We live, work, and play in a world where data is a valuable resource. So many of our everyday functions rely on the manipulation and processing of data, so it's reasonable to infer that specific tools can make things run smoother. However, it's not enough to just possess data; you need versatile, reliable ways to work with it.

That’s why we’re about to explore the five best MySQL tools available today. These tools give you the means to process, store, and organize data so that you and your organization can derive the maximum benefit.

But before we get into the list, let's pause to explain what MySQL is and its uses in data processing.

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What Is MySQL, and What Is It Used For?

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. Relational database management systems (also called RDBMS or just RDB) are widely used databases that store data in tables, which are composed of rows and columns. These tables allow the database to be used with other stored data sets. Most IT systems and applications today are based on a relational DBMS

MySQL is based on SQL (Structured Query Language), allowing users to control, define, manipulate, and query data.

MySQL stores and retrieves data in many popular applications, websites, and services. Furthermore, MySQL is considered one of the best cloud databases available today. However, if you want the maximum results from MySQL, you need the best tools. Let’s look at five of the better tools.

1. Beekeeper Studio

This tool was first released in early 2020 and is well supported and maintained, with 41 releases over the product's life. It's compatible with Linux, Mac, and Windows and doesn't require any local PHP downloads.

Why did we choose it? Beekeeper Studio is compatible with several DBs, such as Postgres, SQLite, and SQL Server. It's not limited to MySQL, so it's better suited for day-to-day data lookup and manipulation. Beekeeper is also great for newbies, thanks to a generous offering of checklists, drop-downs, text fields, toggles, and radio buttons.

2. dbForge Studio for MySQL

dbForge Studio is a multi-purpose Graphic User Interface (GUI) tool in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that offers various features and functionality ideal for MySQL database development and maintenance.

Why did we choose it? dbForge lets you create and run queries, analyze table data via an intuitive interface, develop and debug stored routines, automate your database object management, and lots more. In addition, its rich coding functionality lets you create and modify code profiles so that you will have clean, standardized code. You can also generate result scripts for DELETE, INSERT, SELECT, and UPDATE statements to a SQL file via the CRUD Generator.

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3. phpMyAdmin

This tool has been around since 1998, which in the IT world makes it positively venerable! It’s a well-supported tool that has recorded 469 releases since its debut and is written mostly in PHP. phpMyAdmin runs on Windows and some Linux distributions but be warned: this tool does not run on macOS! You can install phpMyAdmin from a selected distribution kit found on the website's Downloads page or use a Git package, Composer, or Docker.

Why did we choose it? phpMyAdmin offers users a wealth of features that most users will appreciate. It supports MySQL functions such as Browse or Drop for databases, fields, tables, views, and indexes. phpMyAdmin also provides Create, Copy, Drop, and Rename functions for the above mentioned items. In addition, you can import and export data in a diverse range of formats, create multi-format database graphics, create complex Query By Example (QBE) queries, and administer multiple servers.

This database tool does a lot, but considering the years of support it has enjoyed, that’s hardly surprising.

4. MySQL Workbench

First, MySQL Workbench was developed by Oracle, the company that created MySQL, so users can be assured that the tool will be compatible with all new iterations and features. There's something very reassuring about using a tool from the primary source.

Also, MySQL Workbench lets you create and manage connection parameters, database-server connections, and integrated query executions. The tool also comes with a Table Editor that makes it easy for users to alter columns, indexes, inserts, options, privileges, tables, triggers, and partitioning. Finally, MySQL Workbench offers data migration between MySQL versions or moving data to and from between MySQL and other database systems.

Why did we choose it? MySQL Workbench was developed by Oracle, the company that created MySQL, so users can be assured that the tool will be compatible with all new iterations and features of MySQL. There’s something very reassuring about using a tool that comes from the main source. Also, MySQL Workbench lets you create and manage connection parameters, database-server connections, and integrated query executions. The tool also comes with a Table Editor that makes it easy for users to alter columns, indexes, inserts, options, privileges, tables, triggers, and partitioning. Finally, MySQL Workbench offers data migration between MySQL versions or moving data to and from between MySQL and other database systems.

5. Navicat for MySQL

Navicat for MySQL consists of tools for database developers and administrators and are compatible with MySQL, MariaDB, and cloud databases. This tool offers many features that simplify the database development process and increase productivity when working on different administration and management tasks. Navicat for MySQL comes in three commercial editions but offers a 14-day fully functional free trial to help users try it out and evaluate its functionality.

Navicat for MySQL is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Why did we choose it? Navicat for MySQL enables you to synchronize your connection settings, queries, models, and virtual groups to the Navicat Cloud. This way, you can share them with your colleagues anytime, anyplace. Also, Navicat’s versatility regarding cloud databases makes it a valuable resource when dealing with cloud computing, which is becoming more commonplace.

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About the Author

Karin KelleyKarin Kelley

Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies. A passionate and lifelong researcher, learner, and writer, Karin is also a big fan of the outdoors, music, literature, and environmental and social sustainability.

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