Today, I tried three popular programs of connecting to a remote database. In this post I will compare the pros and cons of each of the methods. My motivation was to find a method to share access to a single database and not be able to see or access any other databases on my server. [My server (Bluehost), doesn’t allow access to phpMyAdmin without going through CPanel.]

First, the summary:
– I would use HeidiSQL for speed, responsiveness, and ease of use.
– I would use phpMyAdmin if I wasn’t on my own computer with HeidiSQL installed.
– I wouldn’t use MySQL Workbench at this time nor recommend for beginners.

HeidiSQL [http://www.heidisql.com/]:
– Very quick to learn
– Shows exactly what I need to get started. (See lower-right window in the HeidiSQL screenshot below)
– Very clean method of organizing everything.
– Con: Must be downloaded first in order to work.

PhpMyAdmin [http://www.phpmyadmin.net/home_page/]:
– Available with just about every server; on CPanel.
– When setting up a remote login for team members, it took just 5 minutes. All I had to do was download the files from the site and upload it to my server. Then anybody can access the URL and see the login page.
– Con: Seems a little show at times.

MySQL Workbench [http://www.mysql.com/products/workbench/]:
– Harder to begin with.
– Couldn’t easily show table data.
– When first starting, user is presented with a flood of information which was a turn off for me.
– The interface may seem a little cleaner at first, but that comes at a cost of not being able to find functionalities quickly and easily. In order to efficiently use this MySQL Workbench, user needs to spend time looking through all the menus and right-clicking everything. My first thought about the program was that it was missing basic functionalities like being able to show data from the tables. But, I eventually found the function.
– The screenshot below show this program using null to describe the data in the first row. Having null values in each cell is different that not having any rows of data…

I’d love to hear your comments, reviews, and comparisons of these and other programs.

~ Simply Advanced ~

Disclaimer: I only tested each of these programs for about 5-10 minutes each before drawing a conclusion. So, this can be used as a judgement for learning curve.