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I've been running into a lot of shortcomings with phpMyAdmin, especially when it comes to anything Foreign Key related. Imports and Exports can be shady, and working with large amounts of data is a chore.

I love that it runs in a web browser so that I'm able to run it on any host, but I've been moving from shared environments to dedicated hardware and have the ability to access MySQL remotely now.

Can anyone recommend the next level of MySQL administration once a developer has graduated from PMA? Is there an amazing GUI tool, or should I finally memorize those CREATE TABLE statements and use the command line?

I've been a PMA user since 2004.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've been pretty happy with Sequel Pro. Free, expandable.

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That is sexy, I'll give it a try! – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 18:33
totally made my day searching for a tool and finding this, thanks! – derekaug Mar 15 '12 at 13:47

How about Navicat? Works on Mac and Windows. And on multiple types of databases (different products though). There is a free version in the app store to try

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The $374 price tag for Navicat is out of my price range :( – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 16:49
@ThomasHunter Powerful Visual Database Designer *only available in Enterprise Version Support of Reverse Engineer With the Reverse Engineer in Navicat, you can create a database model from an existing database and graphically visualize and edit the structure of your database. Or, you can graphically create a model, and generate a database that supports your model. from their website. On the App Store, they have the free version without this ONE feature – Canadian Luke Dec 20 '11 at 17:33
I found Navicat Essentials for MySQL, $5 as it's 75% off for a limited time. This is definitely in my budget, I'll check it out, thanks – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 18:41
@ThomasHunter Weird, it was free for me... :S Anyways, I like it, and for $5 you can't go wrong – Canadian Luke Dec 20 '11 at 19:18

Have you tried the MySQL Workbench? It's directly from MySQL themselves and quite good. The catch is you need to be able to directly connect to the database, so you might have to use an ssh forward if the database is locked down to local-only connections for security reasons (Whereas phpMyAdmin is accessible to anyone that the webserver permits).

It has GUI builders for creates, updates, alter tables, etc., and dare I say, makes working with MySQL tables almost as easy as using MS Excel, save for you having to click commit to save your changes.

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I have been using it, and it seems like a good tool for designing logical data relationships, but it doesn't seem like a good tool for keeping track of data and maintaining a database. I could be using it completely wrong though. – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 15:52
They move'd some of the tools around lately, but the one previously known as "MySQL Administrator" is the tool in particular that you're looking for. It might still be under that name in the start menu. – Darth Android Dec 20 '11 at 16:35
"MySQL Administrator has reached EOL. See the EOL notice. Please upgrade to MySQL Workbench." :( – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 16:46

I've used EMS SQL Manager several years ago. It is part of their SQL Studio, which has even more features. Both are rather expensive, Windows-only tools:

SQL Manager for MySQL allows you to create/edit all MySQL database objects, design MySQL databases visually, run SQL scripts, import and export MySQL database data, manage MySQL users and their privileges and has many other useful features for efficient MySQL administration.

Update: They apparently have a free "lite" version, available for download, I cannot find what's the difference from the full version is.

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I could always run it in a VM if it's good enough, although $175 seems a little steep. I don't need all of the enterprise features, just an awesome interface into table creation, import/export .sql, and viewing/updating data. – Thomas Hunter Dec 20 '11 at 16:52
Your original question didn't mention OSX, running VM specifically for this seems like an overkill to me. They have a free trial versions, as well as a completely free "lite" version, so you could give it a try. – haimg Dec 20 '11 at 17:11

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