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With so many different SQL editors available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to manage database structures and handle data manipulation tasks in a more accessible and effective manner but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different SQL editors with various projects, with my picks of the best SQL editors.

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We’ve been testing and reviewing SQL editors since 2021. As QA software testers ourselves, we know how critical and difficult it is to make the right decision when selecting software.

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The Best SQL Editors Summary

Tools Price
DbVisualizer From $16.42/user/month (billed annually)
Postico $19.99 and goes up to $319.99
SQLGate $300 (perpetual) and $15 (monthly subscription)
SQuirrel SQL No price details
Adminer Editor No price details
RazorSQL 92.95
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) $209 to around $13,000
PopSQL 199.0
HeidiSQL No price details
DBeaver 10.0
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How To Choose SQL Editors

With so many different SQL editors available, it can be challenging to make decisions on what tools are going to be the best fit for your needs.

As you're shortlisting, trialing, and selecting SQL editors, consider:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the SQL editor feature gap you're trying to fill to clarify the features and functionality the tool needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who'll be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be the QA software testers or the whole organization that will require access. When that's clear, it's worth considering if you're prioritizing ease of use for all or speed for your SQL editor power users.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as other testing tools, automation tools, or bug tracking software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together or if you can replace multiple tools with one consolidated SQL editor.
  • What outcomes are important - Consider the result that the software needs to deliver to be considered a success. Consider what capability you want to gain or what you want to improve and how you will be measuring success. For example, an outcome could be the ability to get greater visibility into performance. You could compare SQL editor features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to drive, you could be wasting a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your workflows and delivery methodology. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed. Remember every business is different — don’t assume that because a tool is popular that it'll work in your organization. 

Best SQL Editor Reviews

Here’s a brief description of each of the SQL editor software featured on this top 10 list.

Universal database tool for developers, analysts, and DBAs + runs on all major OSes

  • Free plan available
  • From $16.42/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

DbVisualizer is the universal database tool used by developers, analysts, and database admins all over the world. It gives database professionals the tools they need to build, manage and maintain state-of-the-art database technologies.

DbVisualizer comes with features that enable you to visually create and manage databases and generate SQL code by drag-and-drop and copy/paste it into other applications. The advanced SQL editor allows the user to write and run queries that speed up their coding and reduce errors with features such as auto-completion and syntax/error highlighting. The user may browse and administer database objects such as tables, procedures, functions, and triggers.

The software officially supports 28 of the major data sources, but any database that can be accessed with a JDBC driver can be used with DbVisualizer.

The software is competitively priced with the cost of a perpetual license being $197/user/year. License renewal is available at a much lower cost, $69, for those who wish to have access to continuous support and software upgrades. A volume discount kicks in at 4+ licenses and discounts are offered to educational institutions, non-profits, and start-ups. Students and teachers may enjoy the Pro features for free. A Free version is also offered, with a limited feature set.

PostgreSQL Database Client For Mac

  • Offers 5 connection favorites and one window per connection (but no table filters) has no time limit.
  • $19.99 and goes up to $319.99

Postico is a database client that works on Mac devices. It’s a great tool for developers, testers, database administrators who want to use it for data entry, analytics, and application development.

Postico can be used to work with PostgreSQL local or remote servers. The tool has many security features—it allows encrypted connections, supports client certificates, and stores passwords in your login keychain. Its UI is also very clean, because it is a native Mac OS interface.

Functionally, Postico provides an autocomplete feature in the SQL query view. It also has an autosave feature to ensure you don’t lose any of your work even if you forget to save the queries you’ve been working on. On top of that, they have a built-in feedback button, so in case you come across issues in the app, it will automatically send relevant version numbers, and optionally take a screenshot of the active window.

Technically, all plans are paid (the price starts at $19.99 and goes up to $319.99), but the trial version, which offers 5 connection favorites and one window per connection (but no table filters) has no time limit.

Modern-Looking IDE For Multiple Relational Database Management Systems

  • $300 (perpetual) and $15 (monthly subscription)

For the time being, SQLGate is also available only for Windows users. It’s aimed at database operators, developers, data analysts, planners, marketers, pretty much anyone who deals with data. They provide a different download version depending on the database you plan to work with, including SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, MariaDB, PostgreSQL.

The UI is clean and customizable, allowing you to select different themes and color modes. It also suggests SQL commands as you type. However, you have to run the query at least once for it to highlight if you have any errors in your SQL code. The tool currently supports 7 languages: English, Korean, Chinese (simple and traditional), Japanese, French, German, and Spanish.

As far as pricing is concerned, SQLGate offers a free version, as well as perpetual licenses and monthly subscriptions. You can also get a free subscription if you are a student. The prices start at $300 (perpetual) and $15 (monthly subscription), depending on your needs.

SQL Editor With Customizable Plugins

SQuirrel SQL is another open-source SQL client. It works on any platform with a JVM, so it can be used by developers, DBAs and analysts, regardless of the preferred operating system.

The UI is currently translated in multiple languages—English, French, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Russian. The list of supported databases is quite large, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle database, 8i, 9i, 10g, 11g, PostgreSQL.

Upon installation, you can choose which plugins to install, so you only have the features that you need. I mentioned syntax highlighting for some of the other SQL editors, too, and that’s because I think it’s really useful and makes the editor so much easier to use. You can also create a SQL file with the query you want to save, and open existing files containing SQL statements you want to execute multiple times. There is also the option to store “bookmarks” for commonly used snippets of SQL code.

One of the optional plugins of SQuirrel SQL offers validation of your SQL queries against the ISO SQL standard. You also have the option to save and restore all SQL editors from a previous session.

The SQuirrel SQL is completely free and open-source.

Best SQL Editor When It Comes To Security

  • Free Tool

Adminer Editor is a great SQL tool for database developers who are interested in security. This tool supports the following databases: MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL, Oracle, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, SimpleDB, Firebird, ClickHouse.

The UI is clean, with no unnecessary clutter. It does provide custom skins if you want to change the look, and it’s available in over 40 languages. The main feature of Adminer is its security—the editor has its own set of credentials to control access to the database and SQL editor.

Adminer provides autocomplete for SQL queries, booleans displayed as checkboxes, and highlighted SQL keywords with links to their official documentation. With Adminer Editor, you can execute any SQL command from a text field or file, send messages to email addresses found in the database tables, and search data in all tables.

It’s a free tool that comes as a single file that can be deployed on a server, without any installation required.

Multi-Platform Desktop Application For Querying, Editing, Browsing, And Managing Databases

  • 30 Days Free Trial
  • 92.95

RazorSQL is a database management tool available for Windows, macOS, Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris. It’s great for database developers or administrators, especially if they work with some more uncommon databases because it supports an extensive list of databases.

The UI is very similar to that of SQL Server Management Studio, but on top of SQL formatting, it also offers a query builder and supports parameterized queries. You can access the history of all queries, and save SQL favorites that enable you to insert the most common queries into the editor.

RazorSQL works with perpetual licenses which are purchased for life, priced per user. The pricing starts at $92.95, and there is no renewal subscription needed. They do offer a 30 days free trial with all the available features.

Complete Management Tool For Working With SQL Server Database Servers

  • Free version
  • $209 to around $13,000

Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio has been on the market for a long time. DBAs and database developers can use SSMS to configure, manage, and administer all SQL Server components.

The main features include database and table creation, SQL query execution for adding, updating, and removing data, and the creation and management of stored procedures, triggers, views, and cursors. It highlights SQL syntax errors so you can address them before running your queries. It also allows us to assign permissions (security) to databases and their objects.

It has deployment, health monitoring, and reporting features. SQL Profiler is included, allowing us to analyze the performance of our SQL databases. It may also be used to schedule background tasks.

SSMS available in multiple languages (over 30). The downside is that it only works on machines using a Windows operating system.

The Express edition is free and works great for small apps, and for more advanced apps and databases, there are the Standard and the Enterprise editions, whose pricing ranges from $209 to around $13,000.

Collaboration Desktop And Web SQL Tool

  • Free edition offers the basic features
  • 199.0

PopSQL is another SQL editing tool that can be installed on Windows, or it can be used directly in the browser. It’s a great tool for teams of developers, and DBAs.

Its main feature is that it’s a collaboration tool—team members can share queries. PopSQL supports various databases, including SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, RedShift, BigQuery, and Snowflake.

It’s possibly the IDE with the nicest UI—it has a very modern design and is easy to use. The queries can be saved and shared with other members, with various permissions on the shared queries (e.g. viewers, editors).

The free edition offers the basic features, while the paid editions (which start from $199) include some really other nice features, such as Slack and email integration, integration with Git, dark mode, track changes, SAML single sign-on (SSO)

Popular editor for MariaDB and MySQL

HeidiSQL edits data and structures from your operating system running a database system such as MariaDB and MySQL. The software is easy to learn and allows you to connect to multiple servers in one window.HeidiSQL allows you to create and edit tables, views, and procedures so you can customize your data management. The tool also allows you to export the structure and data to a SQL, HTML, or Excel file, as well as export to other servers. In addition, HeidiSQL provides you the ability to manage user privileges and scheduled events so you can organize your data management accordingly.HeidiSQL is a free software.

Open-Source SQL Editor Tool

  • Free Version
  • 10.0

DBeaver is an open-source database management tool, which has a pretty neat SQL editor. It is free, cross-platforms, and also provides an Eclipse plugin if you use the Eclipse IDE for development. The target audience are developers, DBAs, data analysts, or anyone who needs to work with databases.

DBeaver supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, MS Access, Teradata, Firebird, Apache Hive, Phoenix, Prest, as well as NoSQL and BigData database in the Enterprise edition.

So, what’s nice about DBeaver’s SQL editor? First off, the scripts can be organized into folders and subfolders, and they can be saved, exported and imported. It also has an auto-completion feature for when you are typing your scripts. And last but not least, the query builder—which is especially useful if you are not an expert SQL developer.

Apart from the free version, DBeaver has some paid editions, starting at $10 (the Lite version). If you are a student or a teacher, you can benefit from the Academic license which is also free.

Other SQL Editors

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy SQL editor tools, check these out.

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these tools closely related to SQL editors that we've tested and evaluated.

Selection Criteria For SQL Editors

Selecting the right SQL editor is a nuanced process that hinges on aligning the software's functionality with specific use cases that are critical for your operations. Having personally tried and researched various SQL editors, I've developed a set of criteria that directly correlate with the needs, pain points, and objectives you might face when executing software tests.

Core SQL Editor Functionality: 25% of total weighting score

To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best SQL editors, the solution had to support the ability to fulfill common use cases. These use cases are integral to the tool's effectiveness:

  • Executing complex SQL queries efficiently.
  • Integrating seamlessly with various database types.
  • Providing real-time collaboration features.
  • Offering robust data visualization tools.
  • Ensuring secure database connection and data encryption.

Additional Standout Features: 25% of total weighting score

In identifying standout features, I look for:

  • Innovation in query optimization and performance.
  • Unique data comparison and synchronization capabilities.
  • Advanced security features ensuring data protection.
  • Collaboration enhancements that surpass industry norms.
  • Mobile accessibility for on-the-go database management.

Usability: 10% of total weighting score

Key considerations include:

  • Intuitive layout and workflow that minimize the learning curve.
  • Responsive design adaptable to various screen sizes and environments.
  • Clear, concise documentation that accelerates mastery of the editor.

Onboarding: 10% of total weighting score

Effective onboarding is characterized by:

  • Comprehensive resource libraries that facilitate self-learning.
  • Interactive guides or product tours for immediate hands-on experience.
  • Community forums or support channels that encourage peer-to-peer assistance.

Customer Support: 10% of total weighting score

I evaluate customer support on:

  • The responsiveness and expertise of support personnel.
  • Availability of multi-channel support, including live chat and phone.
  • Proactive support resources like FAQs and knowledge bases.

Value For Money: 10% of total weighting score

Value assessments hinge on:

  • Transparent pricing structures without hidden fees.
  • Flexible plans that cater to a range of user needs and scales.
  • Comparative analysis with similar offerings in the market.

Customer Reviews: 10% of total weighting score

Insights are drawn from:

  • Consistency in positive feedback across diverse user demographics.
  • Specific commendations or criticisms that emerge across reviews.
  • The frequency and nature of updates or improvements based on user feedback.

Selecting an SQL editor should pivot on how well it addresses your specific scenarios and enhances your workflow. While affordability and user reviews are critical, the ultimate decision should rest on the software's ability to streamline and enhance your database management tasks efficiently.

SQL editors are not just tools for executing queries; they are comprehensive platforms that enhance productivity, collaboration, and data management. This evolution reflects the changing demands and sophisticated needs of QA software testers and developers. Let's delve into the prevailing trends, highlighting how these shifts cater to the underlying needs of their users.

  • Enhanced Collaboration Features: Modern SQL editors are increasingly focusing on real-time collaboration functionalities, allowing teams to work together on queries and database management tasks seamlessly. This trend underscores the growing need for tools that support remote and distributed teams, facilitating a more cohesive and synchronized workflow.
  • Intelligent Code Completion and Suggestions: The rapid evolution of AI-powered features within SQL editors is a testament to the demand for smarter, more efficient tools. Enhanced code completion, intelligent suggestions, and automated error detection significantly reduce the time and effort required for writing and debugging SQL queries, directly addressing the efficiency challenges faced by users.
  • Advanced Data Visualization Tools: There's a growing emphasis on integrating sophisticated data visualization capabilities within SQL editors. These features enable users to quickly interpret complex datasets and gain insights, catering to the increasing need for data-driven decision-making processes.
  • Cross-Platform and Mobile Accessibility: With the rise of remote work and on-the-go database management, SQL editors are expanding their accessibility across various platforms, including mobile devices. This trend reflects the growing demand for flexible, versatile tools that adapt to diverse working environments and user preferences.
  • Robust Security Measures: As data breaches become more prevalent, SQL editors are intensifying their focus on security features. Enhanced encryption, multi-factor authentication, and rigorous access controls are becoming standard, addressing users' critical need for protecting sensitive data.
  • Decline in Platform-Specific Editors: The shift towards more versatile, platform-agnostic SQL editors suggests a decrease in the popularity of platform-specific tools. Users are seeking solutions that offer flexibility and broad compatibility, moving away from tools that limit their operational scope.
  • Automation and Workflow Integration: The integration of SQL editors with broader IT ecosystems and workflow automation tools highlights the trend towards more interconnected, efficient work processes. This functionality aligns with the need to streamline operations and reduce manual intervention, catering to the efficiency and productivity pressures faced by QA teams.

These trends paint a picture of a software testing landscape that values efficiency, collaboration, security, and adaptability. As SQL editors evolve, they are increasingly positioned as pivotal tools that not only enhance individual productivity but also bolster organizational capabilities in managing and leveraging data.

What Is An SQL Editor?

SQL editors are software that aid in writing, editing, and executing SQL (Structured Query Language) queries against databases. They provide an interface for database interaction, simplifying the process of query formulation and execution. These editors cater to the needs of managing and manipulating data within various types of databases.

The benefits and uses of SQL editors include improved efficiency in database management, with features like syntax highlighting and auto-completion aiding in error reduction and faster query writing. They enhance productivity, especially for database administrators and developers, by offering a streamlined way to handle complex data operations, leading to more accurate and efficient database manipulation.

Features Of SQL Editors

When selecting SQL editors to execute software tests, it's crucial to identify tools that not only facilitate writing and optimizing SQL queries but also integrate seamlessly into broader test environments. These editors should enhance productivity, ensure accuracy, and support a range of functionalities to meet the diverse needs of software testers. Below are the key features to consider:

  • Syntax Highlighting and Formatting: This feature enhances the readability and organization of SQL code. Clear visual differentiation of SQL syntax helps in identifying keywords, variables, and structures, thereby reducing errors and improving the efficiency of test script development.
  • Intelligent Code Completion: By suggesting context-appropriate code snippets, variables, and function names, intelligent code completion speeds up the coding process and reduces the likelihood of syntax and logical errors during test script creation.
  • Query Optimization and Performance Analysis: Tools that provide insights into query performance and suggestions for optimization can significantly enhance the efficiency of test executions, ensuring that testers can identify and rectify bottlenecks or inefficient queries.
  • Version Control Integration: Being able to integrate with version control systems allows testers to track changes, collaborate more effectively, and maintain a history of modifications, which is crucial for identifying when and how issues were introduced.
  • Debugging Tools: SQL editors with robust debugging capabilities allow testers to step through code, inspect variables, and analyze execution flow, thereby identifying and resolving issues more swiftly.
  • Database Connectivity and Compatibility: The ability to connect seamlessly with various database types and versions ensures that testers can work across different environments without needing multiple tools or facing compatibility issues.
  • Automated Script Execution: This feature enables the scheduling and automation of SQL script execution, facilitating regular database testing processes without manual intervention, thereby saving time and reducing the risk of human error.
  • Customizable User Interface: A user interface that can be tailored to individual preferences and workflows can significantly enhance productivity and user satisfaction, enabling testers to work more efficiently and comfortably.
  • Collaboration Features: Features that support sharing, commenting, and collaborative editing of SQL scripts help teams work together more effectively, particularly in distributed environments.
  • Data Export and Import Capabilities: The ability to easily export query results and import data sets is essential for testing different scenarios and sharing findings with team members or stakeholders.

These features collectively ensure that SQL editors serve as powerful allies in the software testing process, enabling testers to write, execute, and optimize SQL queries efficiently and effectively. By choosing editors that align well with these functionalities, testers can enhance their productivity, improve the accuracy of their tests, and contribute more significantly to the overall quality of software applications.

Benefits Of SQL Editors

SQL editors provide a myriad of benefits that streamline processes, improve accuracy, and enable more informed decision-making. Below are five key benefits that SQL editors offer to users and organizations:

  • Efficient Data Manipulation: SQL editors allow users to quickly and efficiently perform data queries, updates, and management tasks. This efficiency means that businesses can access and manipulate their data faster, leading to quicker insights and the ability to respond to market changes promptly.
  • Enhanced Query Accuracy: With features like syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and error detection, SQL editors help reduce errors in code writing and execution. Improved accuracy in queries ensures reliable data analysis and reporting, which is crucial for making informed business decisions.
  • Advanced Data Visualization: Many SQL editors provide robust data visualization tools, enabling users to convert complex data sets into clear, intuitive graphical representations. This capability allows businesses to easily interpret data trends and patterns, facilitating more effective strategic planning and communication across teams.
  • Collaboration and Sharing: Modern SQL editors often include features that support collaboration, such as shared workspaces and version control. These functionalities enable teams to work together more effectively on data analysis projects, fostering a more collaborative environment and ensuring consistency across an organization's data management efforts.
  • Customization and Extensibility: SQL editors often offer extensive customization options and support for plugins or extensions, allowing users to tailor the environment to their specific needs. This flexibility ensures that organizations can adapt their SQL editors to fit evolving requirements and integrate with their existing workflows and tools.

Costs & Pricing For SQL Editors

When selecting a SQL editor, it's crucial to understand the range of plan and pricing options available to ensure you choose a solution that meets both your functional requirements and budget constraints. SQL editors typically offer a variety of plans to cater to different user needs, from individual developers to large enterprises. Here's an overview of common plan options you might encounter:

Plan Comparison Table For SQL Editors

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Individual$0 - $50/monthSyntax highlighting, code completion, basic connectivity, debugging
Professional$50 - $200/monthAdvanced data analysis, more database connections, team collaboration
Enterprise$200 - $500+/monthHigh-end security features, full customization, premium support
Free$0Limited functionality, basic editing and querying capabilities

When choosing a plan, consider the size of your team, the complexity of your data tasks, and your security needs. While free and individual plans may suffice for basic tasks, professional and enterprise options provide the scalability and advanced features necessary for more demanding environments. Always weigh the balance between cost and functionality to find the best fit for your organization.

SQL Editor Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few commonly asked questions about SQL editors. I’ll quickly cover the basics for anyone looking for more information.

Additional QA Testing Tools

Conclusion

Have you tried out any SQL editor software listed above? If we left out your favorite SQL editor, comment with your ideas below to share with the rest of our QA community.

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Andreea Draniceanu
By Andreea Draniceanu

Hi there! My name is Andreea, I’m a software test engineer based in Romania. I’ve been in the software industry for over 10 years. Currently my main focus is UI test automation with C#, but I love exploring all QA-related areas 😊