How to Connect to MySQL Server with Sqlectron
Big data analytics drive many companies’ business, marketing, and growth strategies. The data used to inform many of these decisions lives in the database management system (DBMS) that supports a company’s software and applications. A DBMS is the backbone for storing, organizing, and monitoring any amount of data, all contained within a software program.
Relational DBMSs are one of the most popular and widely used across all businesses. These databases use the structured language query (SQL) framework. SQL is a standardized method to store and query data in a database. Relational DBMSs collect and store information based on the data’s different relationships, which are then organized into tables.
Each table contains rows and columns, further organizing and defining the relationships. The relational DMBS organizational method relies on using key data points. This structure makes it easy to store and access the data. Database administrators (DBA) can edit the data storage while maintaining the database structure.
There are many relational DBMSs to choose from, and they all offer similar features and functions. Some have free editions, while others require a paid service. Additionally, dedicated applications are designed to provide a graphical user interface (GUI) to work with, monitor, and optimize the database and the server(s) for a chosen DBMS. Similar to the choices for a relational DBMS, many options are available for DBMS interface management tools.
This post focuses on the MySQL database software and a GUI database management tool designed to work with MySQL called Sqlectron.
MySQL is one of the most widely used relational DBMSs in the world. MySQL has been on the market for over 20 years and is an Oracle-based product. There are many benefits that MySQL offers, including scalability, ease of data configuration and management, and a strong reputation for security controls. MySQL has become the standard for high-traffic websites and popular applications due to the strength of its query engine and the ability to add or edit data rapidly.
MySQL is open-source software and enjoys plenty of support from major tech companies and enthusiastic developers and programmers. A free version called MySQL Community Edition is a fully functional DBMS. MySQL offers several commercial licenses with varying features and services for companies that may want more support.
Database developers use MySQL as it is easy to set up and work with. As it has been in use for many years, a strong support community makes MySQL easy to learn and approachable for junior database developers and programmers. DBAs tend to prefer MySQL as it is a highly reliable DBMS and is easily configurable based on a website’s or application’s technical and business requirements.
Why Use Sqlectron?
Sqlectron bills itself as ”A simple and lightweight SQL client desktop/terminal with cross database and platform support.” This simply means that a DBA, developer, or programmer, can download this application and connect to multiple SQL databases through one main interface.
The primary goal of Sqlectron was to eliminate the need to use more than one service to manage multiple databases. The pain point identified was that many of the existing SQL clients at the time only supported a single database. Additionally, most SQL clients only supported one operating system (OS), which proved to be another challenge for a team that worked on one database but used different OSs.
Like MySQL, Sqlectron is an open-source software project that first began on Github in 2015. It is free to use, and while the main program is archived and in a read-only status, the platform is still supported. The Sqlectron GUI and Term interfaces continue to receive updates.
As it is open-source, the availability for someone to contribute to the interface part of the application is there. The Sqlectron repository management team accepts feedback to help make the application better. If one is familiar with programming and using GitHub — a lesson and skill on its own — then the GUI and Term repositories accept pull requests.
Working With Sqlectron
By its design, Sqlectron is meant to be as unobtrusive as possible, and upon downloading the application, any user will see that the GUI interface is straightforward. DBAs and developers have the option to download a GUI version, which, as one might expect, uses graphics and a dashboard-like interface to connect and manage different databases. There is also an option to download a terminal-based version.
As expected, the Sqlectron Term is little more than a terminal interface. It offers similar functionality as the GUI version, but for those more comfortable managing or developing databases with the command line, Term is probably a more suitable option. It is important to note that Sqlectron Term only supports databases from PostgreSQL and MySQL. The download process may take a step or two using npm. This process is primarily done within a coding text editor or the command line.
True to its claim, Sqlectron allows users to connect to multiple databases. The short process to connect to a database is accomplished in a few steps. After opening the applications, there is an option to connect to a new database server on the screen. The application opens a new window where you enter all the necessary information for the database. This information includes what type of SQL database is being used. In this case, that database is MySQL, but support exists for other SQL databases such as Microsoft SQL Server and MariaDB.
A developer or DBA must know the server address (in development, this is almost always ”localhost”) and the port number. There is an option to enter a username and password and provide the database server with a name. The login information is similar to many other applications. However, Sqlectron also has the option to use Secure Socket Shell (SSH) keys as an alternative means to access a database. SSH keys are secure access credentials that developers sometimes prefer for their reputation of being more secure than a standard username and password.
After entering the information, a user can test the connection, and when it is successful, they can save the server. On the main dashboard in Sqlectron, the user will see a tile of the new connection. When the user connects, the database details populate in the Sqlectron application. From here, the developer or DBA can send commands to manage or organize the data in the database.
MySQL relational database management system has been on the market for over twenty years and remains one of the world’s most popular and most used databases. The ease of use, scalability, speed of query, and security protocols make it a popular choice for businesses of different sizes, database administrators, and developers.
While accessing the data and configuring a MySQL database can be done through the command line, there are plenty of graphical user interface tools on the market designed to provide a visual representation of the development and management of the data contained in a MySQL database. Sqlectron is an open-source program that allows DBAs and developers to view, manage, and work with multiple databases at once through a single application.
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