Technology / System Admin

Top 5 Tools for Managing MySQL DataBase Servers

by Dalton Hirst
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Published on July 1, 2022

Database management is not an easy job, and depending on the size of the database, it could take a team-like effort. There are many responsibilities that go into administering a database, including data storage and organization, managing user access, and data backup and recovery. Perhaps the critical element that factors into each of those responsibilities is the database server.

Many tools are available to make the job easier, as with anything else related to database administration and management. Specifically for database server management, choosing the right tool can make all the difference.

MySQL Essentials

MySQL is an open-source relational database owned by Oracle that has been on the market for over 20 years. For many companies, developers, and database administrators (DBAs), MySQL provides the most secure and suitable database platform that is scalable and customizable to meet nearly any business requirement.

Unlike a flat-file database, a relational database contains many data tables organized into rows and columns. Relational databases use structured query language (SQL), an easy-to-use programming interface for organizing and storing data within the database. The data structure all relates to each other with key fields. Relational databases are more flexible and functional than flat-file databases.

Many companies of various sizes use databases run by MySQL in their mobile and web applications. MySQL is an open-source project – meaning anyone can become involved and contribute to its support and development – many powerful tech companies support and use MySQL, such as Amazon Web Services.

MySQL databases are amongst the most popular relational databases globally. Depending on the needs of a customer, MySQL offers a free database with its Community Edition. For customers that need more services and features, MySQL offers different commercial licenses. MySQL is easy to use and works very well with different Operating Systems (OS), such as Mac, Windows, and Linux. It is known as a secure database, and it works with many programming languages such as PHP, Java, and C++.

MySQL Server Basics

When a database developer creates a MySQL database, they will almost certainly download the MySQL software locally to their computer. The developer will often use the command line interface for their operating system to establish a new database and connect it to a server to store the data. Depending on the amount of data the database will store, it is often not practical or feasible to store it locally on a computer. This common scenario is where a MySQL database server comes in.

As with any other server, a MySQL database server is where an established database connects to store and work with the data entered or collected. MySQL server connections use the standard client-server model, and the database developer establishes this relationship in the initial set-up and configuration of a database.

Five Tools for Server Management

There are plenty of graphical user interface (GUI) tools and applications available to help manage and administer a database. Choosing a tool that allows for a robust approach to managing your database server is an equally vital factor to consider when selecting a tool. Effective management and ease of access are essential since the server is where all your data lives.

The applications in this article are far from the only choices, but they are some of the most used and well-known options. Some are free, while others offer a free demo but will require some sort of payment to unlock its capabilities thoroughly. Most importantly, all tools provide a focused approach or dedicated options specifically for database server management.

1. MySQL Workbench

It is doubtful that the command line interface will ever stop being the interaction tool of choice for DBAs and developers. Another option, however, is the MySQL Workbench. This tool provides a GUI interaction for designing, developing, and administering a MySQL database. Similar to MySQL, there is a Community Edition and a Commercial Edition of the Workbench.

Specifically for a database server, the MySQL Workbench allows server configuration for database administrators and developers. Many command-line functions are available in the MySQL Workbench, providing a visual method to develop and interact with a database server. The tool provides a visual performance dashboard useful for database administrators to monitor server performance and health.

2. SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provides a comprehensive environment to manage any database that uses SQL. This includes MySQL and a variety of other database management systems. With SSMS, database administrators and developers can configure, develop, and manage all aspects of a SQL server. One of the strengths of SMSS is the combination of GUI and script editors that provides access to SQL servers, no matter the experience or skill level.

Within SSMS, the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio enables a DBA or developer to connect the MySQL data to an SQL Server instance. This process is accomplished with the Linked Server tool of an MS SQL Server. With linked servers, DBAs and developers execute commands from different data sources, such as MySQL, and merge them with the SQL Server database.

3. phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a free software tool that works very well with MySQL databases. As the name indicates, phpMyAdmin is written in the PHP programming language. One of the tool’s strengths with its design is to handle tasks, such as server maintenance, over the internet. phpMyAdmin supports a wide range of operations for MySQL databases. Many commonly used actions, for example, include adding or editing tables, managing user permissions, or conducting data backup. These tasks are all done through the interface. phpMyAdmin also allows DBAs and developers to configure and administer multiple servers.

4. dbForge Studio for MySQL

dbForge Studio is a powerful and comprehensive MySQL tool. The easy-to-use GUI provides a complete set of server management and administration instruments. In addition to this powerful feature, dbForge Studio offers tools for database development, administration, and data query.

dbForge Studio is a popular choice for many DBAs and developers for MySQL databases. The front-facing GUI tool is feature-rich yet still approachable for a junior DBA or developer. Within the studio, SQL Server is a dedicated tool for server management, administration, and development.

5. MySQL Monitoring

MySQL Monitoring is a robust tool from Application Manager. One of the best features is its monitoring capability. This ability allows DBAs to optimize server performance and respond to application-generated alerts, should there be any issues. Additionally, the application provides robust metrics on performance factors and can be configured to send automatic notifications of any server downtime.

Many MySQL database processes many transactions daily, no matter the size and scope. The insights provided by the performance reporting capabilities of MySQL Monitoring track database usage and can flag potential problems in the database before they can interrupt operations. This type of information allows DBAs to act quickly and address issues proactively.

Final Thoughts

MySQL is an extremely popular and well-supported open-source relational database management system used in many industries. DBAs and developers have many tools at their disposal that provide excellent features to manage a MySQL database server.

CBT Nuggets is well-versed in both Oracle and SQL databases. We offer a complete certification course: Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate, which includes database server management. We offer several individual courses for those looking to increase their proficiency with MySQL, including MySQL Essentials. Whatever your MySQL training or certification needs, CBT Nuggets is the only source you need to become a MySQL expert.


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