MySQL GUI Client (Windows)

At work, I use MySql on a daily basis. Over the years, I have tried a lot of GUI clients to manage my database effectively:

  1. MySQL Front: Very lightweight. Good for basic databse manipulation operations. Earlier (2005), this was free software.. now, it is shareware. GUI is not very intuitive
  2. MySQL Workbench: From the MYSql stables.. Quite buggy. Holds a lot of promise but still beta quality
  3. HeidiSQL: Good basic functionality.. Free software. Small and lightweight. Perfect for basic functionality.
  4. SQL Yog Community Edition: Very good features.. My second best preference (after Navicat). The query builder on the full version is actually very close to what Microsoft provides for MSSql.
  5. PHPMyEdit (Web based): No GUI coolness.. but accessible from any browser as it is web-based.
  6. Navicat 8.0 (Not free): Easily the best GUI for MySQL that I have laid my hands on!

My vote is for Navicat.. Still not as as good as Microsoft, but by far, one of the most intuitive and feature-complete clients out there:

  • Very windows like – Explorer style with intuitive drag and drop functionality everywhere. There is this little hidden feature to copy a table structure (I use this VERY often). Just drag and drop a table (in the same place or into a different database) and Navicat displays a context menu to copy either the entire table or just the structure! It works great with Vista.
  • Has options for “Queries” and “Reports”.. Now, these are not really database objects.. they are fully managed by Navicat and rendered on the fly (the files are typically stored on your hard drive at C:\Program Files\Navicat for MySQL\Home). Note that “Views” on the other hand are MySQL objects and are stored on the server
  • The table design mode brings up tabs for “Fields”, “Indexes”, “Foreign Keys” and “Triggers”. All options are very well laid out. Adding fields is very easy.
  • Nice StoredProc/Function dialog boxes
  • Very powerful “Import” and “Export” wizards.. It can move an entire MS Access database onto the sql server (and vice-versa). This is a great time-saver.. and it works flawlessly!
  • The query builder is not comparable to Microsoft but it does a decent job
  • Good built in User manager module

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