Navicat Review

I do a good amount of work in MySQL so that I need a good database admin tool.  I come from a Microsoft Enterprise Manager/Management Studio background so much of this review compares to that as a benchmark.

The Good

  • Import/Export Data feature rocks.  Much easier to use then DTS for simple imports & exports & supports multiple formats (db, dbf, txt, html, xls, wk1, wq1, xml, mdb, ODBC)
  • Dump as SQL.  Will write out your table to .sql file with the full inserts.  Microsoft so needs this.
  • Maintain Tables.  Easily able to
  • Backups.  Straight forward step by step.
  • Saved Queries.  Navicat saves then within the application at the database level not a sql file, this makes finding queries much faster.
  • Scheduled Job.  Again straight forward step by step
  • Manage Users.  They make it as simple as MySQL can be (which isn’t that simple sense you have to create a user multiple times to have access from localhost and from anywhere)
  • Data Transfers.  Their version of DTS, not as robust but gets the job done.

The Bad

  • Query Windows.  This is my biggest complaint of Navicat and almost a show stopper for me. Tabbed windows are great BUT having multiple tabs within tabs causes my eye to lose focus of which tab I need.  Not good for quick tabbing, I have to think before clicking which slows me down. I much prefer how Management Studio has tabs for queries but shows results at the bottom of that window.


  • Query Builder.  I do most of my SQL by hand so this doesn’t effect me to much but Navicat’s query builder uses the dreaded Grave `instead of the Quote ‘.  So if you use their query builder to get a sql statement started, maintaining it could be a nightmare.
  • Designer. Seems clunky and implemented as a second thought.  Big improvements here.

Overall Navicat is the most feature rich MySQL tool on the market (I’ve tried ~4 so far). Pricing is at $139, well within reason. Besides a reworking of the query window, Navicat is a finely tuned.  2 TechToolBlog thumbs up.


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12 thoughts on “Navicat Review

  1. Yes, SQLyog has features I like over Navicat (their query windows are nicer), but their import/export wasn’t as robust.

  2. hey guys, Tim is absolutely rite. i have been using sqlyog as gui for mysql & am pretty much impressed with its feature & flexibility. Its effective and efficient backup and restoring is outstanding they have improved their quality much better than before. just try it tim and all !!!

  3. navicat can be bad when migrating data from one db (for example in mysql) to another db (for example mssql) and writing query statements in the query editor of navicat which make use of concats to add insert into …..values + select from mysql table..

    Navicat can spontaniously chance the text into (BLOB) output which can only be only viewed by clicking on the MEMO button this is bad for export BLOB data is converted to hexadecimal text when exporting

  4. Import/Export Data feature rocks. Much easier to use then DTS for simple imports & exports & supports multiple formats (db, dbf, txt, html, xls, wk1, wq1, xml, mdb, ODBC)

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