Navicat MySQL GUI Review

Navicat by PremiumSoft

As much as I love the command line for its simplicity and speed, there are times when a GUI can be quicker and easier. Photo manipulation for example, can be done faster via a graphical interface than by typing commands. Also the command line can sometimes be frustrating, as the commands involved get ridiculously long and the syntax confusing. As a programmer, speed and efficiency are essential and the command line is often times more of a burden than anything else. Having said that, I have used several different MySQL GUI's, including web based ones, and have found Navicat to be the easiest, quickest and most full featured front-end out there.

First let me start by saying that Navicat is amazing. The GUI is very intuitive and easy on the eyes. It also has a lot of features and options, some of which I have yet to explore. For example, connecting to a database, be it local or remote, can be done in any number of ways. You can connect straight to the database, or use an SSL, SSH, or HTTP tunnel (at the time of this writing the Linux version only supports SSL tunnels). Once connected you can do everything from create/drop/edit tables to user administration to export/import of data.

SSH Tunnel

Navicat also allows you to create reports based on MySQL performance, design query's using the query design tool, schedule backups and if you are using MySQL 5+ you can also work with procedures. Viewing information contained in a database is simple as well, just double click the database, then the table. You can also convert Access, MS SQL and Excel to MySQL as well as ODBC imports.

Import Wizard

The support for Navicat is amazing as well, with a searchable knowledge base, online and downloadable manuals, graphical tutorials and a troubleshooter. The few problems I ran into when first using the software were very quickly rectified through there site and I have been happy with the product since then.

Navicat is the number 1 MySQL GUI shareware at with over 300,000 downloads. Companies that use Navicat include Sony Music, Intel, Kodak, FedEX, Ericsson, Siemens, Yahoo!, Hitachi, Lexmark, Cisco, Disney, US Department of Energy and several Universities including MIT, Univerisity of Michigan, Harvard University and Oxford University.

Table View

Navicat is made by PremiumSoft, a company with some 20 employee's and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux in 6 major languages. The trial version which is available for download here can be used for 30 days. The full version can be purchased for $55 - $139 depending on OS and licence.

Outside of the MySQL command line, there are a number of options out there for database administration including PHPMyAdmin. While PHPMyAdmin is a great tool, your use of it is dependant on your server, in that not all servers have it. If you use Navicat, you are independent of the server. All you need is your login information, which you should have anyway. In short, Navicat is an awesome piece of software to add to your toolbox.

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