Recently the old guard MySQL GUI tools (MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser) were issued the dreaded EOL (end of life). Initially I was taken by surprise, but when I was pointed to the single tool that was to take their place, I quickly realized that all would be well.

The MySQL Workbench is an amazing single-point of contact for MySQL administrators. MySQL Workbench can handle every possible MySQL task you need tackled both locally and remotely. But MySQL Workbench isn’t just for data base administrators, it’s also for DB developers and designers.


  • Two versions: Community (OSS/GPL) and Standard (Commercial)
  • Minimum hardware:
    • CPU: Intel Core or Xeon 3GHz (or Dual Core 2GHz) or equal AMD CPU.
    • Cores: Single (Dual/Quad Core is recommended).
    • RAM: 4GB (6GB recommended).
    • Graphic Accelerators: nVidia or ATI with support of OpenGL 1.5 or higher.
    • Display Resolution: 1280×1024 is recommended, 1024×768 is minimum.
  • Supported operating systems:
    • Windows 7 (64bit, Professional or higher)
    • Mac OS X 10.6.1+
    • Ubuntu 9.10 (64bit)
    • Ubuntu 8.04 (32bit/64bit)
  • Additional vendor information
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Who’s it for?

MySQL Workbench is for anyone who needs to administer MySQL databases (from simple schema creation to more complex tasks such as model validation). But don’t think you will be using command line tools. MySQL Workbench is a powerful GUI tool that will satisfy anyone needing a robust, user-friendly graphical interface to handle complex tasks.

What problem does it solve?

MySQL Workbench pulls together nearly every MySQL task and crams them all into one easy to use graphical interface.

Standout features

  • Simple installation
  • Multiple MySQL connections (both local and remote)
  • Unlimited undo/redo
  • Advanced find tool
  • Scripting and plugins supported
  • Reverse and forward engineering
  • Visual data (and schema) modeling
  • Server administration built in

What’s wrong?

The initiated need not apply. With the tools Workbench is replacing, it was possible to only have a cursory understanding of MySQL to get by. You could create a database for use with tools like Drupal, for example. With MySQL Workbench, however, you better have a much deeper understanding of databases or you will have a tough time getting it to work properly. MySQL will now be lacking a graphical tool for new users.

Competitive products:

Bottom line for business

If you or your company depends upon MySQL databases, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the MySQL Workbench. Not only will this tool make your job easier, it will most likely introduce you to aspects of the MySQL database you never knew existed. The MySQL Workbench is an amazing tool ready to handle MySQL administration on every level.

User rating

Have you encountered or used MySQL Workbench? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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Main Screen

A single glance shows how powerful MySQL Workbench is.

Connection setup

Setting up a MySQL connection is simple as simple as plugging in the necessary data, testing the connection, and clicking OK.

SQL editor

With your connection made, MySQL Workbench will open you up into the SQL Editor where you can administrate all schema on that server.

Apply changes

Here you see a new table (employe_information) about to be applied to an existing database.

New Schema

Creating a new database is simple. Once you have made your connection to the server, click the + button, and follow the directions in the wizard.

Table listing

In this view you can right click a table and select a number of options. If you need to edit the data on the table click the appropriate entry.

View data

This image shows a view of the data in the system table of a Drupal database. Here you can only view the data. In order to modify the data on the same table, you would need to select Modify data when you right click the table on the table listing.