Administer MySQL Like a DbNinja


Call me a geek (that’s comment #1 sorted), but I love tinkering with MySQL databases. While NoSQL may be trendy, tangling with tables, formalizing fields, initializing indexes, creating keys and specifying SQL remains an essential skill for many web developers.

Personally, I prefer desktop database design applications such as MySQL Workbench or the excellent SQLyog (and its community edition). Tools such as phpMyAdmin and Adminer are useful for quick and dirty live editing on the server, but I never thought I’d use a web application for database creation.

Then I discovered DbNinja.

The tool is unlike other PHP-based MySQL clients. Rather than connecting to a single instance, it permits you to define one or more hosts and examine or modify any of its databases. This means you can create a new database, specify users, define tables, indices, foreign keys, views, procedures, functions, events and triggers.

DbNinja user manager

You can also examine advanced options such as the server status, processes, and system variables:

DbNinja system variables

Unlike simpler applications, every new action occurs in its own tab. You can tweak the settings, modify a couple of tables, perform a SQL query and export to a file in separate panes and switch between them without losing the settings. Most items can be right-clicked to show context-sensitive menus:

DbNinja interface

However, DbNinja has one killer feature: it feels like a desktop application. It’s fast, slick and responsive even on my aging laptop. It’s rare to encounter web-based development applications which have the potential to replace desktop tools.

DbNinja is free for personal use and there are commercial licenses should you want to offer it to clients.


Even if you have no interest using DbNinja, I recommend you to download it for an example of HTML5 application development at its best.

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  • Ryan Mortier

    I’m a big fan of sqlyog and it is pretty much all I use. However, a web alternative for when I don’t have my laptop with me is something I always have installed. Since I’m not a big fan of phpmyadmin’s user interface, I’ll definitely be checking this out. Thanks!

  • Michal

    I’ a big fan of the HeidiSQL (on Win):
    Works great. Doesn’t crash much. And it’s free.
    Need a quick MySQL query -> XLS export? No problem. Need to change Table properties? Done!
    Mac folk have suggested to me.

    Any time I can omit using PHPmyAdmin, I’m happy.

  • oddz

    This is pretty nifty. Unlikely to replace Sequel Pro or MySQL Workbench for me but cool none the less.

  • Bubba

    Wow, this gives me renewed hope for HTML5, after reading so many negative articles about it this last year.

  • Jonathan Weatherhead

    Alright you’ve made it sound so good I have to take a look now.

  • max

    Accessed from everywhere , nice gui, impressive set of tools.

  • Andrew

    I have numerous MySQL servers which I can’t connect directly with an installable app because of firewall restrictions. I’ve tried every web-based manager out there and hated them all. After using DbNinja few hours for some actual work, I feel obliged to come back here and thank Craig, the author, for helping me find this amazing tool! I absolutely love it!

  • Aaron

    Nice find, Craig. I think a cinder block is probably more useful than phpMyAdmin so this is interesting.

  • Ronalds

    Seems like pretty nice tool in terms of functionality, will give it a try. Only thing that worries me, is that being used to using phpMyadmin, might affect my impression of it.

    • Craig Buckler

      If you’re used to phpMyAdmin, DbNinja will feel immeasurably superior!