Best alternative to phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is one of those go-to solutions that are always guaranteed to make it to nearly every list of top database tools dealing with the management and administration of MySQL and MariaDB databases. It is free, well-documented, and while limited in features, it has a stable and flexible code base and a huge community around the world.

But what if, despite being part of that community, you're seeking to expand your toolset to match your growing skills? What if you start working on complex projects and face a broader set of tasks? What if you want to save your precious time and automate the tedious part of managing MySQL and MariaDB databases? Then go no further, we've got something for you. It's an IDE called dbForge Studio for MySQL, and it most probably has everything you've been looking for. And below, you will find a feature-by-feature comparison of phpMyAdmin and dbForge Studio that might help you see whether it's worth switching from the former to the latter.

phpMyAdmin vs dbForge Studio for MySQL

phpMyAdmin is a free tool written in PHP, delivering the solid basics of database object management, maintenance of databases and servers, SQL coding, user and privilege management, import and export of data, and more. And sure, it comes with lots of useful resources and thus it's not that hard to master.

Still, what if you've outgrown its capabilities? Then we suggest you take a look at dbForge Studio for MySQL, a versatile IDE that provides everything you might need to manage MySQL and MariaDB databases with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. It's got a clean interface, it's just as easy to master, and the sheer range of features goes far beyond the basics of its counterpart. Sure, it's a paid commercial solution, but the payoff comes immediately once you try it (speaking of that, you have a whopping 30-day free trial at your service to see dbForge Studio in action).

phpMyAdmin vs dbForge Studio

Key features of dbForge Studio for MySQL

dbForge Studio for MySQL helps effectively handle a rich variety of tasks comprising
database design, development, testing, and administration, as well as data analysis and management.

Database comparison and synchronization

dbForge Studio helps you easily find, inspect, and analyze differences in database schemas and table data. Moreover, you can synchronize source databases to target ones with handy autogenerated scripts.

  • Locate and analyze table data differences
  • View data differences per record
  • Save and load comparison settings
  • Generate data synchronization scripts
  • Create comparison reports in several formats
  • Automate comparison and synchronization tasks from the command line

Visual Query Builder

The Studio's visual Query Builder is an invaluable tool that helps you draw queries of any complexity on diagrams, with no need for manual SQL coding whatsoever.

  • Construct even the most complex queries without coding
  • Work with a variety of query types and subqueries
  • Edit JOINs and WHERE conditions visually
  • Build query execution plans directly from query documents
  • Export query execution results to files

MySQL version control

One of the Studio's killer features is Source Control, which delivers integration with all major version control systems, including Azure DevOps Server (previously known as Team Foundation Server), Apache Subversion (SVN), TFVC, Git (including GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket), Mercurial (Hg), Perforce (P4), and SourceGear Vault.

  • Version-control schemas and static table data
  • Manage database versioning under the dedicated or shared development model
  • Commit and revert changes with dependency awareness
  • Perform fast comparison of database versions
  • View conflicts and resolve inconsistencies visually
  • View the history of changes

Database backup and recovery

Another essential feature of dbForge Studio is database backup and recovery that effectively provides the much-needed safety of your entire databases and the data they contain.

  • Schedule regular database backups
  • Back up database structures, data, or both
  • Make selective backups
  • Back up and restore databases from the command line

Test data generation

The Studio packs quite a few advanced features such as Data Generator, which helps you get any volumes of realistic, column-intelligent test data in just a few clicks.

  • Create test data with a variety of customizable generators
  • Maintain the consistency of your data across multiple tables
  • Preserve inter-column data dependencies
  • Customize and share generators with other users
  • Populate your databases with test data
  • Automate recurring tasks from the command line

Data analysis and reporting

If you deal with data analysis, the Studio will help you with a number of data aggregation, observation, and reporting tools.

  • Explore data trends by summarizing and analyzing your data in pivot tables
  • Use the integrated Master-Detail Browser to scrutinize the data of tables linked together with foreign keys or user-defined interrelations
  • Visualize data using the integrated Chart Designer
  • Generate comprehensive data reports

User and database administration

Finally, dbForge Studio for MySQL is a good choice for DBAs owing to its built-in administration tools that help keep full control over databases in the most effortless way.

  • Manage user accounts and privileges
  • Migrate databases between different environments
  • Perform table maintenance
  • Keep an eye on server sessions with Session Manager
  • Administer several MySQL servers using Service Control

Feature comparison table

The following table contains a detailed feature comparison of dbForge Studio for MySQL v10.0.150 (Enterprise Edition) and phpMyAdmin v 5.2.1. For quick navigation, please use the side menu.

SQL Editing and Execution

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
SQL editor with syntax coloring
Yes
Yes
Automatic SQL syntax check
Yes
Yes
Code outlining
Yes
No
Code snippets
Yes
No
Customizable SQL formatting and code beautifier
Yes
No
Execute current statement
Yes
No
Quick access to favorite templates from SQL Editor
Yes
No
Bookmarks
Yes
Yes
Text search
Yes
Yes
Document Outline window for quick navigation through large scripts
Yes
No
One-step access to the database object editor from the code ("Go to definition")
Yes
No
SQL history
Yes
Yes
Execution warnings
Yes
Yes
GUI transaction support
Yes
No

Code Completion

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Code snippets and Snippet Manager
Yes
No
Context-sensitive code completion
Yes
Yes
One-click access to definitions of schema objects
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
Parameter information for stored routines
Yes
No
JOIN clause auto-generation
Yes
No

Visual Query Builder

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

Database Design

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
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
No
Customizable diagram view with skin support
Yes
No
Smart ER Diagram layout
Yes
No
Diagram export to different image formats
Yes
Yes
Search for database objects on the diagram
Yes
Yes
Organizing diagram shapes with containers
Yes
No
Customizable diagram printing with a rich set of options
Yes
No
Optional displaying of table constraints, indexes, and triggers
Yes
No
Integration with the Document Outline window
Yes
No
Diagram navigation with the Diagram Overview window
Yes
No
Notes for adding your comments to the diagram
Yes
No
Zooming in/out
Yes
Yes
Save/Load diagram
Yes
Yes

Table Designer

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Flat table editor
Yes
Yes
Convenient editor for foreign keys
Yes
No
Partitioning support
Yes
Yes
Full-text search on the column grid
Yes
Yes
Preview of schema changes
Yes
Yes
Heuristics that helps define the data type of new columns
Yes
No

Object Editor

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Check constraints
Yes
Yes
Events
Yes
Yes
Indexes
Yes
Yes
Stored functions
Yes
Yes
Stored procedures
Yes
Yes
Tables
Yes
Yes
Triggers
Yes
Yes
Views
Yes
Yes
Undo option for the object editor
Yes
Yes

MySQL Debugger

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Script debugging
Yes
No
Step Into, Step Over, and Step Out commands for step-by-step execution
Yes
No
Breakpoints 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

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Multiple database connections
Yes
Yes
Browse and navigate through objects
Yes
Yes
Detailed object properties and data browsing in the Object Viewer window
Yes
Yes
Dependency tree browsing for each object
Yes
No
Quick template script generation for selected objects: SELECT, INSERT, etc.
Yes
No
'Send To' command for quick sending of tables to Query Builder, Data Report, and other tools
Yes
No
Refactoring of database objects
Yes
No

Data Editor

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Copying data with column headers for quick pasting to spreadsheets
Yes
Yes
Custom data filters of any complexity
Yes
No
Data Viewer window for browsing images, RTF, and binary cell values
Yes
No
Date/Time editor with a visual interface
Yes
Yes
Foreign key lookup editor for easy editing of fields referencing other tables
Yes
No
Free copying of any block of data to the clipboard
Yes
No
Full-text search (Ctrl+F) in the data grid
Yes
Yes
Graphical card view
Yes
No
Grouping by arbitrary columns
Yes
No
Incremental search (Ctrl+I) through the data grid
Yes
Yes
Large objects (LOB) editor
Yes
No
Multi-table query result set editing
Yes
Yes
Paginal data browsing for large result sets
Yes
Yes
Data printing
Yes
Yes
Quick filter for each data cell
Yes
Yes
Record numbering option
Yes
No
Read-only state indication
Yes
No
Chart building directly from the data editor
Yes
Yes
Visible column picker
Yes
Yes

Schema/Data Comparison and Synchronization

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Comparison and synchronization of data in databases of virtually any size
Yes
No
Comparison of tables, views, procedures, functions, and triggers
Yes
No
Support for custom comparison keys
Yes
No
Filtering of comparison results
Yes
No
Generation of data synchronization scripts
Yes
No
Viewing of data differences per record
Yes
No
Exclusion of tables and records from synchronization
Yes
No
Saving and loading of comparison settings
Yes
No
Command-line interface for data comparison and synchronization
Yes
No
Generation of accurate comparison reports in HTML and Excel formats
Yes
No
Generation of comments
Yes
No
Specific options for tables, script objects, triggers, indexes, and constraints
Yes
No
Inclusion and exclusion of objects by mask
Yes
No
Save as Command Line
Yes
No

Data Export

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
CSV
Yes
Yes
XML
Yes
Yes
TXT
Yes
Yes
XLS
Yes
No
XLSX
Yes
No
PDF
Yes
Yes
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 from multiple tables at once
Yes
Yes
Export from the command line
Yes
No
Export templates
Yes
Yes

Data Import

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
CSV
Yes
Yes
XML
Yes
Yes
TXT
Yes
No
XLS
Yes
No
XLSX
Yes
No
DBF
Yes
No
JSON
Yes
No
Google Sheets
Yes
No
MDB (Access)
Yes
No
ODBC
Yes
No
Import data from the command line
Yes
No
Import templates
Yes
Yes

Database Projects

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
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 structures
Yes
No
Project export into one of the multiple scripts
Yes
No
Multiple build configurations
Yes
No
Single-click project deployment on the server
Yes
No
Workspace saving
Yes
No
Comparison of a live database with a project
Yes
No

Data Analysis

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Display of 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
Yes
Data search on a live database
Yes
No
Automated report generation and distribution from the command line
Yes
No
Reports: Save Command Line
Yes
No
Database diagrams
Yes
Yes

Source Control

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Integration with Git, GitHub, SVN
Yes
No
Shared and dedicated database development models
Yes
No
Conflict resolution: Get Local and Get Remote
Yes
No
Version control of static data
Yes
No
History of changes
Yes
No

Performance Tuning

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Visual SQL explain plan
Yes
No
Session statistics
Yes
Yes
Query plan displayed in the tree view
Yes
No
Profiling history that can be saved for further analysis
Yes
No
Comparison of profiling results with highlighted differences
Yes
No
Printing of profiling results
Yes
No

Data Generation

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
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

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Broad picture of database structure
Yes
No
Rich customization features
Yes
No
HTML format
Yes
No
PDF format
Yes
No
Markdown format
Yes
No
Documentation customization with style templates
Yes
No
Viewing of inter-object and inter-database dependencies
Yes
No
Database Documenter: Save Command Line
Yes
No

Administration

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Copy databases
Yes
Yes
Backup and recovery
Yes
No
Database backup to SQL and ZIP
Yes
No
Database backup as a scripts folder
Yes
None
Backup: Save Command Line
Yes
None

User and Session Management

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Security Manager to administer user accounts and privileges
Yes
No
Session Manager for monitoring active MySQL server connections and tracing user sessions
Yes
Yes

User Interface

dbForge Studio for MySQL
phpMyAdmin
Start Page with quick access to main features
Yes
No
UI skins
Yes
Yes
Customizable window layout
Yes
No
Tool windows with 'auto-hide' and 'float' modes
Yes
No
Multiple shortcut schemes with full shortcut customization
Yes
No
Tabbed groups for documents
Yes
No
Wizard for sharing common settings, code standards, and templates
Yes
Yes

Your ultimate MySQL IDE

dbForge Studio for MySQL is an all-encompassing integrated environment whose unique and versatile features make it a perfect choice for the development, management, and administration of MySQL and MariaDB databases.

dbForge Studio for MySQL

Get a free 30-day trial of dbForge Studio to evaluate all of its capabilities hidden under a sleek user interface.

More feature-by-feature comparisons