Querious: MySQL on Your Desktop

If you regularly work on website design or development, there’s a good change that you encounter MySQL from time-to-time. It’s a widely popular database system, often coupled with the infamous phpMyAdmin as a visual administration system. For many years, I longed for a better alternative to this clunky, visually dated front-end to MySQL.

Recently, my prayers have been answered in the form of Querious, a native Mac application for managing your MySQL database right from the desktop. This review will take an in-depth look at what Querious has to offer, and how it can make managing a database far more enjoyable.

Connecting

Querious offers a simple interface for connecting to your database, allowing the storage of several favorites down the left hand side:

Connecting to a Database

Connecting to a Database

A full range of connection options are available, and everything is fairly self explanatory. The “small print” to be noted here is that Querious is only capable of connecting to MySQL 5 databases (or later). This may prove a limitation if you’re on a slightly older hosting package and are not running the latest version of the database software. It’s certainly worth checking before purchasing the app!

Once connected, you’ll be offered a column of all the databases/tables in the MySQL installation. Clicking one will take you into one of two different views:

Managing Table Structure

The capabilities of Querious are broadly separated into managing the structure of your database, and managing the data within it. You can swap between these two views through the icons in the upper left corner of the screen.

The structure view is named “Columns”, and allows you to change the type, length, name, and default values of a particular field:

Viewing a database structure and columns

Viewing a database structure and columns

The functionality on offer is fairly straight forward, and works as you’d expect. Changes are made quickly, and a spinner in the upper left tab notifies you that they are being written back to the database.

Managing Data

When swapping to the ‘Content’ view, you’ll be shown all the records contained within a particular table. Sorting by a particular column responds immediately (an updated view is not requested from the database):

Viewing and editing database content

Viewing and editing database content

Searches can be performed on individual columns or the whole table, and work as you’d expect. To edit a particular record, you can double click it. This will bring up an editor window and allow you to change the value:

Editing a field

Editing a field

Upon clicking ‘OK’ you’re returned to the database and the change is made in the background.

Other Features

Operations

Operations

If you’re a slightly more advanced MySQL user, you’re able to perform specific SQL queries through the “Query” tab. This works well, and the feature to automatically save a query history is very useful.

In addition, a variety of MySQL operations can be performed with one click. These include: Analyze, Check, Flush, Repair and Optimize. Results are displayed in a dialog window. Full SQL import and export is supported, and you can choose files directly from your desktop. The exporting window offers a range of functionality:

Exporting Data

Exporting Data

Three export options are available: CSV, Tab Seperated, or SQL. You can select a particular database and tables to export, along with whether you’d like to include options such as drop/create table. During exporting, you’ll see a progress bar and updates on what’s happening behind the scenes.

Even more useful is the ability to copy-and-paste several rows to the clipboard, automatically formatted as CSV, SQL or Tab Separated content. Upon clicking copy (or hitting a keyboard shortcut), you are asked how you’d like to export the data. This is one of my favorite features, as it’s far more user friendly than any other option available.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a user friendly front-end to MySQL, Querious is certainly worth taking a look at. I’m thoroughly impressed with everything the app is capable of, and would certainly recommend it as an excellent desktop solution. The only downside is the occasional application hang as data is read/written from the database. This rarely happens, and everything usually works seamlessly.

A free solution is available – Sequel Pro. We’ll cover this in a future review, but in testing I found it not to offer the same polished experience. If you don’t mind parting with $25 (and your server supports MySQL 5), Querious is certainly worth the money.