MySQL Workbench

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This post was originally published in 2010
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

I’ve very recently started using MySQL Workbench, and see it as a viable replacement for phpMyAdmin.

Since before I can remember, I’ve used either the CLI or phpMyAdmin to work with MySQL databases. With the project I’m currently working on, we have phpMyAdmin installed on the development server, but not the production server – we have as little as possible installed on those, for obvious reasons.

I stumbled upon MySQL Workbench through my searches for a way for me to create a graphical representation of our tables and the relations between them. Since we use MyISAM for our database, unfortunately all of our table relationships are application-enforced – so really I was looking for a tool that could connect to a database and allowed one to chuck a bunch of tables onto a canvas and somehow create and explain connection between them.

This is an example of what I found I could do with the workbench, using some tables from a bugzilla database:

MySQL Workbench Example

With this example, all relationships were added automagically, as the bugzilla database uses InnoDB.

For a free application, this feature alone is enough to sell me. The more I use it, the close I feel I’m coming to dropping phpMyAdmin altogether. I’ll keep using it for a week or so, but so far it’s not looking good for phpMyAdmin, at least in terms of daily use.

It’s much more than a database visualizer, if you use MySQL frequently and haven’t yet found your ‘dream app’, I recommend you give this a look: MySQL Workbench

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