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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BBEdit 11.0.3 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Microsoft Office Preview 15.8 - Popular...
Welcome to the new and modern Microsoft Office for Mac. You will receive regular updates automatically until the official release in the second half of 2015. With the redesigned Ribbon and your... Read more
Yosemite Cache Cleaner 9.0.5 - Clear cac...
Yosemite Cache Cleaner is an award-winning general purpose tool for OS X. YCC makes system maintenance simple with an easy point-and-click interface to many OS X functions. Novice and expert users... Read more
ExpanDrive 4.3.2 - Access cloud storage...
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.0.8 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Artlantis Studio 5.1.2.7 - 3D rendering...
Artlantis Studio is a unique and ideal tool for performing very high resolution rendering easily and in real time. The new FastRadiosity engine now lets you compute images in radiosity-even in... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.5 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
BitTorrent Sync 2.0.82 - Sync files secu...
BitTorrent Sync allows you to sync unlimited files between your own devices, or share a folder with friends and family to automatically sync anything. File transfers are encrypted. Your information... Read more
Google Drive 1.20 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Simon 4.0.3 - Monitor changes and crashe...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more

New Publisher Allstar Games Heads West w...
Allstar Games has announced its first mobile title designed for western audiences, Allstar Heroes. The game will be a massive online battle arena (MOBA) that offers dozens of heroes for you to collect and pit against your opponents. As each hero has... | Read more »
RAD Boarding Review
RAD Boarding Review By Jennifer Allen on March 5th, 2015 Our Rating: :: NEARLY RADUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad RAD Boarding isn’t quite one of the greats, but it has potential.   | Read more »
Presenting the International Mobile Gami...
11th Annual International Mobile Gaming Awards ceremony, hosted by actress Allison Haislip, gathered mobile game developers and publishers from around the world. They chose 13 winners out of the 93 nominations. British studio USTWO won the the Grand... | Read more »
AG Drive Review
AG Drive Review By Tre Lawrence on March 5th, 2015 Our Rating: :: FUTURISTIC STREET RACING.Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Futuristic racing… interstellar style.   | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Nightmare Guardians is an Int...
GDC 2015 – Nightmare Guardians is an Interesting Hybrid of MOBA and Lane Defense Posted by Rob Rich on March 5th, 2015 [ permalink ] I have to say that lane defense (i.e. | Read more »
Overkill 3 Review
Overkill 3 Review By Tre Lawrence on March 5th, 2015 Our Rating: :: WHO'S NEXT?Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cover system gameplay in the third-person.   Developer: Craneballs Price: Free Version Reviewed: 1.1.6... | Read more »
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment A...
Warner Bros. has some exciting games coming down the pipe! | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Star Trek Timelines will Prob...
GDC 2015 – Star Trek Timelines will Probably Make Your Inner Trekkie Squeal With Glee Posted by Rob Rich on March 4th, 2015 [ permalink ] Any popular fictional universe has its fair share of fan fiction – where belo | Read more »
Protect Yourself from an Onslaught of Ca...
Surprise Attack Games has announced a Cat-astrophic new physics puzzler called Fort Meow! In the game, a young girl named Nia finds her grandfather’s journal which triggers an all mighty feline attack! Why do the cats want the journal? Who knows,... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’...
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’s Last Hurrah, and it Seems like a Good Note to Go Out on Posted by Rob Rich on March 4th, 2015 [ permalink ] It’s sad knowing that Game Oven ( | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Roundup of MacBook Air sale prices, models up...
B&H Photo has MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 100 off MSRP - 11″ 256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100... Read more
New Firstrade Mobile App Enables On-The-Go Tr...
Firstrade Securities Inc. has announced its new mobile app, which gives investors immediate access to the company’s trading platform on all mobile devices. The app was developed in-house and was... Read more
Sonnet Introduces USB 3.0 + eSATA Thunderbolt...
Sonnet has announced the launch of its new USB 3.0 + eSATA Thunderbolt Adapter for easy connectivity to USB 3.0 devices and eSATA storage, and USB 3.0 + Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt Adapter for easy... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 27-inch 5K iMacs f...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMacs for $2119 including free shipping. Their price is $380 off the cost of new models, and it’s the lowest price available... Read more
Free Clean Reader Mobile App Hides Swear Word...
The new Clean Reader app, now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, delivers the opportunity of reading any book without being exposed to profanity. By selecting how clean they want their... Read more
Kinsa Launches “Groups” App to Monitor Illnes...
Kinsa, makers of the first FDA approved app-enabled smartphone thermometer thst won the 2013 Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Grand Prize and recently appeared in Apple’s “Parenthood” TV... Read more
iPad: A More Positive Outlook – The ‘Book Mys...
It’s good to hear someone saying positive things about the iPad. I’ve been trying to bend my mind around how Apple’s tablet could have gone from zero to bestselling personal computing device on the... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $279 off MSRP
Amazon has Mac Pros in stock and on sale for up to $279 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 4-Core Mac Pro: $2725.87, $273 off MSRP (9%) - 6-Core Mac Pro: $3719.99, $279 off MSRP (7%) Read more
Sale! 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $205 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1219.99 save $80 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Another Tranche Of IBM MobileFirst For iOS Ap...
IBM has announced the next expansion phase for  its IBM MobileFirst for iOS portfolio, with a troika of new apps to address key priorities for the Banking and Financial Services, Airline and Retail... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…Summary** As a Specialist, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other - uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences. As an Expert, you introduce people Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.