What is your experience with MySQL workbench?

For some years now i give MySQL workbench a try from time to time - and everytime i do, i’m very disappointed. This seems like the most unstable software i’ve ever seen. It’s crashing so often, you hardly can’t use it for anything. Unfortunatley its predecessor DbDesigner isn’t developed any further (and also has bugs).

But as many users seem to be very satisfied i start to wonder wether it’s just me. So what are your experiences with MySQL Workbench? (Multiple answer possible to separate usage frequency and stability)

I tried it some years ago (IIRC) and wasn’t impressed.

Then I started using it a month ago, and I’m very happy with it. :)

I am running Vista, btw.

I haven’t experienced more than one single crash, and then a semi-crash in a dialogue (model synch), and all I had to do was clicking OK and then the program recovered.

I am sorry to hear that it’s unusable for you.

Is it powered by Java ?

Maybe your installation is borked?

Could also be my use of it: I only import existing model from database, and then keep the two synched.

I also tried and very dissapointed on every run.

For manage mysql I mostly use mysql console and for difficult queries I use phpMyAdmin.

I am not using it to run queries or manage mySQL, so I wouldn’t know if it sucks there.

It probably does.

What I do use it for is to design the schema and synch between database and model.

I really like that feature, thus is why I use it. ;)

I like to be able to design my database graphically, so I am using it as a modelling tool.

Yeah, that’s basically all i want, too. But as soon as the model only gets slightly more complex (and only talking about 10 tables here) and i start to edit some detail properties e.g. the ‘on delete’ event of a foreign key relation and then double click the next table it crashes on about every second table i click. I’ve got used to save after each click, but that’s of course a great PITA. :)

I don’t have experience with workbench. For my visual DB design needs, I mainly use Sybase PowerDesigner, which supports multiple DBMS.

To be honest, most of my MySQL work happens in HeidiSQL.

I guess I just use workbench to get a graphical overview of my schema, and I keep it up to date.

It also means that I can generate a database from the schema if something goes wrong.

But HeidiSQL for my day-to-day database needs.

Yes, I am only using MySQL…

Had a try and wasn’t impressed at all. For me, very troublesome to work with…

I am now working with Navicat for mySQL macosx version for administration tasks and SQLEditor for DB design and I am very, very happy with them.

Workbench is free and gratis.

So I make do.;)

Use Heidi SQL for most things, though.

Tried Version 5.2.30 today. Looks like it’s a fraction more stable. But still it feels like you are holding 10 raw eggs on your hands, while you try to work… :)

So if anyone knows about other free visual DB design tools, here’s the place to share (AFAIK Sybase PowerDesigner unfortunately isn’t).

To say the least: I’m very impressed by this here:


Demo: http://ondras.zarovi.cz/sql/demo/?keyword=default

Purely browser/js based with a innovative layout. But still the UI is not perfect, IMO.

I’m so surprised at anyone who finds this software unstable over the last few years.

Over the last 9 months it’s even better than ever. It was once a real resource hog but they seem to have sorted that out now. I suppose on an old computer it may still be slow.

Fact is I’ve built many large and complicated relational db’s over the last decade and I can honestly say, MySQL Workbench has been solid for at least the last 3 years. In recent times I’ve seen many new features implemented, you know, the stuff that was greyed out in the menus… and even more stuff they’ve added that I didn’t expect.

The only times I’ve had a problem is in backwards compatibility with older ‘.mwb’ files, but stability… no way.

I’m on Windows platform btw but used extensively across xp, vista and win 7.


Just looked over the replies and noticed some of you are speaking of Workbench as more of a db management software. Most of my experience with it has been in producing schemas and syncing with db.

For your usual db management, imports, exports, updates etc… I use Navicat, so friendly, although not without it’s own bugs.

For schema design and syncing, workbench is the best.

Thanks for your feedback. Must be my PC then. Still i find it odd - no other software i use has such problems.

I’ve used it a bit a few weeks ago, was good at first but after a period of time the program started to slow down alot for me, dragging tables and entering fields was a painfully slow progress this way. ( on ubuntu 10.10 )

FYI, the Windows version of MySQLWorkbench works quite well (on XP at least), the Linux version is still alpha (thanks, Oracle!) and unusable - it’s not included in most repos, unlike the GUI tools.

When MySQL was still owned by Sun, the statement was made that MySQL-WB would replace DBDesigner (a FabForce product that was the only free design tool at the time). MySQL-WB never made it out of alpha before Oracle ate up Sun. I’ve seen no real evidence of development activity since.

I periodically trawl the Net for possible alternatives, but to date I have not found anything that does what DBDesigner did…

EDIT: Apparently v 5.2.32 was released a few days ago (for all platforms, 32 and 64 bit). I’ll be testing the Ubuntu 10.04 64bit over the next few days - will report results here.



I am using the rpm packages for opensuse 11.3 (64bit) and the MySQL workbench is running very stable. I can’t remember a crash since I used it.

I tried on my Ubuntu box at home now too: It’s the same. Frequent crashes, e.g. when i edit a table column then double click in the diagram to select another table. If i click too fast - crash…

i see mostly windows solutions here.

on the mac i like using sequel pro for db management, supports well even ssh tunneling and the GUI is sleek (just like most mac sf btw)

i can manage users too, and most of all i don’t have to pay a penny for it (although i made a donation)

it’s extremely stable (never ever had a crash in two years).

the only thing i cannot do with it are ER diagrams, but i use a different software for that (sqlEditor that is not free, but the free trial never expires plus you get the sequel of almost every single sql dialect you want)

Yeah great program, I started using it a few days ago and works like a charm, It indeed lacks the functionality of creating relations with an ERD style view as MySQL workbench does. But then again if you draw it out yourself it’s easy to add the relations in yourself.

I used Erwin for database design for a number of years. Of course somebody else was paying for it at the time. :)

Power Architect Data Modeler (free version still around I think) isn’t bad. A little quirky. I’m running it on Ubuntu.