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In Database Last updated: October 29, 2022
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Looking for an open-source and free SQL manipulating tool for remote and on-site work? You can try out the most popular tool in the market that is MySQL Workbench.

SQL is the most widely used language for database creation and management. There are many tools out there for database programming in SQL. While programmers can use command line interfaces effortlessly, non-coders can also create SQL databases using graphical user interface (GUI) tools.

MySQL Workbench is one such tool that most SQL administrators, developers, and users use. Continue reading for a detailed review of this database tool and its know-how.     

What Is MySQL Workbench?

MySQL Workbench is a visual database modeling and designing tool capable of accessing MySQL databases on remote or on-site servers. It injects ease of use and functionality into your SQL and MySQL development projects. Furthermore, the tool offers a graphical interface to work with your on-site or remote databases. 

What Is MySQL Workbench

The functionalities that you get are exhaustive. But the popular ones are SQL designing, creating, developing, maintaining, and administering. Another vital function of the tool is to modify existing and supported databases using forward and reverse engineering.

Oracle developed this tool to provide a free and open source option to the SQL community for database manipulation. Additionally, it makes anyone become a database administrator or developer without exhaustive programming knowledge. Non-coders can use simple SQL codes to create and manipulate databases. 

Moreover, when you go to write a script, the tool will automatically show your possible SQL commands. Hence it also works like a code completion tool. In addition, MySQL Workbench supports multiple storage engines like InnoDB, MyISAM, Blackhole, etc., for speed and efficiency.  

What Are the Benefits of MySQL Workbench?

Relational database management systems (RDBMS) are abundant in the market. However, SQL coders and non-coders choose MySQL Workbench over other tools for many reasons like:

Superior Performance

Oracle’s clean programming code and simple user interface (UI) make this DBMS tool much faster than its competitors like Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, etc. 

More Than One Storage Engines

The tool supports multiple storage engines, just like the MySQL databases. Hence, you can configure the project to use several storage engines according to the table and data type. Ultimately, your database maintenance or manipulation work becomes faster. 

Cross-Platform Support

Another best thing is that you can use this tool on almost any computer device like Windows, Linux, and macOS. Also, the tool automatically configures the network connectivity at the backend. Hence, you do not need to run any network configuration. 



For training and educational purposes, you can freely use the community edition. On the other hand, the commercial version is also available at an affordable price to its competitors. 

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Finally, the best attraction is the complete visual interface. And the SQL editing and coding interface also comes with automated syntax suggestions. Hence, non-coders can quickly learn and use MySQL databases. 

How to Get MySQL Workbench for Your PC

The developer of the tool is Oracle, the famous technology, cloud, and business software giant. In an attempt to promote its MySQL RDBMS, Oracle made the software readily available for various operating systems. Find below the OS requirements and their respective download links: 

For Windows

The app is compatible with Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11 versions. Go to the Oracle Downloads page and select Microsoft Windows to get a standalone installation package. 

How to Get MySQL Workbench for Your PC

For macOS

For an Apple computer, you will need a Mac OS X 10.6.1+ operating system to run the software. After visiting the above-mentioned download link, choose the macOS option to find the DMG Archive for the further installation process.  

For Linux 

MySQL Workbench is compatible with multiple Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. You can access the above download portal and choose the right OS to download RPM or DEB packages. 

Community Vs. Commercial Version

MySQL Workbench comes in three different versions: 

  • Community edition with GPL license
  • Standard edition with a commercial license
  • Enterprise edition with a commercial license

All the editions share the following vital modules: 

  • Visual SQL Development
  • Visual Database Administration
  • Performance Tuning
  • User and Session Management
  • Connection Management
  • Object Management
  • Data Management
  • Visual Data Modeling
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Forward Engineering
  • Schema Synchronization
  • Scripting & Plugins
  • Database Migration

Certain commercial features like Enterprise Firewall, Enterprise Backup, Enterprise Audit, and Database Documentation are not available in the Community edition of MySQL Workbench.

Features of MySQL Workbench

SQL Development Tool

The MySQL DB Editor

The tool enables you to manage, create, and configure your connections. It also facilitates the management of connection parameters to database servers. Furthermore, MySQL Workbench, using the built-in SQL editor, empowers you to execute SQL queries on your database connections.

The developer tool also offers: 

  • Color syntax highlighting
  • Reuse of SQL snippets
  • Execution history of SQL

Moreover, you can edit, create, and run queries using the Visual SQL Editor of this DBMS application. In addition, there are other modern features like code auto-complete for SQL scripting, effortless SQL code writing, and SQL debugging statements.

Managing Database Connections

Managing databases in a visual interface is a great convenience for coders and non-coders of SQL. Some of the salient database management features are: 

  • Create new database connections from remote and on-site SQL databases
  • Organize all database connections of an SQL project
  • Manage DB connections, update them, delete old ones, etc.

As a part of the Object Management module, the Object Browser is there to assist you in selecting columns, rows, and tables visually.

Moreover, Data Schema management also becomes effortless since you can select custom fields, create new schemas, navigate between schemas, or delete unnecessary ones.

SQL Administration Tool

SQL Administration Tool

SQL DB administration is a high-stake process to ensure data compliance and business data security. Mostly, you will need this feature in business setups. Notable features of this module are: 

  • Audit and review account information of all users on the DB server
  • Create or delete users
  • Restrict or un-restrict database access
  • Instant modification of database and global permissions
  • Reset DB passwords
  • Scrutinize the history of DB manipulation footprints 

Modeling and Designing Tool

Data requirements for research or business purposes are ever-changing. To create the database with all concepts and aspects covered, you need a great database design and modeling tool. MySQL Workbench is just the right application.

It helps you in forecasting database requirements. Thus, you can create a well-performing DB that requires fewer interventions over a long period.

Other vital modeling functionalities are:

  • Manipulating and creating data models
  • Reverse engineer a DB to its model
  • Forward engineer a data model to a DB
  • Create, manage, and edit data tables
  • Insert new data into tables
  • Create DB models from imported SQL files

Moreover, the modeling module lets you convert Entity Relationship (ER) diagrams into SQL codes and send these codes to an SQL server.   

Visual Dashboard Tool

Visual Dashboard Tool

The application also helps you to improve your MySQL DBs and related projects by offering a visual dashboard of performance. DB admins and developers can use the following features:

  • Interactive visuals and graphs show added details when you hover the mouse on them.
  • A Performance Dashboard always shows MySQL performance on InnoDB metrics, network, and key servers.
  • Get SYS views for the Performance Schema.
  • Get reports for high-cost SQL statements, InnoDB engine metrics, IO hotspots, Wait statistics, etc.
  • Visualize Explain plans graphically shows how the app executes SQL statements within MySQL.
  • Query Statistics functionality helps you to discover metrics like network latency, client timing, index usage, server execution timing, joins, rows scanned, and so on.    

Importing and Exporting Databases

The DBMS lets you import and export data easily in a few clicks. You can simply access the Object Browser and then select custom tables for data export and import. Alternatively, you can select the database schemas to achieve the same goals.

Database Migration Tool

Database Migration Tool

MySQL Workbench ships with a built-in DB migration tool. Thus, users can easily migrate from other DBMS environments like MS Access, MS SQL Server, SQLite, etc. The modules of the migration tool are:

  • Manage Migration Projects
  • Database Migrations
  • Object Migration
  • Source and Target Selection
  • Version Upgrades

Furthermore, you can execute the whole migration process from this single app by configuring, scheduling, and editing the migration plan. 

Configuring Database Servers

Database administrators, developers, and users can fine-tune the MySQL servers using this DBMS application. The tool lets you edit or view the advanced server parameters. It is also useful when you need to troubleshoot databases. For example, you can see the server logs, identify problems instantly, and know the changes to be made to fix the issue.

How to Use MySQL Workbench

Installing the Application

#1. Head to the download portal and download the latest copy of MySQL Workbench for Windows. 

#2. Once the software installation package downloading is complete, go to the Downloads folder of your Windows PC.

#3. You should find the MySQL Workbench MSI installer. Double-click the installer to initiate the setup process. 

#4. Click Next and choose the installation location on your Windows computer. 

#5. Choose Complete on the next screen and select Next.

#6. Now, the Setup Wizard will show a final list of selections. Start the setup processing by clicking on the Install button.

#7. Once the installation is complete, click Finish to close the installer. MySQL Workbench will run automatically for the first time.

Familiarizing With the Tool

The Community edition comes with three simple sections: MySQL Connections, Models, and Migration.

#1. MySQL Connections

MySQL Workbench Setup New Connection

This section will show two icons: a plus sign in a circle (Setup New Connection) and a wrench (Manage Server Connections).

You can use the (+) sign to add new SQL server connections. On the contrary, you can click on the wrench icon to access a list of DB server connections and their default server communication settings. Interestingly, you can also add new connections from the Manage Server Connections screen.

#2. Models

MySQL Workbench DB Model Editor

The Models section shows the following three icons and their representative functionalities.

  • (+) icon is to open the MySQL Model Editor.
  • The small folder in a circle icon lets you import .mwb files from your local computer. 
  • The forward arrow in a circle lets you reverse engineer a database or a script.

#3. Migration

MySQL Workbench Migration Tool

Selecting this option will open the Migration Task List. You will find all the instructions to migrate a database to MySQL Workbench on this screen.         

Step-By-Step Process to Connect to a Database

The crucial feature of this DBMS tool is to connect remote MySQL or SQL DBs with the tool and perform DB queries, modifications, maintenance, and so on. 


Before you can connect a database to Workbench, you need some information about your DB. Though you can connect any MySQL DB, the import of DB from the CPanel of a website is the most popular task.

Once you log in to the CPanel of your website, navigate to the Remote MySQL section and add the IP address of your computer in the Add Access Host field.

Admin panel of remote DB

From the CPanel itself, you will also find the DB server address, port number, DB user name, and password. These are the data that you need to feed in the MySQL Workbench tool.    

Now, you can try the following steps to connect your own MySQL DB with Workbench:

#1. Click the (+) icon to open the Setup New Connection wizard.

Setting up server connection step 1

#2. Enter a Connection Name so that you can organize DB connections.

#3. Choose Standard (TCP/IP) for the Connection Method field.

#4. Under the Parameters tab, enter the Hostname of the DB server. In this case, the IP address of your CPanel MySQL DB.

#5. In the Port field, enter the Port Number retrieved from CPanel.

Setting up server connection step 2

#6. Enter the DB user name in the Username field.

#7. Now, click the Store in Vault to enter the DB password.

Setting up server connection step 3

#8. Click on Test Connection to make the MySQL DB connection.    

Setting up server connection step 4


So far, you have gone through an in-depth discussion of the MySQL Workbench tool for managing, creating, and manipulating SQL databases.

You should now be able to install the application on a compatible device and study the tool or perform some database training. Furthermore, you can get the MySQL Workbench SE or EE for business purposes.

You may also be interested in knowing some good resources to learn SQL and NoSQL.

  • Bipasha Nath
    I am a technical and creative content writer with 10+ years of experience in the relevant industry. My degrees in English and Sociology, coupled with working experience in software development companies, help me understand how technology… read more
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