Home > Rants > MySQL Workbench is a pile of shit

MySQL Workbench is a pile of shit

I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would beg to differ, but in my opinion MySQL Workbench is a huge festering pile of shit.

Those of you who have been dealing with MySQL for more than a few years will remember that the administrative applications used to be separate. We had MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator as separate programs. This worked quite well because each program’s goal was individual, so they could strive for an application that did its job well.

The MySQL Query Browser was designed to provide the same sort of interface that phpMyAdmin. It was relatively lightweight and only really had issues when dealing with intensive or laggy queries. MySQL Administrator was also pretty good at its job. It worked out of the box and provided a fast way to monitor and tweak your MySQL server instance.

Now MySQL Workbench tries to combine the two along with a database modelling tool. Anyone with any design experience and sense will immediately realise the problem with this. It means that they can no longer tailor the design and structure of the application to suit a particular task. Instead, it all has to be a generic one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t do any of its jobs in an optimal way. One would expect that anyone developing an SQL server would understand this problem, but sadly not. You need to put the work in to develop a tool that works well, rather than just grabbing a generic off-the-shelf solution and shipping it.

Here’s a few specific gripes:

  • Uses three times the memory the old apps did.
  • Leaks memory like a hippocampectomy patient.
  • Performs horribly and freezes frequently.
  • One tool causing a crash (this happens often) crashes the rest of the tools.
  • You have to give the administrator tool full access credentials to your remote machine, i.e. an administrative user on the machine (yes, I’m serious)
  • On Linux you have to provide SSH access to the administrator tool.
  • On Windows you have to enable remote WMI and allow it through the firewall.
  • Random bugs occur (e.g. broken fonts, UI glitches, freezes) and don’t tend to get patched explicitly, though they do randomly get fixed on some platforms.
  • Interface is cluttered.
  • Tab names and sub-tab names aren’t descriptive, making it difficult to do much at once.

Seems to be that the Oracle model of software development is “if it ain’t broke, fuck with it until it’s broken”.

Categories: Rants Tags: ,
  1. Josep Marxuach
    March 9, 2012 at 10:56

    I tottally agree !!! this proves that Mysql was better before Oracle purchase. The workbench smells Oracle everywhere. I have been using Oracle tools and mysql old tools were better.

  2. May 2, 2012 at 08:23

    I must admit that the latest few versions have been a little better in terms of stability, but all of the horrible design decisions remain. I’m pretty sure most of their engineers are still clinging onto the ideas and design patterns from the old SPARC mainframe days.

  3. GK
    April 4, 2013 at 23:11

    Same here. I’m another victim.
    Used to work allot with MS SQL and thought why not try MySQL and save a few bucks.
    While MySQL is pretty good so far, the workbench is a total piece of shit. My kindergarten son could do a better job and my advice to Oracle is just fire the product manager, team leader and all the programers all together and start fresh as from this point of view nothing will save this ship.

  4. GM
    April 8, 2013 at 01:35

    I could not agree with all that has been said more. Workbench is crashing trying to open a connection, if it does make a connection all the databases say ‘Fetching Data’ but never actually do, until once again it finall;y crashes. Generates Dot Net 4.0 errors seen in Event Viewer. Don’t they test this stuff. People are complaining about the same things over and over yet they don’t seem to get fixed.

  5. Namphibian
    June 4, 2013 at 05:24

    2 Years later and it is still full of bugs. MariaDB here I come.

  6. Karl
    June 10, 2013 at 19:26

    Unfortunately, you are right, and there are plenty more shit in this terrible non intuitive program.
    I really have respect to open source people’s work, but don’t understand for whom is this program intended to be ?

    For example, default value – disable update and delete commands !?
    This program is supposed to be used by a developer, not front end users, for heaven sake.
    When you look on the table, what developer looks more often ?
    Name of columns that we can’t memorize.
    When you need to look at it, there is an option, then another option – indexes – come on, we’re
    setting indexes once, eventually sometimes again, and so on.
    Also, I can run it on my linux machine as root only, maybe is fault of OS, but hardly to believe.

    Fortunately, some of this days will get a new pc, and will take a good look for an alternative.
    (please, don’t suggest phpmyadmin :-)

  7. engo72@yahoo.com
    August 1, 2013 at 09:48

    I am looking for an alternative too. I prefer lightweight like the old Mysql Admin and browser. As a Java developer, most of my times are using sql browser to validate my code and debugging.

  8. August 21, 2013 at 20:47

    I’m 100% on your side guys. MySQL Workbench SUCKS big time. Unusable !! Go work again Oracle !!

  9. Namphibian
    October 1, 2013 at 05:26

    Buggy as hell. I would not consider this ALPHA software. Thank god I never paid for this and I will never PAY for anything MySQL related. The command line is better.

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