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 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.

Our team added several unique features, including support for MySQL Server 8.0, MariaDB 10.1, MariaDB 10.2, MariaDB 10.3, MariaDB Galera Cluster 10.0 Series, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, Azure MySQL, and Tencent Cloud to the Enterprise Edition.

To begin with, let’s consider all pros of dbForge Studio for MySQL to prove that it is the right choice that may suit your needs and aims.

For a quick navigation through the comparison table, use the links below:

Data Generation

When working with databases or performing product-related tasks, you often require some random data. To create this data each time is a waste of your time. In this case, you may need a tool that will speed up the process and reduce your time for completing the task. With the Data Generator tool available in dbForge Studio for MySQL (Enterprise edition), generating test data becomes as easy as pie. As a right-hand man, it populates your MySQL and MariaDB tables with randomly generated realistic test data in a wink. The tool includes a bunch of predefined generators with customizable configuration options suited to every fancy. Moreover, you have a possibility to automate data generation via the command line by simply arranging a schedule for the tasks. You must admit that this can greatly boost your performance.


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

Documenter

Another best but not the least feature is Documenter for MySQL that allows you to create technical documentation in three file formats: HTML, PDF, and Markdown. A few clicks and a rich set of documenting options will help you generate the documentation quickly and without any efforts. All the information will be clearly structured, thus, allowing you to easily find a required object and navigate through the entire document.

As a bonus, the tool also supports the automatic documentation generation via the command line.


As to MySQL Workbench, it does not have such a functionality. The way their tool documents a database is building a diagram that shows relationships between tables rather than generating a documentation with related objects. As an alternative to this, our team can gladly offer you to use our Visual Query Builder functionality.

Copy databases

A copy databases tool available in dbForge Studio for MySQL (Enterprise Edition) is a great alternative to MySQL Workbench Import/Export wizard. Often, users face a situation when they need to migrate a large number of MySQL and MariaDB databases between servers. MySQL Copy Databases tool helps moving the selected databases as quickly as possible in a user-friendly interface. With the tool, you can not only migrate databases but also monitor the time and progress and avoid the duplication of databases to the target server.


In MySQL Workbench, you can copy databases by exporting a copy file to a folder, coming back to a new server, and only then importing it from the self-contained file. In turn, we offer you to use our handy copy databases tool where you can directly manage the migration process and configure the settings to your needs. Thus, the whole process takes less time and requires fewer steps.

Summary

As you can see, we added unique and brand new features to dbForge Studio for MySQL that make the tool be the best choice. Taking into account all the pros, the tool is a perfect alternative to MySQL Workbench when you need to improve your performance, speed up testing, development, and management process of databases.

Features
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
Yes
Yes
SQL Mode
Yes
Yes
Encoding
Yes
Yes
Support MySQL 8.0, MariaDB
Yes
Yes
Support for Sphinx and Percona
Yes
Yes
Cleartext Authentication
Yes
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
Quick information about database objects
Yes
Yes
Parameter information for stored routines
Yes
Yes
Quick access to favorite templates from SQL editor
Yes
Yes
SQL editor with syntax coloring, bookmarks, and text searching
Yes
Yes
Document Outline window for quick navigation through large scripts
Yes
Yes
Execution of scripts, selected SQL fragments, and statements
Yes
Yes
One step access to a database object editor from code (go to definition)
Yes
Yes
Executed SQL history window for the document
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
Yes
On-the-fly renaming of database objects
Yes
Yes
Extended options for Code formatting
Yes
Yes
JOIN clause auto generation
Yes
Yes
Auto-generation of table aliases
Yes
Yes

Visual Query Builder

Support of SELECT statement
Yes
Yes
Support of INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements
Yes
Yes
State-of-art diagram with zooming and keyboard support
Yes
Yes
Preview and printing of the diagram
Yes
Yes
Visual addition of sub-queries to any part of the main query
Yes
Yes
Query outline (displayed in Document Outline window)
Yes
Yes
Visual editing of sub-queries
Yes
Yes
Expression builder for creating complex conditions
Yes
Yes
Copy/Paste for tables on the diagram
Yes
Yes
Undo/Redo support
Yes
Yes

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 look and feel with skin support
Yes
Yes
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
Yes
Customizable diagram printing with a rich set of options
Yes
Yes
Optional displaying of table constraints, indexes, and triggers
Yes
Yes
Integration with Document Outline window
Yes
Yes
Diagram navigation with Diagram Overview window
Yes
Yes
Notes for adding your comments to the diagram
Yes
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
Yes
Schema changes can be viewed before updating database
Yes
Yes
Heuristics helps define data type of new columns
Yes
Yes

Object Editor

Visual editors for the following schema object types:
Check constraint
Yes
Yes
Foreign key
Yes
Yes
Index
Yes
Yes
Stored function
Yes
Yes
Stored procedure
Yes
Yes
Table
Yes
Yes
Trigger
Yes
Yes
View
Yes
Yes
Events
Yes
Yes
Undo option for object editor
Yes
Yes
Ability to browse schema objects in a single editor (pin document)
Yes
Yes

MySQL Debugger

Script debugging
Yes
Yes
Step Into, Step Over, and Step Out commands for step-by-step execution
Yes
Yes
Breakpoints support for procedures, functions, triggers, and scripts
Yes
Yes
Breakpoints window
Yes
Yes
Call Stack window with navigation
Yes
Yes
Watches window for variable evaluation
Yes
Yes

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
Yes
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
Yes
Quick access to object privileges (GRANT) from the popup menu
Yes
Yes
Refactoring of Database Objects
Yes
Yes

Data Editor

Copying data with column headers for quick pasting to spreadsheet
Yes
Yes
Custom data filters of any complexity
Yes
Yes
Data Viewer window for browsing images, rtf, and binary cell values
Yes
Yes
Date time editor with visual interface
Yes
Yes
Foreign key lookup editor for easy editing of fields referencing other tables
Yes
Yes
Free copying of any block of data to clipboard
Yes
Yes
Full-text search (Ctrl+F) in data grid
Yes
Yes
Graphical card view
Yes
Yes
Grouping by arbitrary columns
Yes
Yes
Incremental search (Ctrl+I) through data grid
Yes
Yes
Large objects (LOB) editor
Yes
Yes
Multi-table query result set editing
Yes
Yes
Paginal data browsing for large result sets
Yes
Yes
Printing of data
Yes
Yes
Quick filter feature available for each data cell
Yes
Yes
Record numbering option
Yes
Yes
Read-only state indication
Yes
Yes
Report, chart, and pivot building directly from data editor
Yes
Yes
Server-side sorting and filtering to help dealing with large data sets
Yes
Yes
Visible columns picking dialog box
Yes
Yes
Editing of multiple execution results of one script on separate tabs
Yes
Yes

Schema/Data comparison and synchronization

Comparing and synchronizing data in databases of virtually any size
Yes
Yes
Comparing tables, views, procedures, function, and events
Yes
Yes
Custom comparison keys support
Yes
Yes
Comparing results filtering
Yes
Yes
Data synchronization script generation
Yes
Yes
Per record viewing of data differences
Yes
Yes
Excluding tables and records from synchronization
Yes
Yes
Saving and loading comparison settings
Yes
Yes
Command line interface for data comparison and synchronization
Yes
Yes
Generating accurate comparison reports in HTML and Excel formats
Yes
Yes

Data export/import

CSV
Yes
Yes
XML
Yes
Yes
Text
Yes
Yes
XLS
Yes
Yes
XLSX
Yes
Yes
PDF
Yes
Yes
DBF
Yes
Yes
HTML
Yes
Yes
RTF
Yes
Yes
JSON
Yes
Yes
Google Sheets
Yes
Yes
MDB (Access)
Yes
Yes
ODBC
Yes
Yes
SQL
Yes
Yes
Export data from multiple tables at once
Yes
Yes
Export data from command line interface
Yes
Yes

Database Projects

Quick access to object privileges (GRANT) from the popup menu
Yes
Yes
New project wizard with import from an existing database
Yes
Yes
Project Explorer window for managing project files
Yes
Yes
Schema View window for browsing logical project structure
Yes
Yes
Project export into one of multiple scripts
Yes
Yes
Multiple build configurations
Yes
Yes
Single-click project deployment on the server
Yes
Yes
Workspace saving
Yes
Yes
Compare live database with project
Yes
Yes

Data Analysis

Display table data representing Parent-Child dependencies (Master-Detail Browser)
Yes
Yes
Data report generation wizard
Yes
Yes
Data report designer
Yes
Yes
Pivot table designer
Yes
Yes
Chart building wizard
Yes
Yes
Data search on a live database
Yes
Yes
Automate report generation and distribution (command line support)
Yes
Yes

Performance Tuning

Visual SQL explain plan
Yes
Yes
Session statistics displayed in a UI
Yes
Yes
Plan of the query displayed in the tree view for easy review
Yes
Yes
Profiling history that can be saved for further analysis
Yes
Yes
Compare profiling results feature with differences highlight
Yes
Yes
Profiling results printing
Yes
Yes
Performance Dashboard
Yes
Yes
Top Performance Reports
Yes
Yes

Data Generation

Support for all MySQL column data types
Yes
Yes
Multiple generators with data customization
Yes
Yes
SQL data integrity support
Yes
Yes
Multiple ways to populate data
Yes
Yes
Meaningful generators
Yes
Yes
User-defined generators
Yes
Yes
Real-time preview of generated data
Yes
Yes

Database Documenter

Broad picture of database structure
Yes
Yes
Rich customization features
Yes
Yes
Formats supported (HTML,PDF, and Markdown)
Yes
Yes

Administration

Service control for starting and stopping MySQL servers
Yes
Yes
Server Status & Health
Yes
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

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

User Interface

Start page providing easy access to main product features
Yes
Yes
Rich user settings
Yes
Yes
UI skins
Yes
Yes
Customizable window layout
Yes
Yes
Tool windows with 'auto-hide' and 'float' modes
Yes
Yes
Multiple shortcut schemes with full shortcut customization
Yes
Yes
Syntax highlight customization
Yes
Yes
Tabbed groups for documents
Yes
Yes
Toolbars customization
Yes
Yes
Wizard for sharing common code standards and templates
Yes
Yes

*The table above provides comparison of features of dbForge Studio for MySQL v8.0 Enterprise Edition with the similar functionality of MySQL Workbench v 6.3 EE.