Database tool vendor Quest Software announced May 8 that it has made Toad for MySQL v2.0, a feature-filled, full-production database development toolkit, available for free download.
The upgraded toolkit was released, Quest said, because the free, open-source MySQL database is working its way more frequently into larger enterprise systems from its beginnings in the non-profit and small business sectors, and developers need more sophisticated tools to get the job done.
"This new version of Toad for MySQL offers advanced administration and security capabilities, as well as more reporting options," said Toad product manager Gary Goodwin.
"This gives MySQL developers and administrators better manageability and more flexibility, resulting in better performing and more scalable MySQL databases.
"With the release of Toad for MySQL 2.0 to the MySQL community, we are following the model of MySQL; we are a very close partner of theirs, and we recognize the value of their pricing methodology."
New features in Toad for MySQL 2.0 include:
- Version Control Integration allows users to quickly check-in and check-out code from within the editor, reducing the risk of errors.
- Macro Record and Playback records and plays back keyboard commands, enhancing usability and reducing manual effort.
- Database Browser reorganizes and manages objects and object types.
- Code Snippet Editor allows the user to create and alter code snippets for expand and collapse code blocks, for faster navigation.
- Security Manager provides the administrator with the ability to permit or restrict user access to specific features of Toad, providing better control over the system.
When it was introduced eight years ago by Quest, based in Irvine, Calif., the now-trademarked Toad originally was an acronym for Tool for Oracle Application Developers.
"This [Toad for MySQL] is a serious tool for serious database development and administration," Boyd E. Hemphill, a MySQL consultant for Live Oak Interactive in Round Rock, Texas, told eWEEK.
"I rely on it to craft very difficult SQL statements in an efficient manner, test migration scripts and quickly look up information about large schemas.
"I have looked hard at competing products for managing MySQL, and only Toad stands up to the pounding I give it with very large databases (50GB data, 100-plus tables). As MySQL moves to the enterprise, I believe Toad and the MySQL Query Browser are the only viable GUI options."
In late 2005, Oracle released Oracle SQL Developer, a product similar to Toad but aimed only at the proprietary enterprise SQL database community.
Last March, Oracle released a freely downloadable version of the toolkit. To date, Oracle spokesman Eloy Ontiveros told eWEEK, Oracle SQL Developer has been downloaded 76,000 times through March and since then has been averaging about 10,000 downloads per week.
Because both Oracle and Quest now offer free toolkits for SQL Server database programming (Quest offers Toad toolkits for SQL Server, MySQL, IBMs DB2 and even Oracle itself), there may be some decisions to be made during the next few months in the database development community.
Dr. Paul Dorsey, president of Dulcian—a New Jersey-based consulting company—who has written eight books on Oracle database programming, told eWEEK that "Toad is certainly powerful enough to hold its own. It is still a significantly better tool for serious DBAs that SQL Developer.
"The problem for Quest is that the [Oracle] SQL Developer team is first rate, and the tool is evolving very quickly. I dont see people dropping Toad in the short term, but in six months, you are likely to see a SQL Developer that could challenge Toad on its own terms.
"Already SQL Developer is a first-rate tool for developers. I think that in the next year or two, market share for Quest will start having serious trouble in the Oracle environment from SQL Developer."
Toads success has been something of a surprise internally to Quest, said Carl Olofson, Research vice president of information management and data integration software research in Framingham, Mass.
"Quests main business has been centered around management and support of databases through tools like Quest Central and their replication product, SharePlex," Olofson said.
"Toad has a fiercely loyal and growing user base. I havent examined Toad and Oracles products side-by-side to determine how they stack up, but given Toads success, and given the straightforward need of MySQL users for tools, I think it stands a good chance of growing a developer community in that space."
For its three other major database platforms (Oracle, DB2, SQL Server), Quest also provides freeware with limited functionality and a 60-day key. This key is available here.
The products are available with commercial support here. Commercial base pricing starts at $170 for the MySQL version and goes up to a base of $870 for the Oracle version, the company said.
Toad for MySQL v2.0 is available for free download here.