Stack OverflowWhat is the best MySQL Client Application for Windows
[+226] [28] BlaM
[2008-08-12 19:46:43]
[ mysql windows gui client frontend ]

Are there any MySQL Client applications for Windows that get even close to what the Enterprise Manager / Server Management Studio is for Microsoft SQL?

I have two requirements and one "nice to have" feature:

  1. Editing table structure should not be a pain in the a** -> I don't want to click an "add another column" button, then edit the column's properties in a new window. What I want is adding a new row in a "column-list table" as it is done in the Management Studio.

  2. Same applies to adding new rows to the table. Should be as easy as editing an Excel sheet.

  3. Nice to have: I'd like to have a feature that's comparable to the database diagrams in the Management Studio, where I can visualize "foreign key relations" between tables. They don't actually need to become constraints [1] because I mainly use MyISAM (which doesn't support constraints). Just the diagrams are a lot of help.

Is there any application that you can recommend to me? Free would be a plus, but anything up to $100 would be okay, too.


I'm going to test the recommended applications and give you an answer when I'm done.

HeidiSQL [2]

I can give you an response to HeidiSQL at once, because that's one of the application's that I used before: Editing tables is a bit cumbersome, because most of the column's properties have to be edited in another window. Also it does not support character encoding, so I can't set my tables to "UTF-8". It does not have a diagram functionality. Editing data worked okay. So far HeidiSQL was one of the best application's I've tried... But there definitely is room for improval.

Toad for MySQL [3]

I just gave Toad for MySQL a quick glimpse:

Editing Tables is in the same way cumbersome as it is in HeidiSQL: When you try to add another column, a new window opens where you enter the columns properties. It does support character encodings (collations), though. While you are in "data" view and want to add a new row (data) to the table, you need to create that row by pressing a button first. Then you can enter data. That's not as "excel-like" as I'd like to see it. It should add a new row when I press "down" in the last row or click the mouse in the first blank row.

The diagram editor is not so user friendly either. When I pull in a new window and drop it in the editing area it is not put where I dropped it. Some auto-arranging goes on. Also the editor is real slow. With a 2.4 GHz dual core machine you shouldn't feel a latency while the flickering window border tries to follow your mouse.

Ergo: Also nice, but not even close to Microsoft.

MySQL Workbench [4]

As J Wynia mentioned in his post: MySQL Workbench is more about designing databases and exporting an "create" SQL script as it is about working with data. I haven't even found a function to connect to my database, so this is not what I'm looking for.

SQLyog [5]

After a few moments of testing: I like SQLyog. Even though it has colors that hurt my eyes :)

Editing table: works nicely. Working with data: everything as expected. Running queries: I fell in love when I found the option to "Switch F5 and F9 functionalities". Exactly as in good ol' Query Analyzer.

There is no DB diagram feature, but I can live with that if I have to... In the end there's still Visio.

I might even consider paying money for this after some working with it.

DbVisualizer [6]

Actually I don't think I really understand DbVisualizer. I get a window and when I open a database, it drops all tables in the drawing area. I can move them around, but I can't see an option to connect two tables, so I can't use it for real database diagrams. It displays the tables' contents nicely, but it seems to be read only. Best feature: There is a nice tab that tells me in big letters, that the table has XY rows. So very useless :)

Is there any editing functionality at all or is it just for browsing existing data?

Ah, I see. You have to pay $150 to get all editing functionality. Sorry, not with me.

(1) You can set collation in Heidi, at least in the latest versions. Thanks for the summary, btw:) - Tamás Pap
(2) This under-represents mysqlworkbench, as there is a definite option to connect to your database, either for administration tasks (load, queries, etc) or for sql-query's, editing tables, etc. - Nanne
Oracle's Toad has a free Eclipse extension so you can connect to the MySQL database from inside Eclipse IDE itself. Also need to install jdbc connector MySQL Connector J from MySQl site. Just need to register/login for downloads. - GuruM
Possible Duplicate:… - James Lawruk
"I haven't even found a function to connect to my database" if you can't find it, don't blame the app. - PachinSV
Meanwhile I found out that I actually DID find the function to connect, but it didn't work as expected (MySQL Workbench). I sometimes have to click it five times before the program decides to recognize my clicks. After that it kind of works - but in the end I went with SQLyog. - BlaM
[+84] [2008-08-12 20:06:18] onnodb [ACCEPTED]

I'd recommend you take a look at SQLYog [1]. The free version [2] is already rather good, but the paid version also has visual schema editing and comparison features. The UI has some tiny, but annoying shortcomings, but (the latest versions have solved those shortcomings completely -- Onno 20090331) overall I've been very pleased with it.


(2) It looks like the free version is now a trial. However, still a very good client as I recall. Maybe a bit pricy ($69 for professional edition). - Sune Rievers
(28) @Sune: there's definitely still a free "community edition"; see the community edition's homepage, - onnodb
Oh, great - thanks! :) - Sune Rievers
(2) +1 - In the last year or so, they've made the community (open source/free) edition hard to find without a lot of clicks, but I'm still a big fan of both versions. - TehShrike
(6) The last time I tried the community version there was some lame splash screen that pops up when you start AND close the app. It is basically an advertisement for the pro version. yikes. i understand the intention but seriously you have to remind me when I close the app? jeez. - shaune
(1) I was using it in early 2011, and found it to be slower and a bit clunky than hiedi - Midhat
Connecting via an SSH Tunnel is not part of the free version. - James Lawruk
[+80] [2008-08-12 21:39:55] Orion Edwards

I find HeidiSql [1] to be very good (and free).


Eschewed at first because I didn't see the magic "free" word - but turns out this is also freeware. On top of that, it's been excellent (so far). I'm quite excited about this new find. Thanks, Orion and Heidi (reviewer flashes big endorsement smile, gestures at product). - Steve
(1) @Steve: it is open source - Janus Troelsen
(1) This one is too good!!! - om39a
Yeps, too good to be true and free :)... Thanks Ansgar Becker so much for this valuable tool - Erdinç Çorbacı
Wow what a great one! I am using Navicat in my company, but it's quite expensive and I didn't want to pay that much for a personal small project at my home. This one seems to have almost all Navicat's tools. Will play with that, thank you very much. - Shadowbob
I've been using it for 7 years now. It's great. - simbabque
Heidi keeps crashing since version 8 got released, i think its unreliable more than anything. - Johan Pretorius
[+23] [2008-08-15 10:31:36] Polsonby

I can't live without Navicat [1]. An awesome GUI with native versions for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. They also do versions for PostGresSQL and Oracle. Mysql version is $129 but if you're an individual, educational or non-profit, you get it for $95.

Worth every penny.


(2) I use navicat and have to admit functionality is pretty good although there are 10s of bugs in the Linux version :( the reason being they distribute it with wine and simply run the exe = disgusting! After buying the windows version then 'upgrading' to the linux version because I was tired of using it with wine, only to find out the $100 linux version used wine too, argh, sorry but I have to hate them. Rant over. - James
(1) I find the windows version is buggy enough on windows, let alone on wine. Bad font rendering means that certain crucial characters are often missed out of queries. Characters like '. - rjmunro
[+19] [2008-08-12 20:45:19] brendan

I like to use Toad for MySQL [1] - freeware!


(2) I find it practically impossible to get the various panes organised into some kind of usable arrangement. The fact that I need to do this every time I open the damned thing (because it doesn't save the layout on exit) is extremely irritating - Don
(1) @RossSmithII - just trying to get the logic. If it is written in .net it automatically means that it is very buggy? - Radu Simionescu
@RossSmithII "written in .net, so it's very buggy"??? you are so funny. - FireCat
Oracle's Toad has a free Eclipse extension so you can connect to the MySQL database from inside Eclipse IDE itself. Also need to install jdbc connector MySQL Connector J from MySQl site. Just need to register/login for downloads - GuruM
[+9] [2009-05-26 08:03:36] Dave

I'm a big fan of dBForge Studio for MySQL [1] from devart.


As I am. Really comfortable and fast MySQL GUI Tool! Try it free! - user1773378
[+9] [2009-06-22 13:20:27] monk-e-boy

Damn, I'd like to comment on the SQLyog answer, but I don't have the karma yet. I bought the developer version for about £70 for the schema sync button. Before I had this I kept a little list of all the things I was changing and refactoring in my test DB, then used this to update the live DB.

But with the sync tool you can just modify the test database as much as you like, then run the sync for a diff (as SQL commands) then save this somewhere. It saves so much time and effort!

(1) Totally agree. That's a great feature! - BlaM
[+7] [2009-04-06 19:48:12] Cesar

I use HeidiSQL for those fast queries, when i need to check out the schema or some data. It is fast and lightweight.

When i need more complex work like tunning a query, exporting importing data, or altering the shema i launch toad for mysql.

(1) Exactly - reminds me of the old MySQLFront. Fast and lightweight is key values for me in a tool like this one :) - Sune Rievers
[+4] [2009-03-04 06:40:50] Timothy Strimple

EMS has free and paid versions of SQL managers for most database types as well as various other tools for working with databases.

I just use the free version.

Edit: For ease of data entry, there is a wizard that creates a form for you for entering the data you want for a record which makes adding data quite quick.

[+4] [2009-12-14 23:51:34] biggie

Definitely RazorSQL [1]. SQL editor, database browser, SQL generator, create / drop / alter tools. You name it, it has it.


[+4] [2011-10-06 14:29:55] Cerin

I know this is an old question, but you might want to re-evaluate MySQL Workbench. It's currently a fully featured client, and the best open source cross platform tool for connecting to, querying, altering, and designing MySQL databases.

Agreed. Although SQLYog is actually a little slicker (and loads faster), MySQL Workbench is the "official", open source desktop client. The download link is right on the mySQL official site. Say. No. More. Actually, do say more: it has a portable (ie: no-install) version. - Tom Auger
[+3] [2008-10-23 15:13:49] Vijay Dev

I would suggest SQuirrel [1] !


[+3] [2009-03-04 06:27:58] MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is available on MacOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Windows.

WB 5.1 is focused on Data Modeling (replacing Mike Zinner’s popular DBDesigner product).

WB 5.2 (coming April 2009) will include a ground up rewrite of the MySQL Query Browser.

[+2] [2008-08-12 21:38:02] J Wynia

MySQLWorkbench [1] is free for the basic version. $99/developer/year gets you live visual design of a running database, tools for versioning databases, lots of validation tools, etc.

The down side is that the free version is much more about designing a schema and exporting the SQL CREATE script than about being able to edit live data.

However, I've been using the free version of MySQLWorkbench in combination with SQLYog, which onnodb mentioned and haven't felt any real reason to kick in for either product so far.

I used to use DBDesigner until I went to MySQL5 (which it wouldn't connect to). That may have changed since I last used it, however.


MySQLWorkbench seems to work well for me. I used to use Navcat before when it was free. - aseabridge
MySQLWorkbench is terrible. - PHPst
Perforamnce is very bad. - FireCat
[+2] [2008-08-14 15:10:01] Jason

I've been using the free version of SQLYog for about a month. It's the best I've found so far.

[+2] [2009-04-06 17:12:37] se_pavel
[+2] [2011-01-26 10:48:16] Kenneth

I would suggest you to try Navicat for MySQL [1]. There's Free Lite version.

It works with any MySQL Database Server from version 3.21 or above, and supports most of the latest MySQL features including Trigger, Stored Procedure, Function, Event, View, and Manage User, etc.

It is available for three platforms – Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It connects users to any local/remote MySQL Server, providing several database utilities such as Data/Structure Synchronization, Import/Export, Backup and Report, to facilitate the process of maintaining data.


(1) the free version is now a 30 day trial :-( - aseabridge
[+2] [2011-02-26 17:03:06] Valdeck

i have used a few of these tools and none match MysqlFront for shear usability, intuitive user interface, almost non-existent learning curve. Every time I tried using any of the others I would get frustrated and going for MysqlFront. Many of them just take too long to get started doing anything productive. In all honesty, sqlyog, came closest, with navicat a bit more behind, for me.

But still ended up going back to MysqlFront, not as many annoying quirks.

(3) why not heidi which is from the same developer? Heidi is not buggy like front, and also is a lot faster - nawfal
[+2] [2011-08-09 11:22:07] Devart

enter image description here

Devart has both free and paid versions of dbForge Studi for MySQL [1].

I would recommend you to try this tool.

Devart Company


+1 for Devart's GUI Tool! - user1773378
[+1] [2008-08-15 10:49:33] Adam Lerman

I really miss MYSQL Control center. I haven't liked the gui tools that they have released since they stopped that and I doubt I ever will, but I did really love the CC.

[+1] [2008-10-30 15:03:57] Cory House

Toad is especially attractive if you work with different RDBMS's. Toad has free (and fuller featured pay) versions for Oracle, SQL Server, and DB2 as well and offers a consistent interface for all these databases. It's nice not having to get accustomed with mutliple GUI's.

[+1] [2009-03-31 07:16:52] David H

Have you checked out the MySQL GUI Tools [1]?

It's very similar to Sql Server Management Studio. You can edit table schema and table rows like spreadsheet.


(2) -1 Outdated. MySQL Workbench in the new GUI Tools. - Jarvis
(1) Outdated but still useful, especially if you are not willing to install .Net to run Workbench. - Ruslan Kabalin
[0] [2008-08-12 20:04:47] pauldoo

In a past life I have used DbVisualizer [1] which I found to be very good for #3. I don't remember trying it for either #1 or #2. Might be worth a shot.


[0] [2008-10-30 15:09:51] Anne Porosoff

I've found Oracle's free SQL Developer to be particularly useful. You can use it with MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server and a few others plus you can install it on either Windows or Mac. Like several of the others mentioned, it has a few shortcomings but I definitely prefer it over the MySQL query tool.

[0] [2009-10-16 17:35:51] Dan Anderws
[0] [2010-07-02 09:06:20] office

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[0] [2011-01-27 07:23:09] Nikolas

Go with Navicat, for sure. Everything you ask is there, and I think even more. Personally I like the fact that you can connect remotely via ssh. I know this is not what you ask, but that you ask is anyway there.

[0] [2011-03-24 23:16:28] user1397366

We use phpmyadmin. I know its not a desktop application but it can be installed on your PC and its pretty widely used and becoming familiar with it will help you as more things become cloud based.

(2) phpMyAdmin is terribly slow when you're working with a lot of data and usability is a mess compared to a good desktop application. Ever tried to abort a running query? Or worked with a lot of rows in one table (for example to review every row and set one column value to "checked" after you're done)? - BlaM
[0] [2011-08-17 21:26:46] razorfish

After a long search I've found Dreamcoder for Mysql [1]

It is totally free and it has some unique and advanced features which are not available even in other payed software of this kind.

I definitely recommend it !