Two weeks ago I talked to you about the new Git GUI client I'm using. Today I want to show you another tool I use in my workflow to deal with MySQL databases, called Arctype.
In the past I've been using phpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench, Sequel Pro, the MySQL client shipped with PHPStorm, and Adminer. The only one that didn't suck was Adminer, and I used it for years. Until I met Arctype.
What's great about Arctype
The annoying thing with Adminer is that, since it's a web app, you have to spin a server any time you want to use it. Arctype, on the other hand is a desktop client, and a beautiful one. I suspect it was originally developed for Mac, but it's also available on Windows and Linux. And it has dark mode 🎉 (when the dark mode trend arrived, I brushed it off as a gimmick. But after a while I realized I love this feature).
Here are the main reasons that made me switch to Arctype:
- The command palette. By now you should know that I'm a fan of the command palette. It's become increasingly popular, and I get disappointed if an app doesn't offer a command palette.
- The tabbed interface. Simple but effective, it allows you to quickly switch between tables and databases.
- The connection manager. This lets you switch easily between multiple servers and databases, but most importantly, lets you connect to remote databases over SSH. I work a lot over SSH, and it's super handy as it manages SSH connections and tunnels for you.
Amongst other great things, Arctype offers a simple UI with easy to use filters and sorting. But if you're someone who like typing SQL queries manually, you can also do just that, and it's a cinch. There's even autocompletion to make typing queries faster.
Finally, you can create nice dashboards to visualise summaries of your data the way you want it. I never used it but it looks simple and can be handy for people who like making graphs.
What's not so great about Arctype
There's a few glitches here and there that alter a bit the enjoyment. These happen mostly because the program is quite young, so it still has a few occasional bug or missing features. I'm talking about things such as the UI being jumpy at times. For instance, the interface scrolls back to the top when you try to click on a row at the bottom. There are some missing filters, e.g. you cannot use
LIKE %% filters like in Adminer. You can still do it in manual queries, but it would be nice if they were integrated to the UI.
This isn't a dealbreaker for me though, as the developing team updates the app frequently. They even have an active discord server where you can submit your feedback and feature requests.
It was enough for me to give it a try and stick with it. In the end, it completely replaced Adminer. So if your work requires you to deal with SQL databases, give it a try!