Administering MySQL with Navicat
MySQL is a great database package, but one area where it has always been weak is in its administrative interface. The default approach to working with MySQL seems to be driving it from the command shell, which is OK but quickly gets unwieldy when you are working with large and/or complex queries. Not to mention that once you’ve been exposed to the slick GUI management tools available for commercial RDBMSs like Microsoft SQL Server, it’s hard to go back.
For a long time I used SciBit’s Mascon as my graphical MySQL admin tool. Mascon was OK but always felt kind of clunky to me, like it was designed by DBAs rather than UI experts. It got the job done, but never really left me satisfied.
Lately I’ve been trying a new contender, PremiumSoft’s Navicat, and so far I’m really impressed. Navicat makes working with MySQL a breeze, and it does so in a package that has the fit and finish that Mascon always lacked. (O’Reilly has a good review of Navicat on their site.)
Even more impressive, it’s cross platform — unlike Mascon (which was Windows-only), you can get Navicat for Windows, OS X, or Linux. Which means no more telling the one Mac guy in the office to go track down his own MySQL GUI on Freshmeat (I’m looking at you, Sandy 😉 ).
Apparently Mascon is no longer in development, having been replaced by SciBit’s new offering MyCon. MyCon is about $20 less than Navicat, but if it’s as clunky as Mascon was, I’d be inclined to shell out the extra money. Anyone out there who can tell me if there’s any reason not to?