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  1. Plays with fire
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    PHPMyAdmin alternatives


    Hi--

    Can anyone recommend a GUI admin tool like PHPMyAdmin that's easy to use for non-technical people?

    I have a client asking me to build one for them, but it would be much easier and cost effective to find one already made. It really needs to be easy.

    The great thing is, their database is only 1 table, but they need to be able to add and remove fields, generate queries and export results without knowing code or SQL.

    I really hope there's something out there. It doesn't even have to be free, but that would be nice.

    Thanks!
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    Have you looked at MySQL Workbench? Not sure whether you'd call it "easy" though. Doesn't quite do reports but you could use views for that.

    Thing is, mucking around in a database shouldn't be easy. Especially for non-technical people who don't know what they're doing. Really, I question whether you should grant this ability at all - if the client needs to add and remove fields then that suggests a structural problem (do they even understand the data types?) and creating queries and reports without involving SQL can be really complicated. I know they're the client and all but sometimes the client is wrong.
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    try HeidiSQL
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    Originally Posted by requinix
    Have you looked at MySQL Workbench? Not sure whether you'd call it "easy" though. Doesn't quite do reports but you could use views for that.

    Thing is, mucking around in a database shouldn't be easy. Especially for non-technical people who don't know what they're doing. Really, I question whether you should grant this ability at all - if the client needs to add and remove fields then that suggests a structural problem (do they even understand the data types?) and creating queries and reports without involving SQL can be really complicated. I know they're the client and all but sometimes the client is wrong.
    I completely agree with everything you said and before I agreed to this project, I had a long conversation with them about the perils of manipulating a database. No, they don't understand data types, normalization, validation, sanitation or security.

    What scared me more than anything else they wanted was them wanting their database, their pot of gold, connected to their public website so it would be easier for people to register for their events. It's like want their data to be destroyed.

    Still, this is what I'm facing. No longer publicly available, but they do want to update this themselves, so of course this needs to be challenging. This is my last project before retiring to another life; why would it be easy?
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    Originally Posted by r937
    try HeidiSQL
    I fear this still looks to "techy". I also fear I'll have to develop one myself.
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    Originally Posted by Frank Grimes
    I fear this still looks to "techy".
    don't underestimate users

    I also fear I'll have to develop one myself.
    are you insane?

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    I use adminer for same purpose, it is similar to phpmyadmin but much simpler.
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    Originally Posted by r937
    don't underestimate users



    are you insane?

    I've worked with the full spectrum of clients from those who can't even spell HTML much less understand how it works to those who know what it's capable of, but can't do it, to engineers who can code circles around me.

    This particular client is near the bottom of that spectrum. I'm not underestimating them exactly, just aware they have different skills.

    Am I insane? Most definitely for even entertaining such ideas. Still, they're willing to pay for it so I'll do it. It's quite a swan song to my career, I'll say that.
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    Originally Posted by robert4u
    I use adminer for same purpose, it is similar to phpmyadmin but much simpler.
    Thanks for this. Still, it looks too techy for this group. I need something with lots of graphics and buttons and as little table-driven as possible.

    I had to build a query builder for them using plain English language and they still raised some questions. So, something like "find all members whose [field name] is like [condition]" then on the backend I translated that to a SQL statement. Very nice people, but a little too comfortable in their comfort zones, if that makes sense.
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    You'll probably have to just build something, the question is how much time do you want to spend doing it?

    The problem with any administration packages out there is exactly the fact that they are administration packages. They are designed to be used by people who at least have a basic understanding of SQL and how databases function. The simplest you could probably find is some sort of simplistic CRUD system which might allow them to add/edit/delete stuff easily but based on your description they may struggle with searching still.

    I used to use SQL Buddy for a while but it's pretty dated at this point and doesn't work so well. I've not really looked into other options because as a developer I want the advanced stuff so I just use Mysql Workbench.
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    We used to have a 'plain English' query language developed in-house to front the personnel standing file (not sure what format it was, exactly, in those days but when we converted from ICL to IBM it became a VSAM KSDS). I was very impressed by it, and became even more so when I found out how it actually worked (then very depressed when I saw the code!). Even such a 'simple' system required a half day course.
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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.

    For now, I've weaseled out of developing anything by citing security concerns. This isn't completely out of the question, but for now it's on ice. The developer side of me is a little disappointed as I keep spinning my wheels on how I'd build it, but the human side of me is all kinds of relieved.

    Thanks again!
    “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” -- Horace Mann

    "...all men are created equal." -- US Declaration of Independence

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