MySQL Control Center

Posted in MySql -

The MySQL Control Center (also known as MySQLCC) is a platform-independent GUI administration client for the MySQL database server. It uses Trolltech's QT toolkit and can be compiled to run on a variety of platforms including Windows and Unix variants.

(Please refer to the MySQL Control Center Returns 1000 Rows article if you are searching for help about how to change the default behaviour of returning only 1000 records).

Please note that MySQL have ceased development work on the MySQL Control Center to concentrate on development of the MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser. I will create a review of these products at some point in the coming weeks.

I have mainly been using phpMyAdmin to administer databases on the web and in development on my laptop, but after doing a lot of recent work with Microsoft SQL Server which has a nice easy to use GUI, was starting to find a web based interface somewhat cumbersome. After a quick search on Google I discovered MySQL have actually created their own cross-platform GUI tool which is very nice to use.

The Control Center makes it easy to administer MySQL when you are either running MySQL on your local computer or when it can be connected to remotely on a network (generally a website database won't have a port open to the world so you'll need to use a tool like phpMyAdmin instead, as you most likely won't be able to connect to it with the Control Center).

There are many benefits in using the MySQL Control Center over a web based tool like phpMyAdmin: it supports syntax highlighting, so that table names, column names and sql keywords are highlighted; it's a lot faster; you don't need a webserver installed; you can save the query you are currently working on as a text file; you can select one query among several within the query textbox and just run that. The list of advantages goes on. I only wish I had started using this tool sooner!

First up (after installing it, of course), you need to register a server. The screenshot below shows editing a server's properties. Note that these screenshots are from the control center running on my Linux/KDE laptop. You can select from a variety of themes to make it look just like you want (I chose the liquid theme, as that's how my other KDE apps look)

Registering a server in the MySQL Control Center
Registering a server in the MySQL Control Center

You simply enter the MySQL server's hostname, your login details and away you go. There are other configuration options available but to get started that's really all you need.

MySQL Control Center Manager
The MySQL Control Center Manager

This screenshot shows the list of databases installed, and when you open up a database branch you can see all the tables that belong to it. Selecting a table shows the fields and assocated information in right pane.

MySQL Control Center Query Window
Running a query with the MySQL Control Center Manager

Clicking a table or running a custom query in the query window will look similar to the above screenshot. You can hit the "F2" key to type in your own query which will be syntax highlighted. The right pane has a list of columns that were returned by the query; simply tick or untick the column names to add or remove them from the result set. To sort the result set in a different order, there's no need to run the query again specifying the order; simply click the column header and it will sort the cached data in that order. Note that by default the MySQL Control Center returns a maximum of 1000 rows at a time, and that reordering will only reorder the 1000 cached records. (For more information about how to change this default, or return more than 1000 records in a one-off query, refer to the MySQL Control Center Returns 1000 Rows article).

Editing a table using the MySQL Control Center
Editing a table's structure using the MySQL Control Center

It's easy to modify the structure of a table using the MySQL Control Center. The screenshot above shows the window for adding and modifying fields and indexes etc.