MySQL Workbench 6.0 – A Sneak Preview

The MySQL Developer Tools team is known for their steady release cycle, putting out a new MySQL Workbench release every 4-5 weeks. Now that it has been a bit quiet for a while you may wonder what is going on. Let me share some inside knowledge of what’s happening behind the scenes.

MySQL Workbench is a key component of our MySQL stack and extremely popular as shown by download numbers and interest in our white papers. It is the face of MySQL on the desktop, and we aim to make it even more popular for developers & DBAs than it is today. We have been looking for strong C++ and Python developers to grow the team further, and I’m happy to welcome Marcin Szalowicz from Poland and Miguel Tadeu from Portugal who started this Monday. They are going to work on both, the C++ backend and the native UI frontend of the product.

WB6.0SplashSmallFor some time the focus for the team has been on the next major release of MySQL Workbench which will be called 6.0. If you are familiar with the current version (5.2) you are going to see that we have been listening carefully to the feedback we’ve got. Here are the main areas that have been improved.

Simplified Workflow

The current WB 5.2 UI was designed for three specific workflows, SQL Development, EER Modelling and Administration. This is represented by the 3 main areas of the WB 5.2 Home screen and makes good sense if you have a very specific role in your company and use WB for that specific purpose, e.g. Administration of MySQL servers. What we learned is that e.g. many developers working in the SQL Editor also want to perform administrative tasks on their development machines and therefore also open an Administrator session. The same is true for DBAs using the SQL Editor to run scripts and queries.

For that reason we have unified SQL Development & Administration and made both available in a single session when you connect to your MySQL Server. The connections now take the main area of the new, redesigned WB 6.0 Home screen. We have also adopt a modern looking UI.WB6.0HomeScreenExSmall

Enterprise Feature Support

MySQL Enterprise Backup and the new Audit Log functionality found in MySQL 5.6 Enterprise are very compelling features for our customers. We got many requests to deliver a streamlined GUI for these features that will now be released as part of WB 6.0. MySQL Workbench will perform all tasks that are needed to configure your MySQL installation for the use of the backup feature and setting up an incremental backup is now as easy as clicking a button.


Improved Code Quality

Another area of focus was to improve the quality of the product. WB 6.0 will contain over 100 bug fixes and will be tested by a dedicated QA team. We are soon going to launch the public Beta test phase and with the help of the MySQL community the WB 6.0 will be the best MySQL Workbench release to date.

More Than 50 Improvements

Apart from working on the major UI changes a lot of work has been invested in improving and extending existing features like Server Status overview, Visual Explain, Editors, Schema Inspector, Table Data Search, and much more.

I hope you got interested in the upcoming MySQL Workbench 6.0 release and you will join the Beta test when it is first announced.


34 thoughts on “MySQL Workbench 6.0 – A Sneak Preview

    • We are developing on all platforms in parallel. The Mac version will include the same UI and feature enhancements and quality improvements as the other platforms.

  1. WoW looks great i’m pretty excited about this, in my days of study i used alot MySQL WorkBench for my projects. I want to see what the new version brings 😉

    • We will post as soon as the public Beta has been started. Keep watching out for the announcement!

    • We are currently testing internal Alpha builds. Once we have reached feature completeness we will open the public Beta and make the source as well as binaries available. Stay tuned!

  2. I hope you also improved more than the look and feel. I am using Ubuntu and my workbench crashed at least once a day.

    • The two new hires use Linux as their main development platform and are already deep into fixing platform specific issues. Expect the quality on Linux to improve *a lot* during the next months.

      • I can’t wait for them to address the linux stability issues! It is almost unusable because it crashes so often. And tell your devs to do a better job on communicating dependency issues. If you aren’t using one of their golden linux distributions, you can experience dependency hell. It seems to be very sensitive to python and lua versions, and doesn’t take much to keep it from running. Or even compiling.

        • I use 5.2 on Ubuntu 10.04 and while there are a few hangs (not really crashes), it’s been quite stable. Although, I confess some of the earlier versions were flaky. Currently using 5.2.47, FWIW.

          ** Where do we watch? Is there a place we can sign up for notification of the 6.0 Public Beta?

  3. Will there still be a Linux version? Seems a bit themed for Windows 8, as I’m not sure if that’s from a Windows-specific GUI toolkit, or just the Windows 8 theme applied to generic GUI elements (of Qt, GTK, or whichever is used).

    • MySQL Workbench will always stay a cross-platform application. There is a serious overhead in maintaining native GUIs on Windows (.Net), Mac (Cocoa) and Linux (GTK) but it is definitely worth it. Windows, Linux and Mac are equally important to us and the great feedback we get from the community shows that this is the right thing to do.

  4. Looking forward to version 6! Is there a place to submit feature requests? More than anything, I’d like to be able to separate the results portion of the window into its own window (to make better use of multiple monitors), though I have a few other things I’d like to see too….

  5. What work was done to improve the EER Modelling there are a number of features that other tools support as well as know bugs in the existing app?

  6. This is what I’m talking about, this is fantastic news! Anxiously looking forward to the WB 6.0 public Beta test phase for Mac / OS X…hopefully soon?

  7. Seems interesting. Where do we apply for beta testing ? 🙂

    Also, when we can expect Linux version ?

  8. Having the three sections of Workbench combined is a great idea. Always thought the current was a bit tedious.
    I may be a lone dissenter when it comes to the Home screen. Having a modern look and be useful can be two different things. We have several servers and allot of projects. Give me a simple list. Will this be configurable so a user can make it suitable to ones likes and needs?

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