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”.


11 thoughts on “MySQL Workbench is a pile of shit”

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. After having been horrified by the need to TYPE 1970s COMMAND LINE crap to make a MySQL database, I tried MySQL Workbench. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to spend a few hours setting up their database’s relationships, then just throw the whole fucking lot in the bin. It did absofuckinglutely nothing to my database. Back to phpMyAdmin and typing in those olde worlde commands for me…
    I found this site by Googling “mysql workbench is completely fucking shit”.

  9. For me Query Browser alone or Workbench with Query Browser… what is really ridiculous is how it handles its sessions. It crashed this morning and when I reopened, ta-dam! I lost all my tabs… again. Tabs I kept open most probably because I either had not finished the work inside them or I did not archive/save the work inside them. I might be able to find them back with the SQL History… but even there, can I trust it to be complete? Plus, some query tabs were opened since long.

    If at least that part was secure (i.e., it does not lose my data), then I could more easily forgive its regular crash. But losing the data can be terrible, and I do not want to waste my energy being afraid and copy/paste all my query somewhere just in case. I just want a tool that works; and that is secure concerning my data.

    Now I am wondering if I could find a reliable tool (I do not dislike Workbench/QueryBrowser interface much even if I can probably analyze and suggest improvement, but as a query tool, it is good for me). I remember having try some generic one (working with lot of DBMS) and I was not in love with their interface, so it got me away. When I was working with Oracle, I used to love PL/SQL Developer or something like that.

    P.S. If you open a session and close it fast (before the auto-save delay, mine is set to 1 min), chance are you will lose your session too (it seems to erase your file and wait to re-save them… I don’t know why it takes such risky decision while it can just keep the files on disk).

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