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Web development today inherently deals with data which needs to be organized and stored to present a meaningful experience to visitors. This calls for the use of databases and database servers in the backend. HeidiSQL is a tool especially designed for web developers to manage and create databases along with reporting facilities.


HeidiSQL features a very standard Windows interface without too many distractions and is well designed for development and professional purposes. Each task has a separate wizard to help the user out and the overall workflow is intuitive in nature. Database access is achieved through connections via SSH tunnel (with custom SSL settings if required) and multiple connections can be established from a single window. Basic features include the ability to create, edit, views, stored procedures/functions, triggers and set scheduled events on tables. Data viewing from tables is achieved via comfortable grid view which also supports live editing. This is enhanced by bulk table editing facilities such as database change, engine change, collation, etc. along with batch inserts from ASCII or binary file formats. Export and Import support includes text file formats, CSV, HTML, LaTeX, SQL, XML, Wiki Markup and PHP Array. Data migration from one database connection to another is supported as well over multiple connections. Query support includes the ability to write queries with auto-completion and syntax highlighting which itself is also customizable. SQL reformatting and pretty printing is also supported. Reporting facilities include rich report generation tools and the whole database can be exported as SQL statements as well. Tables can also be repaired if damaged and can be optimized in batches.

Additionally, Client process monitoring is also present which can be killed as well along with complete control over user permissions. Command line support includes parallel launching of SQL command line for open connections and connection establishment. HeidiSQL supports MySQL server, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL. The software is open-source in nature and is available as installable and portable alternatives. OS support includes Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 with both 32 and 64 bit builds.


HeidiSQL has many alternatives in the Windows platform which provide identical or similar features to the users. SQL Server Management Studio is Microsoft’s own take at providing a SQL Manager. However, inspite of coming from Microsoft, it only supports SQL Server and other database engines/servers are not supported at all. This itself makes HeidiSQL much more versatile and feature rich. Cross database offerings include those of EMS SQL Manager but they provide a different manager for each of the database engine. This means that users have to manage a ton of different software rather than a single one as in HeidiSQL.


HeidiSQL is a great open-source offering for managing the post popular database engines. From the comparison itself, the advantages are quite evident. It provides a single management hub which lets database users take full control of all activities and ease up workflow.


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