Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Managing MySQL

Database management is one of those tasks where GUI tools can often be handy and occasionally critical. The history of Linux point-and-click tools for MySQL is a bit checkered, and prominently features MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator, official tools formerly supported by MySQL. Early releases were buggy and crash-prone, but had progressed to merely flaky by late 2009, when MySQL announced they would pull the trigger on them in favor of MySQL Workbench. MySQL support for the GUI Tools Bundle officially ended in June 2010, but the tools are still available in Debian and Ubuntu repositories, while MySQL Workbench is conspicuously absent. While this may deter many users from test driving Workbench, they are missing out on a powerful tool for database management. Fortunately, MySQL publishes MySQL Workbench binaries.

I don't work for MySQL, so I shan't extol it's virtues in any detail, but having installed it on Ubuntu 10.10, it does seem to be a robust and feature rich application for SQL Development, Data Modelling, and Server Administration. There is, however, one feature I will praise as brilliant forward thinking: built in support for MySQL connections over SSH (see screenshot below).