, you can just use the live demo without installing anything.

WWW SQL Designer live example

Have you got a favorite MySQL application or tool? Share it with us on the comment sections.

This was published on May 12, 2008


Amit Singh May 13 2008

why didn’t it came to my mind first to publish this list… :D

I think of the list i use phpMyAdmin and DBDesigner most, as WWW Sql designer it is really good and used it, before i came to know about DBDesginer.

Ol.keene May 13 2008

i use SQLyog.. cool GUI, full funtional, remote access, ssh etc

Neil Smith May 13 2008

I usually use HeidiSQL

Pretty useful standalone client – multi windows, syntax highlighting, export, BLOB editor, DB/table name completion etc.

Ran Baron May 13 2008

I second Ol.keene, SqlYog from is by far the most advanced and user friendly mySql Gui out there today, with http tunneling and a free community version you can’t go wrong. for web access I would recommend phpMyAdmin long time favorite.

Amit Singh May 13 2008

you have missed one one type of application, for creating diff between two databases layout.

check out 8th MySQL tool missed by Six Revision List

Matthew Weber May 14 2008

I would love to see a list of MySQL fronts ends for Mac OS X. I’m still using a very very old application called Cocoa MySql. It hasn’t seen any serious updates to for years, but its efficient and well thought out UI keeps me coming back. You’ll have to use a hack version of it to get it to work with MySQL 5, however.

Matt Walsh May 15 2008

The Mysql GUI tools are decent but the Query Browser crashes constantly – at least on a Mac.

Rob Merrell May 17 2008

@Mathew Webber:

I’ve found that SQLyog works fantastically with wine under Linux. You might get the same results on OS X.

Dan Previte May 17 2008

DB Designer is now MySQL Workbench. You can find it at

Casey May 18 2008

Here’s a couple other tools worth considering, especially if you need to work with multiple RDBMSs

I find Navicat the best one out there, reliable and good at transferring data from one format to another..

Roshan Shrestha May 22 2008

I use and like as it lets me work with any database.

And lets not forget Microsoft Access (On Windows)! AS long as you install the right ODBC driver, you can use it as a client for any database (by “linking” to the tables).

James Coletti May 22 2008

You forgot SQL Maestro for MySQL. It’s great software, unfortunately Windows only.

John Bäckstrand May 22 2008

When working with MS SQL I tend to miss Navicat. It just rocks.

Ovidiu May 22 2008

SQLYog and MySQL Workbench are two apps that I use daily

dabar May 22 2008

Navicat ? Netbeans 6.1?

mark.t May 22 2008

Mate, you forgot the most important open-source MySQL manager of all times, SQLYog.

If you’ve never used SQLYog before, then you have no idea what MySQL is capable of.

I couldn’t live without Navicat. This app rocks for managing DB’s. I love the transfer data between DB’s feature. Very easy to provision a templated DB and have it ready to transfer certain tables over to a new install. Nice.

kevin cheung May 22 2008

i voted Navicat. It has a Access-Like interface, easy to use and work fast in querying the DB.

It supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. And, it has a free version and can be downloaded at:

Kenneth May 22 2008

Also found Navicat great, fast and easy to use.

Tried EMS but it looks like can’t handle Unicode peacefully.

Calvin Lough May 23 2008

I just made this one:

Roy Lane May 23 2008

SQLyog Community Edition is enough for most of my needs.

Why should I buy Navicat? They have a funny versioning system. The versions for various platforms are out of sync!

royal Jul 29 2008

i choose Navicat Lite. It’s free of charge and the import and export features is powerful! I personal use Navicat Standard version. It worths every penny!

Steven Oct 09 2008

Too bad there are no mac applications mentioned. I use mysql query browser but this program crashes all of time.

Bojan Nov 05 2009

I use MySQL Front (

Memoryweaver Nov 05 2009

I too do all my SQL development in SQLyog Community Edition. The nag screens are a bit annoying, but it has good, robust core functionality.

naresh Nov 26 2009

I work with heavy database in mysql like for at a time I need to perform a query on let say 1 crore records on a single table so the process of retrival gets longer as its expected to work faster, for e.g, I want a count of particular column on single table, in my query i have just select count(coulm name) from table, it is getting value but its taking long long time to count and display it on my views, so my question is, Is there any kind of tool or method available from which I can retrive my data from server ?? (note: data are on server its not on local)

Awaiting for Reply


SQL Maestro! I use it about 5 years and have never regretted. The guys offer the same GUI tools for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SQLite, and others.

parameswar Nov 08 2010

very very good articles , he is working hard , gave good information for us,thanks


Ondřej Brejla Jan 24 2011

I think that Adminer – is missing in the list. And that’s a pity.

Ritwik Feb 11 2011

PHPMyAdmin and MySQL Workbench are my bet.

Dhavall Jul 05 2011

I want to develop my own application.So any one have any idea about that then mail me.That is project in final year.Thanks….

Rangga Saputra Oct 28 2011

Thank’s alot for information …!

Albertine Nov 14 2011

HI ,

I’m starting to work on an idea to create my personal DB where I will store personal info like for all my 1000 friends,with their birthday date, cell #, email addresses as well as all other info… I would love to have this automazed that I can send emails to all my contact in my DB… which is the best DB to use and client…!

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