Best Alternative to
MySQL Workbench

What is the best tool to develop and manage MySQL databases and data? The answer depends on the needs and requirements of each individual user and the goals they want to achieve.

We are going to compare two popular tools for working with MySQL databases: dbForge Studio for MySQL (Enterprise edition) vs. MySQL Workbench. The aim we set is to show you why dbForge Studio for MySQL is a perfect alternative to MySQL Workbench when developing, administering, managing, and controlling MySQL and MariaDB databases, as well as to show how developers can improve their performance and enhance the structure of databases.

The Devart team added several unique features to dbForge Studio for MySQL, including support for MySQL Server 5.5-5.7, 8.0, MariaDB 10.1-10.5, MariaDB Galera Cluster 10.0 Series, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, Azure MySQL, and Tencent Cloud.

Query Builder

dbForge Studio for MySQL can boast a powerful query building tool letting you draw the most complex queries on a diagram visually. The tool has rich customization features and allows dealing readily with sophisticated data retrieval.

While MySQL Workbench lacks query builder functionality, with the Studio you can:

  • construct the most complex queries in seconds
  • combine a few queries into a sub-query
  • easily make JOINs between tables
  • calculate totals for a dataset
  • apply grouping and/or ordering
  • export data in a format you need.

dbForge Studio for MySQL - MySQL Query Builder tool

Copy Database

The Copy Database functionality available in dbForge Studio for MySQL (Enterprise Edition) is a great alternative to MySQL Workbench Import/Export wizard. Often, users face situations when they need to migrate several MySQL and MariaDB databases between servers. MySQL Copy Databases tool helps move the selected databases quickly and easily in a user-friendly interface. With the tool, you can adjust the database migration process, monitor its duration and progress as well as avoid the duplication of databases to the target server.

In MySQL Workbench, to copy a database, you need to export a copy file to a folder, switch to a new server, and only then import it from the self-contained file. dbForge Studio for MySQL in its turn provides you with a handy Copy Database tool allowing you to directly manage and configure the migration process that takes significantly less time and requires fewer steps.

dbForge Studio for MySQL is alternative to Workbench - Copy Database

Data Compare

While MySQL Workbench allows comparing and synchronizing databases via Shell for MySQL Utilities only, Data Compare tool that comes with dbForge Studio for MySQL has a comprehensive interface and features much richer functionality:

  • data synchronization script generation
  • viewing data differences per record
  • saving and loading comparison settings
  • support for command-line operations
  • reports generation in CSV, HTML and Excel formats
  • comparison and synchronization tasks automation
  • include/exclude objects by mask.

dbForge Studio for MySQL vs MySQL Workbench - Data Compare

Schema Compare

To help users with schema comparison and synchronization operations, MySQL Workbench includes schema synchronization and comparison utilities.

The functionality of the Schema Compare tool built into dbForge Studio for MySQL goes further and allows performing schema comparison and deployment in a handy interface. One can also benefit greatly from the Save Command line option providing an opportunity to save comparison and/or synchronization configurations as a batch file to automate or schedule corresponding tasks.

Best alternative to MySQL Workbench - Schema Compare

Data Generator

The Data Generator tool available in dbForge Studio for MySQL allows creating large volumes of realistic test data in a few clicks. The tool is feature-rich and was designed to meet your every need:

  • support for all MySQL column data types
  • meaningful generators with data customization
  • SQL data integrity support
  • real-time preview of generated data
  • Save Command Line option.

Meanwhile working with MySQL Workbench, you will have to generate data manually that may affect your performance and time and thus, may cause slowing down the testing process and adding unnecessary time-consuming steps.

dbForge Studio for MySQL vs MySQL Workbench - Data Generator

Documenter

The Documenter functionality of dbForge Studio for MySQL allows creating database documentation in three file formats: HTML, PDF, and Markdown. A few clicks and a rich set of documenting options will help you generate your documentation quickly and effortlessly. All the information will be clearly structured, enabling you to easily find a required object and navigate through the entire document.

dbForge Studio for MySQL users can also benefit from the following features which MySQL Workbench lacks:

  • command line support
  • documentation style templates
  • viewing inter-object and inter-database dependencies.

dbForge Studio for MySQL vs MySQL Workbench - Documenter

Conclusion

dbForge Studio for MySQL is an advanced IDE possessing unique features that make it the best choice when working with MySQL databases. Providing reliable data generation, SQL development, and comprehensive administration tools for effective MySQL database development, the Studio is a perfect alternative for MySQL Workbench.

dbForge Studio for MySQL

The most intelligent MySQL management tool

Feature comparison table

dbForge Studio for MySQL
MySQL Workbench

Database Connectivity

Support SSH
Yes
Yes
Support SSL
Yes
Yes
Support HTTP
Yes
Yes
Support Embedded DB
Yes
Yes
Support Pipe
Yes
Yes
Connection color and category
Yes
Yes
SQL Mode
Yes
Yes
Encoding
Yes
Yes
Support MySQL 8.0, MariaDB
Yes
Yes
Support for Sphinx
Yes
None
Support for Percona
Yes
Yes
Cleartext Authentication
planned
Yes
Remote management
No
Yes
System profile settings
No
Yes

SQL Editing and Execution

Automatic SQL syntax check
Yes
Yes
Code outlining
Yes
Yes
Code Snippets
Yes
Yes
Customizable SQL formatting and code beautifier
Yes
Yes
Execute current statement
Yes
Yes
Parameter information for stored routines
Yes
No
Quick access to favorite templates from SQL editor
Yes
No
SQL editor with syntax coloring
Yes
Yes
Bookmarks
Yes
No
Select Block
Yes
No
Text searching
Yes
Yes
Document Outline window for quick navigation through large scripts
Yes
No
Execution of scripts, selected SQL fragments, and statements
Yes
Yes
One step access to a database object editor from code (Go to definition)
Yes
No
SQL history window for the document
Yes
Yes
Execution warnings
Yes
No
GUI Transaction Support
Yes
Yes

Code Completion

Code Snippets and Snippets Manager
Yes
Yes
Context-sensitive Code Completion
Yes
Yes
Automatic SQL syntax check
Yes
Yes
One-click access to schema objects' definitions
Yes
No
On-the-fly renaming of database objects
Yes
No
Extended options for Code formatting
Yes
No
Auto-generation of table aliases
Yes
No
Quick information about database objects
Yes
No
Support in body of triggers and events
Yes
No

Visual Query Builder

Support for the SELECT statement
Yes
No
Support for the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements
Yes
No
State-of-art diagram with zooming and keyboard support
Yes
No
Preview and printing of the diagram
Yes
No
Visual addition of sub-queries to any part of the main query
Yes
No
Query outline (displayed in Document Outline window)
Yes
No
Visual editing of sub-queries
Yes
No
Expression builder for creating complex conditions
Yes
No
Drug&Drop required tables
Yes
No
Copy/Paste for tables on the diagram
Yes
No
Undo/Redo support
Yes
No

Database Design

Visual Database Designer
Yes
Yes
Visualization of tables, views, stored procedures, and functions
Yes
Yes
Easy access to database objects for viewing their properties
Yes
Yes
Support for IDEF1X and IE notations
Yes
Yes
Customizable diagram view with skin support
Yes
No
Smart ER Diagram layout
Yes
Yes
Diagram export to different image formats
Yes
Yes
Searching database objects on diagram
Yes
Yes
Organizing diagram shapes with containers
Yes
No
Customizable diagram printing with a rich set of options
Yes
Yes
Optional displaying of table constraints, indexes, and triggers
Yes
No
Integration with Document Outline window
Yes
No
Diagram navigation with Diagram Overview window
Yes
Yes
Notes for adding your comments to the diagram
Yes
Yes
Export to image
Yes
No
Zooming In/Out
Yes
No
Save/Load diagram
Yes
No
Forward engineering of physical database designs
No
Yes

Table Designer

Flat table editor
Yes
Yes
Convenient editor for foreign keys
Yes
Yes
Partitioning support
Yes
Yes
Full-text search on the column grid
Yes
No
Schema changes can be viewed before updating database
Yes
Yes
Heuristics helps define data type of new columns
Yes
Yes
Data Types groups
No
Yes
Copy Column
No
Yes

Object Editor

Visual editors for the following schema object types:
Check constraint
Yes
No
Foreign key
Yes
Yes
Index
Yes
Yes
Stored function
Yes
No
Stored procedure
Yes
No
Table
Yes
Yes
Trigger
Yes
Yes
View
Yes
No
Events
Yes
No
Undo option for object editor
Yes
No
Multicolumns in property grids
planned
No

MySQL Debugger

Script debugging
Yes
No
Step Into, Step Over, and Step Out commands for step-by-step execution
Yes
No
Breakpoints support for procedures, functions, triggers, and scripts
Yes
No
Breakpoints window
Yes
No
Call Stack window with navigation
Yes
No
Watches window for variable evaluation
Yes
No

Database Explorer

Multiple database connections allowed
Yes
Yes
Browse and navigate through objects
Yes
Yes
Detailed object properties and data browsing in Object Viewer window
Yes
Yes
Dependency tree browsing for each object
Yes
No
Quick template script generation for selected object: SELECT, INSERT, etc.
Yes
Yes
Send To command for quick sending of tables to Query Builder, Data Report, and other tools
Yes
No
Quick access to object privileges (GRANT) from the popup menu
Yes
No
Refactoring of Database Objects
Yes
No

Data Editor

Copying data with column headers for quick pasting to spreadsheet
Yes
Yes
Custom data filters of any complexity
Yes
No
Data Viewer window for browsing images, rtf, and binary cell values
Yes
Yes
Date time editor with visual interface
Yes
No
Foreign key lookup editor for easy editing of fields referencing other tables
Yes
No
Free copying of any block of data to clipboard
Yes
Yes
Full-text search (Ctrl+F) in data grid
Yes
No
Single row values view
Yes
Yes
Graphical card view
Yes
No
Grouping by arbitrary columns
Yes
No
Incremental search (Ctrl+I) through data grid
Yes
No
Large objects (LOB) editor
Yes
Yes
Multi-table query result set editing
Yes
No
Paginal data browsing for large result sets
Yes
Yes
Printing of data
Yes
No
Quick filter feature available for each data cell
Yes
No
Record numbering option
Yes
No
Read-only state indication
Yes
Yes
Report, chart, and pivot building directly from data editor
Yes
No
Server-side sorting and filtering to help dealing with large data sets
Yes
No
Visible columns picking dialog box
Yes
No
Editing of multiple execution results of one script on separate tabs
Yes
No

Schema/Data comparison and synchronization

Comparing and synchronizing data in databases of virtually any size
Yes
via Shell for MySQL utilities only
Comparing tables, views, procedures, function, triggers, and events
Yes
via Shell for MySQL utilities only
Custom comparison keys support
Yes
via Shell for MySQL utilities only
Comparison results filtering
Yes
No
Data synchronization script generation
Yes
No
Viewing data differences per record
Yes
No
Excluding tables and records from synchronization
Yes
No
Saving and loading comparison settings
Yes
Yes
Command line interface for data comparison and synchronization
Yes
via Shell for MySQL utilities only
Generating accurate comparison reports in HTML and Excel formats
Yes
No
Comments generation
Yes
No
Specific options for tables, script objects, triggers, indexes, and constraints
Yes
No
Data Compare: Include\Exclude objects by mask
Yes
No
Schema Compare: Include\Exclude objects by mask
Yes
No
Schema Compare support for PACKAGE and PACKAGE BODY
Yes
No
Schema comparison with scripts folder
Yes
No
Schema/Data Compare: Save as Command Line
Yes
No

Data export

CSV
Yes
Yes
XML
Yes
Yes
Text
Yes
Yes
XLS
Yes
No
XLSX
Yes
No
PDF
Yes
No
DBF
Yes
No
HTML
Yes
Yes
RTF
Yes
No
JSON
Yes
Yes
Google Sheets
Yes
No
MDB (Access)
Yes
No
ODBC
Yes
No
SQL
Yes
Yes
Export data from multiple tables at once
Yes
No
Export data from command line interface
Yes
No
Templates for exporting
Yes
No

Data import

CSV
Yes
Yes
XML
Yes
No
Text
Yes
No
XLS
Yes
No
XLSX
Yes
No
DBF
Yes
No
JSON
Yes
Yes
Google Sheets
Yes
No
MDB (Access)
Yes
No
ODBC
Yes
No
SQL
No
No
Import data from command line interface
Yes
No
Templates for importing
Yes
No

Database Projects

New project wizard with import from an existing database
Yes
No
Project Explorer window for managing project files
Yes
No
Schema View window for browsing logical project structure
Yes
No
Project export into one of multiple scripts
Yes
No
Multiple build configurations
Yes
No
Single-click project deployment on the server
Yes
No
Workspace saving
Yes
No
Compare live database with project
Yes
Yes
Compare projects with each other
No
No

Data Analysis

Display table data representing Parent-Child dependencies (Master-Detail Browser)
Yes
No
Data report generation wizard
Yes
No
Data report designer
Yes
No
Pivot table designer
Yes
No
Chart building wizard
Yes
No
Data search on a live database
Yes
Yes
Automate report generation and distribution (command line support)
Yes
No
Report: Save Command Line
Yes
No
Database Diagram
Yes
No
Display query results as a chart
No
No

Performance Tuning

Visual SQL explain plan
No
Yes
Session statistics displayed in a UI
Yes
Yes
Plan of the query displayed in the tree view for easy review
Yes
No
Profiling history that can be saved for further analysis
Yes
No
Compare profiling results feature with differences highlight
Yes
No
Profiling results printing
Yes
No
Performance Dashboard
No
Yes
Top Performance Reports
No
Yes

Data Generation

Support for all MySQL column data types
Yes
No
Multiple generators with data customization
Yes
No
SQL data integrity support
Yes
No
Multiple ways to populate data
Yes
No
Meaningful generators
Yes
No
User-defined generators
Yes
No
Real-time preview of generated data
Yes
No
Data Generation: Save Command Line
Yes
No

Database Documenter

Broad picture of database structure
Yes
Yes
Rich customization features
Yes
Yes
HTML format
Yes
Yes
PDF format
Yes
No
Markdown format
Yes
No
Text format
No
Yes
Documentation customization with style templates
Yes
No
View inter-object and inter-database dependencies
Yes
No
Database Documenter: Save Command Line
Yes
No

Administration

Service control for starting and stopping MySQL servers
Yes
Yes
Server Status & Health
None
Yes
Server Variables window
Yes
Yes
Server Logs
Yes
Yes
Table Maintenance
Yes
Yes
Flush Objects (tables, locks, query cache, etc.)
Yes
Yes
Copy Databases
Yes
Yes
Backup (Data Export)
Yes
Yes
Restore (Data Import)
Yes
Yes
Server and Replication Configuration
None
Yes
Database Snapshot
Yes
None
Database Backup
Yes
Yes
Database backup to SQL and ZIP
Yes
None
Backup Database as a Script Folder
Yes
None
Backup: Save Command Line
Yes
None

User and Session Management

Comprehensive Security Manager to administer user accounts and privileges
Yes
Yes
Session manager for monitoring active MySQL server connections and tracing user sessions
Yes
Yes
Application Roles
Yes
Yes
Server Monitor
None
None

User Interface

Start page providing easy access to main product features
Yes
No
Rich user settings
Yes
No
UI skins
Yes
No
Customizable window layout
Yes
No
Tool windows with 'auto-hide' and 'float' modes
Yes
No
Multiple shortcut schemes with full shortcut customization
Yes
No
Syntax highlight customization
Yes
No
Tabbed groups for documents
Yes
No
Toolbars customization
Yes
No
Wizard for sharing common code standards and templates
Yes
No