Test-drive: MySQL Workbench


MySQL Workbench is a cross-platform, visual database design tool developed by MySQL. It is the highly anticipated successor application of the DBDesigner4 project. MySQL Workbench will be available as a native GUI tool on Window, Linux and OS X.

Some history

MySQL Workbench has been in the making for a while. Building on from DBDesigner 4 I’m sure there’s a community of anxious MySQL developers who can’t wait for a free and quality ERD-modelling (and more) tool for MySQL. The mysql command-line client is brilliant. I love it and will always use it BUT there’s no substitute for managing entity relationships visually.

I’ve been waiting on MySQL Workbench for ages (more specifically a Mac OS X release). On the day the windows version was released I soon installed it in my Windows XP virtual machine. It works really well but realistically its too painful to use via VirtualBox. Could be a breeze with VMWare Fusion. Anyone tried this?

It really is Alpha

MySQL Workbench 5.1.7 is an alpha release for Mac OS X and Linux which prolly explains why the dmg is only 7 megabytes. Features are missing!

And lift-off

Installation was easy. Typical drag-and-drop to Applications folder installation. First launch was all over in about 10 seconds. Workbench crashed when I tried File -> Open Recent menu item. Strange. Evidence follows:

Workbench Crash

Workbench Crash

And lift-off

On second launch I avoided “Open Recent” menu item. I tried the reverse engineer from .SQL script feature. Workbench smartly recreated a schema from an old project schema.sql I had lying around. I couldn’t edit any of the tables. Workbench complained about a “missing editor”. Maybe it wants to integrate with MySQL Query Browser or something?

Workbench reverse engineer script example

Workbench reverse engineer script example


Getting around an apparently buggy UI I did get to link some tables with many-to-one relationships. The experience was positively engaging. Workbench is already a vast improvement on the kludgy and buggy DBDesigner. Some screenshots to follow:

Workbench many-to-one example

Workbench many-to-one example

And just to verify that the “Open Recent” crash wasn’t an anomaly I tried it again. Kaboom. A rather strange bug indeed.


If you’re going to use Workbench on real projects I advise practicing the “save every 5 seconds” rule. It is but only an Alpha but a very promising one at that. Regardless. I’m excited. I can’t wait for the first stable release. To the MySQL Workbench (and entire team at Sun MySQL) thanks for great tools and a great database. Love it. Bugs and all.

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm Comments (0)
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Making an iso in mac os x leopard

The other day I desperately wanted/needed to install Ubuntu 8.04 Server as a virtual machine using VirtualBox. I could either install Ubuntu directly from the installation disc or install from a mounted ISO. I figured an ISO would be faster and more reliable. I looked all over Mac’s applications folder for a GUI utility but the for the life of me couldn’t find one to create an iso. I really thought Disk Utility would have that feature, it doesn’t right?

In *nix when the GUI fails you can always go old skool.

Open Terminal

qbook:~ quinton$ drutil status
Vendor Product Rev

Type: CD-ROM Name: /dev/disk3
Sessions: 1 Tracks: 1
Overwritable: 00:00:00 blocks: 0 / 0.00MB / 0.00MiB
Space Free: 00:00:00 blocks: 0 / 0.00MB / 0.00MiB
Space Used: 59:42:17 blocks: 268667 / 550.23MB / 524.74MiB

Assuming you’ve already inserted the disc for copying. This command tells you where its been mounted.

Unmount the disk to be iso’d

qbook:~ quinton$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
Unmount of all volumes on disk3 was successful

Using the location derived from the previous command. In my case the CD-ROM is /dev/disk3. Yours may differ

Make the iso

qbook:~ quinton$ dd if=/dev/disk3s0 of=ubuntu_8.04_lts_server.iso bs=2048
268667+0 records in
268667+0 records out
550230016 bytes transferred in 308.685634 secs (1782493 bytes/sec)

The real magic happens here. If you’re curious about progress you can watch the size of the newly created iso file “grow” in size using Finder or another terminal tab/window. Shouldn’t take longer than 10mins or so (for a 700mb cd)

Mount the ISO

qbook:~ quinton$ hdid ubuntu_8.04_lts_server.iso
/dev/disk1 /Volumes/Ubuntu-Server 8.

And to confirm the ISO is working. This command will mount the ISO as a readable volume. Should be viewable in Finder alongside all your other mounted devices.

Published in: on February 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm Comments (1)
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