Point-and-Click MySQL Administration

Introducing MySQL Administrator, a graphical user interface database administration tool from MySQL AB, the makers of MySQL.

While the MySQL database is extremely powerful, one common compliant– one loudly voiced by database administrators of other database products– is that MySQL administration is performed exclusively from the command-line. But to the contrary, MySQL does have a graphical user interface tool that’s supported by MySQL AB.

MySQL Administrator, available under the same dual-license as MySQL itself, is a powerful, visual administration console that provides significantly better visibility into how your databases are operating. It allows you to visually accomplish almost any task you can accomplish from the command-line.

One nice thing about MySQL Administrator is that it integrates database management and maintenance into a single application. You can configure servers, administer users, dynamically monitor database health, monitor replication status, perform backups and restores, and view logs.

You can download MySQL Administrator from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/administrator.html. It’s available in both binary and source format.

Once the application is installed, start it by running:

 $ mysql-administrator

After you start MySQL Administrator, answer the prompts in the connection dialog box. If you need full access to a database, be sure to enter a set of credentials that have the proper privileges. After providing your credentials, hit OK to connect.

MySQL Administrator starts out with the Server Information pane selected. Server Information presents statistics about the MySQL server you’re connected to and the machine the database is running on, among other metrics.

MySQL Health

Here’s a list of the other available panes:

*Service Control starts and stops the MySQL server.

*Startup Variables configure the startup variables for the MySQL server. If you have sufficient access rights, you can see and modify all /etc/my.cnf options. This pane is also a convenient way to easily see what parameters are available.

*Server Connections views or kills current connections to the MySQL server (a resource also called threads).

*User Administration manages existing users, adds new users, and deletes existing users. Depending on the version of your MySQL server, this pane also supports advanced MySQL permissions such as Resource Limits and Schema Privileges.

*Health (shown in the figure) presents graphical displays of a number of usage or hit-rate values that affect server performance, and a hierarchical view of system and status variables.

Other panes include Server Logs, Backup, Restore, Replication Status, and Catalogs. The latter pane displays information about databases, tables, columns, indexes, and rows; optimize tables.

Beyond point-and-click convenience, MySQL Administrator stands out because it provides a simple way to manage users and the advanced privileges available in newer versions of MySQL.

Moreover, the Health pane is invaluable. The ability to see real-time status variables and receive expert advice is invaluable, especially if you’re not a MySQL expert. Watching the Health monitor can help you tune your MySQL server, while the real-time charting of connection and memory health will help you keep a close eye on how your changes impact real world performance. The ability to see all server variables, along with a quick and accurate description of each one, is also handy. Finally, the Backup features allow you to schedule regular backups, which may really come in handy in a pinch.

MySQL Administrator is a fantastic, officially-supported tool. Whether you’re a MySQL newbie or a seasoned MySQL DBA, the tool has something to offer you.

Did you know that MySQL also has a visual tool for creating, executing, and optimizing SQL queries? Let’s cover that next month.

Jeremy Garcia is the founder and administrator of LinuxQuestions.org, a free, friendly, and active Linux community that utilizes MySQL. Please send questions and feedback to jeremy@linuxquestions.org.

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