Find the best SQL editor that fits your use case

In modern computing environments, diversified database platforms are the norm. Over the years, the demands of effectively using enterprise data resources have made it practically impossible for companies to standardize on a single database management solution. When data arrives in multiple formats, it simply cannot be handled efficiently by the same platform.

Multi-platform environments have always been a great challenge to everyone responsible for developing and maintaining corporate databases, and this includes DBAs and developers. Team members need to be flexible and ready to move between platforms at a moment’s notice.

This may involve using different tools which can reduce productivity due to lack of familiarity. Consolidating the toolset can go a long way toward reducing the complexity of database development in this type of environment, and where is the role of IDEs becomes imperative.

What is an SQL IDE and Why do we Need It?

SQL editors or SQL IDEs allow DBAs and web developers to perform and execute all kinds of SQL queries. These editors also help in establishing a connection to your database where you can access, control, and manipulate the data in the database.

Integrated development environments are primarily designed to maximize programmers’ and administrators’ productivity by providing tight-knit components with similar user interfaces. IDEs present a single program in which all development, and post-development processes are executed. Here are some of the features of SQL Editors —

  • Establishing database objects.
  • Defining database schema and instance.
  • Debugging
  • Testing of data
  • Analysis and user management.

Best SQL Editors For 2021

If you are an administrator or a database developer, you surely want to know which SQL editor will work best for you, and you’re at the right place for that quest.

We understand that you want a solution that is wholesome but is also affordable. Furthermore, you can have your privacy concerns on top of worrying about the right deployment options and the customer support of various available SQL tools.

Here, considering all the aforementioned points, we have compiled the best SQL editors for 2021 and how you can make most of some of the best IDEs when it comes to SQL:

1. Adminer

Adminer will always be the first choice of developers, no matter the year. With adminer, you get better support for MySQL features, tidier user interface, more security, and high performance.

Ever since its inception, Adminer has always taken security as its main component. It does not allow connecting to other databases without a password and protecting against brute-force attacks by rate-limiting the connection attempts.

Furthermore, you can also quickly delete Adminer if you do not need it anymore. Unlike many other IDEs, adminer is just one file that you can quickly delete and upload.

Adminer had some bugs in the past, but it has improved a lot over time, and whenever there is an update available, make sure to avail it.

Get to know more here.

2. DBeaver

As a database developer, you know that you need various SQL statements for initiating backups, ad-hoc querying, or troubleshooting. DBeaver is one of those tools that can make get these things done for you quickly.

It is a multi-platform and accessible tool for database management for all kinds of developers, SQL programmers, analysts, and DBAs. Primarily written in Java, DBeaver supports almost all types of databases, including but not limited to MariaDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and even YugaByte DB.

Its interface doesn’t look better than pgAdmin, but DBeaver is also an open-source IDE considering that most of its competitors are not. Here are some of the many other features in DBeaver that make it different from others:

  • Aesthetics

DBeavers not only works better but offers very alluring aesthetics. Its fonts are very well-chosen, its tab corners are rounded, alternating rows are shaded, the colour scheme is non-obtrusive, and icons are very intuitive.

  • Data view

You can double click on a table, and your data would be just there. No SQL editor commands like “SELECT * FROM …”, no opening new windows, etc.

Seeing your data alone is excellent, but DBeaver has much more to offer. You can click on the headers of columns to sort any data and can filter the box above results to specify which columns you want to filter and how you want to filter them.

  • ER diagrams

DBeaver offers ER diagrams that are concise and sufficient. They generally appear on the rightmost tab of the Object Editor.

Get to know more here.

3. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express

For years, Microsoft SQL server management studio was the first choice of the majority of database developers. While it has dropped as being the number one on the priority list, and IDEs like Adminer and DBeaver have taken its place, it is still one of the best in business, mainly because of its nostalgia, but also because of what it has to offer considering that it’s free.

It has a lot to offer to database developers, including, but not limited to:

  • Various add-in options
  • Easy installation
  • Cost-free
  • Advanced user experience

Get to know more here.

4. RazorSQL

RazorSQL is another very efficient IDE with syntax highlighting and additional administration capabilities.

On top of it, to manage a database, RazorSQL has a built-in database browser where you can view all the elements of a database, as schemes, tables, and functions. Furthermore, RazorSQL offers a table creation tool that is very helpful in generating SQL for tables, which is of great help to create SQL quickly. It also supports more than 20 different languages including SQL, PHP, XML, Java, etc. It is the perfect SQL editor for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux.

It is not a free tool, which puts it a bit down on our list. However, it does offer a free 30-day trial, where you can see if it works for you, and then you can buy the licensed version.

Get to know more here.

5. SQuirrel SQL

The SQuirreL SQL IDE provides a very simple and user-friendly graphical interface to all types of relational databases. Since it is built using Java, it can allow remote access to multiple databases.

SQuirrel SQL offers an effortless copy-paste feature across different platforms, and it is a wholesome answer to database migration that is generally caused by differences in syntax. Overall, SQuirrel SQL is a very convenient IDE to use, and it is a typical Swing program as well as one of the most successful swing programs.

Get to know more here.

6. Datapine SQL Editor

The primary idea behind the creation of Datapine SQL Editor was to enable decision-makers and managers to quickly generate reports and analyze insights effectively to manage their business.

Not only this, but datapine also offers a KPI reporting that includes a data visualization tool. This tool enables users to quickly translate data so that it is easy to read for everyone.

On top of the convenience that it offers, it is a SaaS-based tool that enables you to use it anywhere. It also provides automatic SQL code generation and a SQL query box.

However, it is not a free tool, and you can check its pricing according to your requirement from here.

Get to know more here.

7. MySQL Workbench

Another primary IDE to use in 2021 is MySQL Workbench, and while it could be down in this list, it is one of the top IDE with loads of valuable features. MySQL enables a database administrator, data architect, and developer to visually model, design, generate databases, and manage them.

MySQL Workbench includes almost everything a database manager has ever dreamt of for forward and reverse engineering and creating some of the most complex ER models. MySQL Workbench also offers key features for performing complicated documentation and change management tasks that are generally very tiring and time-taking.

8. Oracle SQL Developer

Oracle SQL Developer is a complete tool for database users and administrators to manage their database tasks in less time and with lesser effort.

Primarily a productivity tool, Oracle’s SQL Developer’s main objective is to make everything about the database easier for the end-user. It is also great in saving time and maximizing your return on investment in the database technology stack.

Furthermore, it is also one of the many free IDEs that offer complete end-to-end development of your SQL applications. On top of it, it is a fantastic worksheet for running scripts and queries, and if you are a DBA, it is an excellent console for managing the database with an amicable reports interface.

Get to know more here.

9. Valentina Studio

Valentina Studio is also a free IDE, although it does have a premium paid version that offers extra features. It is a universal database management tool especially for working with MySQL but is also helpful with SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, SQLite, and other Valentina DB databases.

The PRO version of Valentina further adds Data Transfer, Visual Query Builder, SQL DIFF, Report Designer on top of compelling forward engineering diagramming.

Its free features include:

  • Schema Editing & Diagramming
  • Valentina Forms
  • Valentina Reports
  • Server Administration
  • SQL Editing
  • Utilities, I.e, diagnose, defragment, compress, clone, etc.

Get to know more here.

10. dbForge Studio

dbForge Studio for MySQL is a widely used IDE for the development and administration of MariaDB and MySQL databases. It comes with a toolset that helps create and execute queries, development and debugging routines, and automating database object management in a very convenient environment.

If we consider the most effective options of dbForge Studio, we can list them in the following order:

  • MySQL Debugger
  • Query Builder
  • Query Profiler
  • Data and Schema Compare
  • SQL code completion and formatting
  • Advanced Data Import/Export
  • Connecting with different servers simultaneously
  • Full database user management

The ever-increasing popularity of MySQL means that everyone needs effective, convenient, and affordable database tools to work with it. Software providers are perpetually competing to come up with the best SQL clients every year, and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.

However, as a DBA, your goal should not be to access many clients but to choose one that offers a wholesome solution.

Get to know more here.

Other SQL Editor Tools for Developers —


In this article, we have enlisted the best SQL editors for 2021, and only after you understand what exactly you are looking for from your IDE, you can know which one will work best for you.

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