MySQL Workbench

January 20, 2009

I haven’t formally written about MySQL Workbench in any of my books (I don’t think), but wanted to give it a quick mention here. MySQL Workbench is a visual database design application (an entity-relation/modeling tool) for creating and managing database schemas. It runs on many operating systems and is being released in both free and commercial versions.

If you haven’t used a visual database design tool before, you’ll need to spend some time reading up on it. The application can be used to design and then create new databases or create documentation for existing ones. This kind of software is especially useful if you:

  • prefer visual design tools
  • may need to create databases on one server, then recreate them on another
  • want to package along an excellent resource when turning a site over to a client

MySQL Workbench is currently in an alpha release. That means not all of its features are quite there yet and the documentation will need to be much improved (some of the links on MySQL’s pages seem to be inconsistent). But if you have some spare time, you may want to play with this now. If you don’t have the time, or prefer more developed software, keep the MySQL Workbench in mind for later in the year.

On MySQL’s Web site, you can find links to download the software for Windows and Linux. An alpha version for Mac OS X was released just before Christmas. I didn’t find any obvious links to it on the MySQL Web site, but did find them at this post.