In this post, we are going to compare three SQL GUI clients: DBeaver, MySQL Workbench, TablePlus, along with some pros and cons of each tool.
DBeaver is a free universal database tool and SQL client, built based on Eclipse RCP platform.
Supported platforms: DBeaver works on all platforms supported by Eclipse framework, previously Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX. Starting from version 4.2, it limited its support to Windows, MacOS, and Linux only.
Supported Drivers: DBeaver community version can work with any database server which has JDBC driver (which means a lot of databases): MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, SQLite, Oracle, to DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, MS Access, Teradata, Firebird, Derby, etc. The enterprise adds support for non-JDBC data sources (WMI, MongoDB, Cassandra, Redis).
Pricing: DBeaver has a community version (DBeaver CE) which is free and open source. There’s also an enterprise edition (DBeaver EE) with more driver support, more advanced features and dedicated customer support for enterprises.
- Multiple drivers support
- Assigning connection color
- Entity-relationship diagrams are available
- Built-in reformat SQL
- It runs on a Java virtual machine, eats up a lot of RAM while running.
- Confusing icon design and somewhat unintuitive. Sometimes you don’t know where to look for what you need.
- Autocomplete is slow, and not so smart.
2. MySQL Workbench
MySQL WorkBench offers a full-featured administration tool for MySQL on multiple operating systems.
Supported platforms: MySQL Workbench is cross-platform. It’s available on Mac, Windows, Linux.
Supported Drivers: MySQL Workbench supports all versions of MySQL because it’s built by the MySQL at Oracle.
Pricing: MySQL Workbench also has a community version which is free and open source. The other two commercial versions for enterprises are subscription based with enterprise features and support.
- It’s cross-platform. In case you work on more than one operating system, you don’t have to use a different tool and the experiences will be consistent.
- It includes everything a data modeler needs for creating complex ER models
- It has a Visual Performance Dashboard
- A complete and easy to use tools for database migration.
- Ability to cancel long queries without hanging.
- It provides fast access to server status and other information.
- It shows multiple result sets.
- It’s easy to create and edit views, procedures & functions.
- It only supports MySQL and MariaDB. If you work with more database other than MySQL and MariaDB, it’s a huge drawback.
- The UI is unintuitive. It is packed with a lot of features. It’s definitely not a tool for beginners.
- It complicated and overkill to perform simple tasks.
- It’s resource intensive.
- It crashes a lot too.
With a native build and a lightweight size, TablePlus is a very handy database GUI Client.
Supported platforms: TablePlus is built native for each platform. It started out with a native version for Mac, then another version for Windows, and a version for Linux was introduced recently as an alpha release. It also has an iOS version.
Supported Drivers: TablePlus supports a handful of relational databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon Redshift, MariaDB, CockroachDB, Vertica, Oracle; and two popular NoSQL databases: Cassandra and Redis.
Pricing: TablePlus has a free version with full set of features which you can download and use forever, but there are some usage limitations. If you use it heavily, the license costs $59 to remove all those limitations.
- Native build for each platform so it’s fast, lightweight, and stable.
- Clean and simple interface.
- Multiple drivers support
- Multiple conditions data filter
- Queries history and keyword binding favorite.
- Streaming results and async loading to show queries results faster and doesn’t block the UI.
- Very quick inline editing for table data and structure, you also can edit query results directly.
- Smart query editor with highlight syntax, instant autocomplete, SQL reformat.
- Multiple carets
- A plugin system to extend the app.
- Quick support. TablePlus releases new updates regularly and responds to users’ requests almost immediately.
It currently lacks of some advanced features such as ER Diagram, database compare tool to Diff and Sync, etc.
Go with MySQL Workbench if you:
- Work with MySQL only
- Need a tool to get the job done
Go with DBeaver if you:
- Work with all kinds of databases
- Prefer a an old-fashioned design with all function buttons on the UI.
Go with TablePlus if you:
- Are a fan of native experience
- Work with multiple databases
- Want a modern design with better usability
- Want quick support & development cycle.