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MySQL WorkBench vs Navicat: What are the differences?

Comparison between MySQL WorkBench and Navicat

MySQL WorkBench and Navicat are two popular tools used for managing and working with MySQL databases. While they both serve the same purpose, there are a few key differences that set them apart. Here are some of the main distinctions between MySQL WorkBench and Navicat:

  1. User Interface and Design: MySQL WorkBench has a clean and intuitive interface that is focused on functionality. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for database design, development, and administration. In contrast, Navicat offers a more visually appealing and user-friendly interface with customizable layouts and themes. It emphasizes ease of use and provides a smooth workflow.

  2. Features and Functionality: MySQL WorkBench offers a robust set of features for database modeling, SQL development, performance optimization, and database administration. It has built-in tools for database backup, restore, and synchronization. Navicat, on the other hand, provides a wide range of features including data modeling, SQL editing, data synchronization, data transfer, and backup. It also supports various database systems other than MySQL.

  3. Performance and Speed: MySQL WorkBench is designed to perform tasks efficiently and optimize database performance. It provides a detailed view of query execution plans and offers tools for analyzing and improving query performance. Navicat, although it offers similar performance optimization capabilities, is known for its faster execution speed during data transfers and data synchronization.

  4. Collaboration and Teamwork: MySQL WorkBench supports team collaboration by allowing multiple users to work on the same model simultaneously. It includes features for version control, annotation, and commenting. Navicat also offers collaborative features but takes it a step further by providing seamless integration with version control systems like Git. It allows effective teamwork and simplifies database development processes.

  5. Price and Licensing: MySQL WorkBench is an open-source tool released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is available for free and can be used without any restrictions. Navicat, on the other hand, is a commercial tool that offers different editions with varying pricing plans. While it provides a free trial version, the full-featured version requires a license purchase.

  6. Platform Compatibility: MySQL WorkBench is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it suitable for developers using different operating systems. Navicat offers wider platform compatibility with support for not only Windows, macOS, and Linux but also mobile platforms like iOS and Android. This allows users to access and manage their MySQL databases from different devices.

In Summary, MySQL WorkBench is a powerful and functional tool with a focus on database development and administration, while Navicat offers a visually appealing and user-friendly interface with comprehensive features and better collaborative capabilities. The choice between the two tools depends on individual preferences, project requirements, and budgets.

Advice on MySQL WorkBench and Navicat

I am looking to build an azure database that connects to my power bi application. Initially, I attempted to create an Azure SQL database, then realized I needed to have SQL Server Management Service in order to manage and connect between Azure SQL <=> Power BI, but since I am on a Mac, I had to use the complex installation as a workaround.

If MySQL Workbench can solve this (as the product is available on Mac), I am more than happy to proceed with this approach if it can achieve the same goal of connecting an azure database with my Power BI application

What I am trying to achieve is fairly simple: have an online cloud database that connects to my Power BI application

I am open to any other solutions as well

Thank you

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Replies (5)
Oded Arbel
MySQL WorkBenchMySQL WorkBench

As others have noted, MySQL Workbench cannot be used instead of Microsoft SQL Manager to manage Azure SQL (MS-SQL Server, I hate that Microsoft uses generic category names for their products).

If you're considering switching to MySQL (Possibly using Azure MySQL managed database), then please not that unlike MS-SQL Server, you do not need the MySQL Workbench to connect your application to MysQL: just use the correct driver for your stack, and you're all set (if your stack is using the .Net platform, use MySQL Connector/NET from: ).

If you do want to use a graphical interface to maintain your MySQL database, then MySQL Workbench is a great choice, but you are not limited to it - as others have mentioned, there is a plethora of competing graphical database management tools that would work just as well with MySQL - one of the advantages of choosing MySQL for your stack is the huge eco-system that is built around it.

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Lawrence Fernandes
Data Engineer at B2W Digital · | 1 upvotes · 200.7K views

Hello Could you give us a better idea of what Data Base Management System (DBMS) you are using at Azure? MySQL Workbench and Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) are tools developed to exclusively manage MySQL and SQL Server, respectively. If you need to manage multiple DBMS's from a single tool, I sugget you try DBeaver. There are also another alternatives: HeidiSQL, phpMyAdmin, etc. Regarding the DBMS itself, I suggest you stick with SQL Server. In my opinion it's more stable and has more features than MySQL - especially in the Standard and Enterprise editions. Regards, Lawrence

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Povilas Brilius
PHP Web Developer at GroundIn Software · | 1 upvotes · 201.1K views

As far as I know, MySQL Workbench doesn't handle Microsoft connections, including Azure, you should try Microsoft solutions such as MS VS Code.

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Erica Rowe
Tech Lead at eComEngine LLC · | 1 upvotes · 200.6K views

Microsoft provides an application known as Azure Data Studio that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. It provides the ability to manage an Azure SQL database, as well as connecting to standard SQL Server databases.

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Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 1 upvotes · 200.5K views

Hi Aashwiin, Looking at your stack (, it seems you are using Azure SQL Databases. I'll infer this is Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, it certainly makes sense you stick with some of the official Microsoft Tooling to connect to it, query and administer it. You'd only be looking at MySQL Query Workbench, if you were running and connecting to a MySQL Database. - That said, could Azure MySQL ( be an option for you a this point? MySQL offers great performance. I have been running it at various companies (under AWS/RDS and AWS/Aurora) and have no reason to switch over to anything else. - Decision making-wise, how much do your want your local sql/mysql client to influence/weigh in your architecture/technology decisions, though? This can be a slippery slope. - Alternatively, other clients exist, such as "Table Plus" and allow you to connect, on Mac, to a variety of database servers, including SQL Server. It might be worth giving it a try.

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Decisions about MySQL WorkBench and Navicat
Adam Taylor

We were looking a tool that would allow us to do MySQL and PostgreSQL development/administration from a single tool. We decided on Navicat Premium because it can connect to MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLite databases - and simultaneously. It's also compatible with Amazon RDS and Microsoft Azure, which we also use.

Moreover, we previously experienced the occasional freezing and crashing in MySQL Workbench. It also suffered from a poor design, with certain features being a bit difficult to find. Meanwhile, phpMyAdmin lacked schema visualization tools and seemed better suited to lightweight day to day transactions than some of the big jobs that we needed to do.

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Pros of MySQL WorkBench
Pros of Navicat
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Clean UI
  • 3
    Administration and monitoring module
  • 8

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What is MySQL WorkBench?

It enables a DBA, developer, or data architect to visually design, model, generate, and manage databases. It includes everything a data modeler needs for creating complex ER models, forward and reverse engineering, and also delivers key features for performing difficult change management and documentation tasks that normally require much time and effort.

What is Navicat?

Powerful database management & design tool for Win, Mac & Linux. With intuitive GUI, user manages MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, SQLite, Oracle & PostgreSQL DB easily.

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What companies use MySQL WorkBench?
What companies use Navicat?
See which teams inside your own company are using MySQL WorkBench or Navicat.
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What tools integrate with MySQL WorkBench?
What tools integrate with Navicat?
What are some alternatives to MySQL WorkBench and Navicat?
Sequel Pro
Sequel Pro is a fast, easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.
HeidiSQL is a useful and reliable tool designed for web developers using the popular MariaDB or MySQL server, Microsoft SQL databases or PostgreSQL. It enables you to browse and edit data, create and edit tables, views, procedures, triggers and scheduled events. Also, you can export structure and data, either to SQL file, clipboard or to other servers. Read about features or see some screenshots.
A cross-platform IDE that is aimed at DBAs and developers working with SQL databases.
It consists mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MariaDB database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages.
As a portable web application written primarily in PHP, it has become one of the most popular MySQL administration tools, especially for web hosting services.
See all alternatives