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3 Lightweight Alternatives to phpMyAdmin

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 27 October 2010.
Planet PHP

When faced with MySQL administration tasks, many developers rely on phpMyAdmin. As the name implies it's written in PHP, so it can be installed on your web server and accessed from a browser. If you find the interface a little dated, you could consider MonoQL-a slicker, Ajaxified alternative.

For much of the time, developers just want to check some data, alter a few records, or back up the database. The phpMyAdmin and MonoQL zipped distributions range from 2MB to 7MB, and they're overkill for most day-to-day administration. You're using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.

Here are three lightweight MySQL administration alternatives you should consider. They're all PHP-based, open source, and great for quick database tasks.

SQL Buddy

SQL Buddy offers a comprehensive feature set, and supports SQLite as well as MySQL databases. The tool allows you to create, modify, or drop tables, indexes, foreign key relationships, and records. Backups are easy and you can run ad hoc SQL queries.

SQL Buddy has a fast and attractive Ajax-powered interface with multiple languages and themes. The download is only 320kB (1.1MB extracted) and requires no installation-simply copy the files to your server and log in with a database user ID and password.

Overall, SQL Buddy beats phpMyAdmin on many levels. It's more than an alternative; it may even be a better option for you.

Download SQL Buddy from sqlbuddy.com or code.google.com/p/sql-buddy/.

Adminer

Adminer is a single 186kB file (or 281kB if you want the multi-lingual version). There's no complex installation-just upload the file and log in. Amazingly, Adminer supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, SQL Server, and Oracle, and runs under PHP4 or PHP5. There's even a WordPress plugin version.

Adminer can modify tables, indexes, foreign keys, views, stored procedures, functions, and triggers. It's easy to browse or update data, and run your own SQL queries. The interface is functional rather than attractive, but it's fast and easy to use.

Adminer's ease of installation makes it ideal for quick-and-dirty database administration. It's become my tool of choice.

Download Adminer from adminer.org or sourceforge.net/projects/adminer/.

PHP Mini Admin

If SQL Buddy and Adminer are too bloated for your needs, perhaps you should consider PHP Mini Admin? The download is 10kB. Yes, 10kB-which extracts to a single 26kB file.

Like Adminer, you upload the file and log in. Understandably, features are more limited, but it's easy to browse tables and examine, export, or import data. It'll do anything if you're happy writing your own SQL commands. PHP Mini Admin is fast and functional, so what more do you need?

Download PHP Mini Admin from phpminiadmin.sourceforge.net.

Do you have a preferred web-based MySQL administration tool? Comments are welcome a