TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Database Modification with a GUI

Volume Number: 20 (2004)
Issue Number: 4
Column Tag: Programming

Untangling the Web

by Kevin Hemenway, Windusrtian Tarutaru

Database Modification with a GUI

Modifying our MySQL database further with GUI-based editors.

For the past three or four issues, we've been exploring the MySQL database server: how to create databases, database users and their permissions, as well as how to access data from the mysql command line shell, and the Perl and PHP programming languages. In our journeys, we've also seen numerous examples of how to insert, modify, select, and delete data using the Structured Query Language (SQL).

Now that we've got some initial grounding in the manual way of doing things, we can take a brief tour of how to accomplish things visually instead. The two visual tools we present in this article, CocoaMySQL and phpMyAdmin, are roughly equivalent to the included mysql shell: you'll still need to know some SQL to get the most use out of them.

CocoaMySQL. Free, Open sourced, and OS X Only

The first utility we'll look at is CocoaMySQL from http://cocoamysql.sf.net/. It's own description is succinct enough: CocoaMySQL is an application used to manage MySQL databases (locally or over the internet). It lets you add and remove databases and tables, change fields and indexes, view and filter the content of tables, add, edit and remove rows, perform custom queries and dump tables or entire databases. When you open CocoaMySQL, first time or not, you'll always be prompted for your database settings (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Configuring a database connection in CocoaMySQL.

For our Host, we'll use "127.0.0.1" (or "connect to the MySQL server on this machine"), and you can leave Socket blank. User and Password could be one of two things: the root user created when we first installed MySQL, or the specific username and password of the database we've been fiddling with. If you choose to access your MySQL server as the root user, you can leave the Database field blank, as you'll be able to choose from a master list of databases (via the dropdown menu on the left side of Figure 1). You can also ignore the Database entry entirely: a lesser-privileged MySQL user would be given only a list of databases they have permission to (for example, leaving User and Password blank would give you access to the MySQL test database created during installation). If you'd like to connect to a specifically named database, have a blast doing so. You can save your settings by choosing the "Favorites" dropdown and then "Save to favorites..."

Figure 2 shows us connected as the davemarksman user to the mactech database. The list of database tables is shown on the left hand side, and the currently selected person table is described in the right hand pane. Depending on the level of access your MySQL user has, you'd be able to add, modify, or delete rows, as well as indexes, for this particular table.


Figure 2: The person table of our mactech database.

Particularly handy are two of our toolbar buttons. "Optimize Table" will do as it suggests: some housekeeping to keep tables that have a regular (and healthy) flow of row updates. The MySQL documentation suggests you'd only need to do this once a week or month for the heaviest of database tables, but if you're in CocoaMySQL on a regular basis, it's hard not to flick a click in its general direction. Our neighbor, "Create Table Syntax", simply spits out the raw SQL used to create the currently selected table (Figure 3). You may not find yourself using this button a lot, but it's far quicker than issuing the SQL manually.


Figure 3: The results of a "Create Table Syntax" click.

You'll also notice another handy feature of CocoaMySQL: the console, enabled with the "Show Console" toolbar button (see Figure 3). It keeps a running log of every SQL statement you've issued during your mousing with the GUI. This becomes very useful and instructional when you're still a SQL neophyte.

Let's choose the "books" table from our "Tables" menu, and click on the "Content" tab of our right-hand pane. You'll see a list of all the data within that table (Figure 4). You can rearrange the width of the columns as you see fit, but be forewarned that these visual-only preferences will be lost when you quit CocoaMySQL. You also have the ability to more narrowly determine what content you'd like to see with the forms above the data field: choose the table field to search through, the type of evaluation (context-sensitive, it'll change depending on whether the field is an integer or string), and the desired match.


Figure 4: Displaying the contents of our book table.

Unfortunately, you can't create AND/OR queries here; instead, you'd use the "Custom Query" tab, as shown in Figure 5. Previously entered custom queries are selectable from a dropdown, can be saved as "Favorites", and SQL errors are displayed on screen. It'd be nice if a future version of CocoaMySQL could allow multiple conditions under the "Content" tab, but for those that know SQL already, we'll get by with the "Custom Query" tab instead.


Figure 5: Custom queries within CocoaMySQL.

CocoaMySQL can also export entire databases in one of three formats: raw SQL (for when you want to dump the entire database, and then import it elsewhere), and comma-separated or XML for entire tables, groups of tables, or a custom query. The XML export, buzzwordy enough to satisfy feature gluts, is a wrapper for the same feature through the mysql shell:

~ > mysql -X -e "select * from books" mactech
<?xml version="1.0"?>

<resultset statement="select * from books">
  <row>
        <id>9</id>
        <title>Spidering Hacks</title>
        <publication>2003-11-01</publication>
  </row>

  <row>
        <id>10</id>
        <title>Mac OS X Hacks</title>
        <publication>2003-04-01</publication>
  </row>

  <row>
        <id>13</id>
        <title>Object Oriented Perl</title>
        <publication>2000-00-00</publication>
  </row>

  <row>
        <id>14</id>
        <title>MySQL</title>
        <publication>1999-01-01</publication>
  </row>

  <row>
        <id>15</id>
        <title>PHP and MySQL Web Development</title>
        <publication>2003-00-00</publication>
  </row>
</resultset>

phpMyAdmin: Free, Open sourced, and Platform Agnostic

If there's one major drawback of CocoaMySQL, it's that you have to be using Mac OS X. When you desperately need a quick and dirty piece of data, you'll probably be using something downright distasteful. phpMyAdmin (http://phpmyadmin.sf.net/) is a web-based solution that can be accessed from everywhere you want to be, and on whatever OS you happened to be saddled with. It's also one of those applications that can cause some quizzical misgivings until you become familiar with it.

To install phpMyAdmin, download and extract the latest version (2.5.6 as of this writing) into /Library/WebServer/Documents/phpMyAdmin/. Open config.inc.php in your favorite editor and modify the $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] to contain your MySQL root password. Also take a look at the surrounding configuration values and set them as appropriate: the host and PmaAbsoluteUri are especially relevant (for our purposes here, simply inserting the root password will work well enough). Finally, load http://127.0.0.1/phpMyAdmin in your browser to display Figure 6.


Figure 6: The start page of our phpMyAdmin installation.

phpMyAdmin provides an insane amount of features in regards to database manipulation and analysis: you'll do yourself some good to familiarize yourself with the available documentation. For now, choose the mactech database from the left-handed dropdown menu, and you'll be shown something similar to Figure 7.


Figure 7: Icons, options, and inputs aplenty

As previously alluded, it is very easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of options available. Naturally, things will start falling into place if you use phpMyAdmin often enough, but until then, all the icons have tooltips, all the errors have clickable explanations, and most of the worrisome options have "are you sure?" Javascript confirmations. Figure 8, accessible by clicking the "Properties" icon of a table, is similar to the table display of CocoaMySQL's Figure 2, and Figure 9 (the "Browse" tab) is equivalent to the listing of CocoaMySQL's Figure 4.


Figure 8: The person table of our mactech database.


Figure 9: Displaying the contents of our book table.

Homework Malignments

And thus completes our dissertation on basic database access with MySQL, the shell, PHP, Perl, CocoaMySQL, phpMyAdmin, and OS X. Helpful? Useless? Lacking? Confusing? Want more? Have questions? Next month, we'll be starting a new breed of Untangling the Web articles, but until then...

Email your suggestions, thoughts and comments to

editor-in-chief@mactech.com.


Kevin Hemenway, coauthor of Mac OS X Hacks and Spidering Hacks, is better known as Morbus Iff, the creator of disobey.com, which bills itself as "content for the discontented." Publisher and developer of more home cooking than you could ever imagine (like the popular open-sourced aggregator AmphetaDesk, the best-kept gaming secret Gamegrene.com, the ever ignorable Nonsense Network, etc.), he's currently a more-than-eighth level RDM on the Phoenix server. Contact him at morbus@disobey.com.

 
AAPL
$95.94
Apple Inc.
-2.21
MSFT
$43.40
Microsoft Corpora
-0.18
GOOG
$575.68
Google Inc.
-11.75

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OmniPlan 2.3.6 - Robust project manageme...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Command-C 1.1.1 - Clipboard sharing tool...
Command-C is a revolutionary app which makes easy to share your clipboard between iOS and OS X using your local WiFi network, even if the app is not currently opened. Copy anything (text, pictures,... Read more
Knock 1.1.7 - Unlock your Mac by knockin...
Knock is a faster, safer way to sign in. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You never have to open the app -- just knock on your phone twice, even when it's... Read more
Mellel 3.3.6 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.0.4 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0 - Drag-and-drop Web desi...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With it's user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.15 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0 - The ultimate media...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year O...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year Old, Gets its Biggest Update Yet Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Plants vs. Zombies 2 Enters the Second H...
Plants vs. Zombies 2 Enters the Second Half of the Dark Ages Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Why Does It Spin? (Games)
Why Does It Spin? 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: THERE'S ONLY ONE RULE: DON'T TOUCH THE WALLS! Do you think you're able to follow this simple rule even if you would have to... | Read more »
Ice Wings Plus (Games)
Ice Wings Plus 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: THE GREAT ENDLESS RUNNER OF COMBAT JETS IS BACK !! With more than 680.000 downloads in the App Store, Ice Wings: Skies of Steel... | Read more »
Murl the Squirrel (Games)
Murl the Squirrel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Murl. He is teased by a group of flying squirrels because he can't fly. Determined to show them he's can fly, he meets... | Read more »
Celleste (Games)
Celleste 0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 0.1 (iTunes) Description: Lots of cute action with amazing 3D graphics and a new type of gameplay! Take control over the forces of the universe to help a group... | Read more »
Super Heavy Sword (Games)
Super Heavy Sword 0.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 0.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Get Ready to Get HEAVY! Monster Robot Studios presents SUPER Heavy Sword! The sequel to the smash hit HEAVY sword which... | Read more »
Angels In The Sky (Games)
Angels In The Sky 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: - A.I.S will only run smoothly on iPhone 5s. It's NOT compatible with iPad, iPhone 5 or earlier devices.- In order to... | Read more »
80 Days (Games)
80 Days 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: 1872, with a steampunk twist. Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the world in just eighty days. Choose your own route... | Read more »
Micromon (Games)
Micromon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 130+ Animated Monsters to Catch & Battle! No waiting, play at your own pace! Embark on an epic monster capture RPG like none... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Cannibalization Threat “Overblown”
Seeking Alpha’s Kevin Greenhalgh observes that while many commentators think Apple’s forthcoming 5.5-inch panel iPhone 6 will cannibalize iPad sales, in his estimation, these concerns are being... Read more
Primate Labs Releases July 2014 MacBook Pro P...
Primate Labs’ John Poole has posted Geekbench 3 results for most of the new MacBook Pro models that Apple released on Tuesday. Poole observes that overall performance improvements for the new MacBook... Read more
Apple Re-Releases Bugfixed MacBook Air EFI Fi...
Apple has posted a bugfixed version EFI Firmware Update 2.9 a for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. The update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected, and... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, plus free sh...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $140 on an iPad Air with Apple ref...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
$250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Retina Ma...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2249, $250 off... Read more
More iPad Upgrade Musings – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
Much discussed recently, what with Apple reporting iPad sales shrinkage over two consecutive quarters, is that it had apparently been widely assumed that tablet users would follow a two-year hardware... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $100 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
WaterField Unveils 15″ Outback Solo & 13″...
Hard on the heels of Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops announcement, WaterField Designs has unveiled a 15-inch version of the waxed-canvas and leather Outback Solo and a 13-inch version of... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.