In modern computing environments, diversified database platforms are the norm. Yet the demands of effectively using enterprise data resources have made it practically impossible for companies to standardize on a single database management solution. When data arrives in multiple formats, it simply can’t be handled efficiently by the same platform.
10 Best SQL Editor Tools
- Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
- SQuirrel SQL
- Datapine SQL Editor
- MySQL Workbench
- Oracle SQL Developer
- Valentina Studio
- dbForge Studio
Multi-platform environments have always been a challenge to everyone responsible for developing and maintaining corporate databases, including database administrators (DBAs) and developers. Team members need to be flexible and ready to move between platforms at a moment’s notice.
This may involve using different tools which can reduce productivity due to lack of familiarity. Consolidating the toolset can go a long way toward reducing the complexity of database development in this type of environment. And this is where integrated development environments (IDEs) become imperative.
What Is an SQL Editor (IDE) and Why Do We Need It?
SQL editors, or SQL IDEs, allow database administrators and web developers to perform and execute all kinds of SQL queries. These editors also help establish a connection to your database, where you can access, control and manipulate the data.
Integrated development environments provide tight-knit components with similar user interfaces that are designed to maximize programmers’ and administrators’ productivity. IDEs present a single program in which all development and post-development processes are executed. Some of the features of SQL editors include:
- Establishing database objects.
- Defining database schema and instance.
- Data testing.
- Analysis and user management.
Best SQL Editors
If you are an administrator or a database developer, you’ll want to know which SQL editor will work best for you. Fortunately, you’re in the right place.
You may be looking for a solution that is wholesome but also affordable. You may also have data privacy concerns on top of worries about finding the right deployment options and customer support features as you sort through the various SQL tools.
Considering all of those points, we have compiled the best SQL editors and how you can make most of them:
Adminer will always be the first choice of developers, no matter the year. With Adminer, you get better support for MySQL features, a tidier user interface, more security and higher performance.
Ever since its inception, Adminer has prioritized security as its main component. It doesn’t allow users to connect to other databases without a password, and it rate-limits connection attempts to protect against brute-force attacks.
You can also quickly delete Adminer if you do not need it anymore. Unlike many other IDEs, Adminer is just one file that makes it easy to upload and delete as you need.
Adminer had some bugs in the past, but it has improved a lot over time. Whenever there’s an update available, make sure to download it.
As a database developer, you know that you need various SQL statements for initiating backups, ad-hoc querying or troubleshooting. DBeaver can make it faster to get these things done.
It’s a multi-platform and accessible database management tool for all kinds of developers, SQL programmers, analysts and DBAs. Primarily written in Java, DBeaver supports almost all types of databases, including, but not limited to MariaDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL and even YugaByte DB.
Its interface doesn’t look better than pgAdmin, but DBeaver is also an open-source IDE considering that most of its competitors are not. Below are some of the other features in DBeaver that make it different from others:
DBeaver not only works better but offers very alluring aesthetics. Its fonts are well-chosen, its tab corners are rounded, alternating rows are shaded, the color scheme is unobtrusive and icons are intuitive.
You can double-click on a table, and your data will be just there. No SQL editor commands like “SELECT * FROM …”, no opening new windows, etc.
Seeing your data is excellent, but DBeaver has much more to offer. You can click on the headers of columns to sort any data and can filter the box above results to specify which columns you want to filter and how you want to filter them.
DBeaver offers ER diagrams that are concise and sufficient. They generally appear on the rightmost tab of the object editor.
3. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express
For years, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio was the first choice among the majority of database developers. While other IDEs like Adminer and DBeaver have taken its place atop the list, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio is still one of the best in business both because of its nostalgia and because of what it has to offer as a free tool. This includes:
- Various add-in options.
- Easy installation.
- Advanced user experience.
RazorSQL is another efficient IDE with syntax highlighting and additional administration capabilities.
RazorSQL also has a built-in database browser where you can view all the elements of a database as schemes, tables and functions to make it easier to manage. Furthermore, RazorSQL offers a table creation tool that is very helpful in generating SQL for tables. It also supports more than 20 different languages including SQL, PHP, XML and Java, etc. It is the perfect SQL editor for Mac OS, Windows and Linux.
It’s not a free tool, which puts it a bit down on our list. However, it does offer a free 30-day trial, where you can see if it works for you before buying the licensed version.
5. SQuirrel SQL
The SQuirreL SQL IDE provides a simple and user-friendly graphical interface to all types of relational databases. Since it’s built using Java, it can allow remote access to multiple databases.
SQuirrel SQL offers an effortless copy-paste feature across different platforms, and it’s a wholesome answer to database migration that is generally caused by differences in syntax. Overall, SQuirrel SQL is a very convenient IDE to use, and it’s a typical swing program, as well as one of the most successful swing programs available.
6. Datapine SQL Editor
The primary idea behind the creation of Datapine SQL Editor was to enable decision-makers and managers to quickly generate reports and analyze insights effectively to manage their business.
Datapine also offers KPI reporting that includes a data visualization tool. This enables users to quickly translate data so that it’s easy to read for everyone.
On top of the convenience that it offers, Datapine is a SaaS-based tool allows you to use it anywhere. It also provides automatic SQL code generation and an SQL query box.
However, it’s not a free tool, and pricing varies based on your needs.
7. MySQL Workbench
Another primary IDE to use is MySQL Workbench. While it’s further down in this list, it remains one of the top IDEs with loads of valuable features. MySQL enables a database administrator, data architect and developer to visually model, design, generate and manage databases.
MySQL Workbench includes almost everything a database manager has ever dreamt of for forward and reverse engineering and creating complex ER models. MySQL Workbench also offers key features for performing complicated documentation and change management tasks that are generally tiring and time-taking.
8. Oracle SQL Developer
Oracle SQL Developer is a complete tool for database users and administrators to manage their database tasks in less time and with lesser effort.
Primarily a productivity tool, Oracle’s SQL Developer’s main objective is to make everything about the database easier for the end-user. It also helps users save time and maximize their return on investment in their database technology stack.
Oracle SQL Developer is also one of the many free IDEs that offers complete end-to-end development of your SQL applications. On top of that, it’s a fantastic worksheet for running scripts and queries. And if you’re a DBA, an excellent console for managing the database with an amicable reports interface.
9. Valentina Studio
Valentina Studio is also a free IDE, although it does have a premium paid version that offers extra features. It’s a universal database management tool, especially if you’re working with MySQL, but it’s also helpful with SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, SQLite and other Valentina DB databases.
The pro version of Valentina further adds data transfer, visual query builder, SQL DIFF and report designer features on top of compelling forward engineering diagramming.
Its free features include:
- Schema editing and diagramming
- Valentina forms.
- Valentina reports.
- Server administration.
- SQL editing.
- Utilities (i.e, diagnose, defragment, compress, clone, etc.)
10. dbForge Studio
DbForge Studio for MySQL is a widely used IDE for the development and administration of MariaDB and MySQL databases. It comes with a toolset that helps create and execute queries, development and debugging routines and automating database object management in a very convenient environment.
If we consider the most effective options of dbForge Studio, we can list them in the following order:
- MySQL debugger.
- Query builder.
- Query profiler.
- Data and schema compare.
- SQL code completion and formatting.
- Advanced data import/export.
- Connecting with different servers simultaneously.
- Full database user management.
The ever-increasing popularity of MySQL means that everyone needs effective, convenient, and affordable database tools to work with it. Software providers are perpetually competing to come up with the best SQL clients every year, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
However, as a DBA, your goal shouldn’t be to access as many clients as possible, but to choose one that offers a wholesome solution.