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Lakewood Studios has recently released iStudio 2 for OS X that enables Mac users to design MySQL databases from the desktop. The software enables single or multiple users to interact with MySQL 4.x database on local and network drives and on remote servers.

What I like is its ability to design databases, import/export and edit data from the desktop and to administer basic permissions and table analysis. In addition, the company has an excellent User Guide included with the software that unlike some products, goes in depth and provides great coverage for new and advanced database users.

An interesting sub-note to this tool is its ability to serve as a standalone database solution on the desktop. Users can either use it as a personal database, including integration with Microsoft Office 2004 — similar to interaction between Access and Excel/Word on Windows, or as a full-strength database design and collaboration tool with multiple users and/or on remote servers over the Internet.

Getting started entails completing a connection form for either logging in to an existing database, or creating a new database, as shown below.

If the database is remote, the user is prompted to import the database into iStudio for local editing.

You can create databases from an existing starter template provided by Lakewood Studios or design one from scratch, creating tables, fields and field definitions.

Templates include:

In addition, users can define their own templates and save them into the program.

Importing was straightforward and I successfully imported records from delimited files into a local database. Numerous delimiters are supported in the event custom delimiters have been used in a file.

Database design tools are flexible and include all of the features of MySQL 4.x. Creating tables and fields graphically is shown in the following screenshots.

Create Tables:

Create Fields:

Once a database is created, data can be imported and records edited within the program in the main record viewing and editing window.

There are features for the power user, including query builders, reporting and the capability to store frequently used queries as bookmarks.

Finally, iStudio includes administration capabilities with user, privileges and thread/query management as well as database table analysis.

The company is offering iStudio 2 for $69.95 as an intro sale through August 27, when the price will return to $129. They offer academic discounts and a 14-day trial of the program.