Collecting ideas for Workbench – SQL IDE

Hi Workbench Users,

Now that we got the RC1 out, I would like to start collecting ideas of what you would like to see in the MySQL Workbench 5.1 release that will happen later this year.

Our current plan is (apart to improve the existing features and workflow) to add one major feature for WB 5.1 – and that is SQL querying functionality. Please think of it as an improved, extended MySQL Query Browser embedded right into the MySQL Workbench framework.

My vision is to turn MySQL Workbench into a fully featured SQL IDE. The single tool a MySQL database developer needs to start up to do all his database work.

A few key points that come to my mind.

  • Database schema design, creation and maintenance (already there)
  • Default data management (“CREATE INSERTS”, already there, can be improved)
  • Database SQL querying
  • Result set handling (like in QB, but improved)
  • Visual query builder (I liked the Oracle XE web-based query builder)
  • Improved SQL code editing (syntax highlighting, auto completion, …)
  • Stored Procedures debugger
  • Full scripting and plugin support
  • Exchange with Netbeans IDE

Please add your own points and also provide input how you would like to see the features implemented.

References to other tools, e.g. Oracle SQL Developer (project Raptor), MSSQL Query Analyzer, SQLyog, … are welcome. Please point out what you like about their querying interface and how we could improve upon that.

Please post your ideas on the following forum: 

I am looking forward to your input,

16 thoughts on “Collecting ideas for Workbench – SQL IDE”

  1. Hey, Michael I’m new to MySQL (MS SQL, Oracle for years) so I have a look of experience with other vendors. How do I get access to the Standard Edition, I can;t seem to download it anywhere?

    Happy to contribute some ideas.



  2. Hey Mike,

    Great job on the product so far. I’ve been using Workbench for a few months now and I think its a great product. I’ve used Erwin in the past and I find Workbench a great substitute. I’m currently working on a project with ~30 tables a few triggers and some lookup data. Workbench has been great for this although I’ve had a few issues (mostly around the file getting corrupt and no longer forward engineering correctly).

    Anyway I also use SQLyog for running queries and writing stored procedures. This is long winded but I don’t think you should try to make Workbench a complete IDE for MySQL. Instead I think enhancing its niche of a great modeling tool, is where you should focus your efforts. It seems like there a lot of good interactive SQL environments (like SQLyog) but no other good modeling tools (well there is Erwin but that’s pretty pricey and its not that easy to use).

    My 2 cents, keep Workbench simple, but powerful.

    Great job,

  3. Tobi,

    the Standard Edition is only available to a closed group of Beta Testers at this point. As this will be a commercial product on top of the Community Edition it will only be available via the MySQL Web Shop for USD 99 once we have reached GA quality. We are currently targeting mid of April for that release.

    Hope that makes the situation clear,

  4. Brian,

    thanks for the input. The core part of Workbench will remain the schema modeling – we have no intention to change that. And we will keep improving that – there is still so much to do…

    But we somehow have to replace MySQL Query Browser and to add the querying functionality to WB seems only logical. It was even available in the predecessor, DBDesigner4, which WB should replace. So I would like to have input on how to do that in a way that people like it – so that you do not need to have yet another tool open.

    Get my point?


  5. Hi Geniuses..

    I need know what is the license the Workbench. I have some option (really very much) disabled.
    What is the Price? or now this in developer.

    I need conexion with my dbserver but I not can.

    I live Colombia, sorry for my english, this is very bad…


  6. I like Workbench and wish it will be a leading tool for DataBase design, Thanks.
    I was working for the last 2 years with Visual ProMatrix (a framework for VisualFox pro).
    There is a “DataBuilder” that can be very useful:
    PROPERTIES: Gruid & label caption, Input mask, Format, Message, Error, When, Default, Tool Tip…
    INTEGRITY: Not blank, Range, Set, Same as, Code, Referential (Ref, Picklist, Valid Table/View with a PickList builder, etc.

    All this information about the data itself is stored in a SYSTEM database, and is used for generating forms and controls VERY EFFICIENTLY
    You can have a free demo version from:

    With this information “standardized” in the database, there may emmerge some application generators

  7. xalo, you can get the Standard Edition of MySQL Workbench if you want to use the time-saving features. It is available for USD 99 from

    The license gives you access to all new updates to SE for 12 months and the software itself does never expire.

    Hope that helps,

  8. Currently the behaviour is a bit quirky (from a windows user perspective anyhow!), little things eg clicking on a table/link does not select it for editing (I could probably live with them, but for a few lines of code..)

    Also I currently cannot reverse engineer perfectly valid MySQL 4.x databases and get error Table ‘information_schema.schemata’ doesn’t exist! (a mysql version thing!)

    I’m a complete newbie at this, not programming or MySQL I’ve just started modelling a large schema so I’m sure I’ll have more feedback soon.

    Looking forward to next version.


  9. Hi,

    I’m developing a new project (about 45 tables), I’m using WB 5.0.24 as the primary model tool and I love it, the bad think is that I had to install M$ Windows in a virtual machine in my linux only for using WB (and it runs very slowly 🙁 . I waiting day after day for the Linux version, please hurry up! :p

    What is the difference between the Comercial version and the “free” version??? I’m looking forward to stick with it (I haven’t found another good modeling tool for linux).

    BTW … I’m far to be an expert SQL developer, but with this WB it’s very easy to model a DB.

    Congratulations, I’m waiting for the 5.1 version (most of the part is for the linux suport),


  10. This project is really coming together. Great work. I come from the front office side of the user group and encourage you to keep analyst type power users in mind as well. I agree with an above post that points out excellent existing GUI products (me=toad for mysql), but by continuing to add GUI query capabilities to a robust modeling tool, workbench fills a very important gap.

    As far as future features….additional DB support and the ability to provide documentation in an easy to access/share way.
    –thx again

  11. Please include export and import of files such as csvs and excel files.

    Many of the data transformations required on a daily basis for me are just imports, or doing an update using a unique key to determine what gets updated from a csv

  12. I’m teaching database design and I used WB. Even since last september, we noticed BIG improvements. Now, the biggest addition that would make my day is a graphical query designer.

    I’d go for a combination of Access and the current WB QD. I’d take the graphical and column style of building the query in Access with the view of WB QD where you have the SQL query and the result in one window. So, having the option of seing all four windows one on top of the other (Graphical/Grid design/SQL Syntax/Result) would be great, especially if you can have the option of turning some on/off if desired.

    Other annoying stuff from Access :

    a. Parts of the query (especially the WHERE part) gets messed up when you switch back and forth between the views if you personalized it.

    b. The cherry on top of the sundae would be to have an “auto-splitter” mode to move to different windows subqueries of a UNION query and then have the option to move them back together.

    I know, I know, cut and paste does the job, but you’re asking us to dream a bit, aren’t you?

    No matter what, the result so far is impressive. Congratulation to the whole team.

    (PS : I’m not too hot about the recent “darker” look in 5.2.18, can’t you have a “bright” option for those not on the depressive mood!)

  13. I really think one area where microsoft’s MSQL and even good old Access are still ahead is in graphic query design.

    For most people this is key. Take a look: drag-n-drop tables, any JOIN relationships auto-assemble, right click on the JOIN line and select the INNER/LEFT joins. Then the ‘data pane’ allows ‘group by’ to be added to the output cells, with drop downs to select GROUP/COUNT/SUM/MAX etc. This really save hours of time and gives a better intuitive overview of the database ‘at the sharp end’

  14. The the 5.2.22 version of Workbench does look quite slick, but in experimenting with it, there are still a few things I’m confused about/would like to see:

    When removing items from a model, it’s not clear how to add them back in (i.e. I created a model based on an existing DB, then removed some views, but don’t see how to add them back in… the add view button only creates a new view)

    Re: the SQL Query Editor features, id would be very, very nice to have some sort of nice formatting in the SQL window… word wrap would be nice to start. If it could go further with allowing a user to set preferred styles for line breaks and indentation based on field definition, joins, and other keywords (much like other code IDEs allow for), it would be heaven. 🙂

    I’m also trying to open the server instances features to see what’s available for backup/restore, access and so on. The “connecting” splash window flashes up briefly, but otherwise nothing opens.. not sure if that’s a bug or just not implemented yet.

  15. Auto Completion is a much desired feature. Otherwise working with it alot these days. Its quite good. Looks like autocompletion (code insight) is there just not on. Or does not work for me in 5.2.24 CE
    Otherwise great prodcut

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