If you need to do anything with SQL on a Mac, you need an SQL admin tool. Here’s a quick run-down of four of the most popular SQL tools for Mac.
- Mac / Linux / Windows
- feature-rich: SQL syntax-highlighting, visual database design
- Import and export to .sql, databse migration features
- Cons: complains when used to connect to MariaDB. Seems to work fine apart from annoying pop-up notices when connecting to a MariaDB server.
- License: free
- MySQL Workbench
Overall: Mature, many-featured admin tool suited to DBAs and developers, but might be overkill for most developers, and doesn’t like connecting to MariaDB.
If you’ve ever used MAMP, you will have seen PHPMyAdmin. It’s a web app interface to mySQL, and can be confiured to connect to a local MySQL or a remote server.
- Mature PHP web app
- Flexible import (SQL) and export (SQL, CSV, XLS)
- Suitable for general development, especially with a local MySQL server
- Cons: subject to web app limitations: importing large files is limited by PHP & web server upload configs. Also session timeouts require an occasional browser refresh
- License: GNU / free
Overall: a good option for general use, more suited to connecting to a local MySQL server.
Do it in Terminal
Nothing wrong with doing it the old-fashioned way.
- Built in to every mac: nothing to download
- Terminal tools support both MySQL and MariaDB
- Scriptable in bash, can also accept piped and redirected input
- Cons: typing can become annopying, so you might need to have a separte text file of commonly used commands
- License: free
- Native Mac app
- Flexible import (SQL, CSV) and export (SQL, CSV, XML, DOT)
- Cons: doesn’t feature performance info
- License: Donationware.
- Sequel Pro
Overall: Good, free native Cocoa app. Recommended for general use, especially if you’re using MariaDB.
So which is best?
I use Sequel Pro daily, and MySQL Workbench sometimes, and occasionally the Terminal app too. I find Sequel Pro good to use becuase it’s uncluttered, so that’s a good choice for most devs.