DbForge Studio vs DBeaver: a detailed comparison of MySQL database tools

In this article, we do a detailed comparison between the top two database tools - dbForge Studio vs DBeaver. Know the features of both the database tools and where they stack up against the other.

The wide variety of database development tools on the modern market is a great advantage in itself. You can find the optimal solution to address your goals. You can pick one that meets your requirements most precisely. Meanwhile, developers of top database tools fiercely compete to introduce new features and win your favor with every new release. This is an ongoing evolution that leaves plenty of room for comparisons.

We have a detailed one for you today. In this article, we are going to examine two popular MySQL solutions: dbForge Studio for MySQL and DBeaver. Both are provided by influential brands, occupying tops of database tool rankings. Both have a loyal following. Both are worthwhile alternatives to MySQL Workbench and HeidiSQL. And if you consider switching to something different or want to try these alternatives and evaluate their functionality, this review will make a fine start.

A brief overview

DBeaver is a cross-platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris) tool for database developers, administrators, and analysts. The multi-language interface includes English, German, Italian, Chinese, and Russian. The Community Edition of the product (DBeaver CE) is open-source and free of charge. There is also a paid Enterprise Edition with more advanced functionality, which can be freely accessed during a 2-week trial.

In general, it is a powerful tool with an impressive set of options. The primary advantage is the list of supported databases – almost 20 titles. Its notable features include execution of SQL queries, syntax highlighting, auto-completion, viewing and editing of database structures, ERD modelling, as well as SSL and SSH tunnelling (for MySQL and PostgreSQL). Additionally, DBeaver provides all the traditional importing, exporting, data backups, and test data generation functionality.

As for dbForge Studio for MySQL, it is a universal solution for MySQL, MariaDB, Percona, and Sphinx databases. For many users, it is the favorite DB environment for Windows due to its functionality and intuitive SSMS-like interface. Similarly to its rival, there are two ways to evaluate its capabilities, and both are free of charge. You can either get a completely free Express Edition or a free 30-day trial of a full-featured Enterprise Edition.

With its help, you can easily execute SQL queries and scripts, design database structures, and automate routine tasks. You get a diversity of development, management, and administration features that venture beyond traditional and give a boost to your productivity.

Now let's give both tools a more detailed look and proceed to the feature-by-feature comparison.

Database design

In dbForge Studio for MySQL, this set of features includes powerful visualization options for database design, tables, views, and stored procedures. It provides easy access to all objects and capabilities of database diagrams processing and analysis. There is support for IDEF1X and IE notations. The functionality of DBeaver is weaker in this aspect, limited to basic options of smart diagram layouting and object search.
Database design-BEAVERDatabase design-STUDIO

SQL editing and execution

This is where dbForge Studio also prevails. It presents the essential and highly demanded SQL formatting and code beautifier, which you will not find in DBeaver. Additionally, dbForge Studio includes practical means of automatic SQL syntax check, an editor with syntax coloring, and bookmarks that DBeaver does not provide.
SQL editing and execution - DBEAVERSQL editing and execution - STUDIO

MySQL debugger

DBeaver does not provide this functionality at all. As for dbForge Studio, it proves the exceptional functionality with full kits for both professionals and beginners.

The most helpful options are the commands for step-by-step execution (Step Into, Step Over, and Step Out). We should also mention the breakpoints support for procedures, functions, triggers, and scripts. The Breakpoints, Call Stack, and Watches windows contribute to the overall functionality too.
MySQL-debugger - STUDIO

Schema/Data comparison and synchronization

Using DBeaver, you can compare tables and views, as well as exclude specific tables and records from synchronization. In stark contrast, dbForge Studio for MySQL is capable of comparing procedures, functions, events, triggers, tabs, results, and files. It is also worth mentioning that both live databases and script folders of different structures can be used as comparison sources.

Moreover, dbForge Studio performs numerous specific tasks for getting the most meaningful data. For instance, there are filters that help sort and analyze comparison results. Finally, the Studio generates accurate, well-organized reports in HTML and Excel formats.
SchemaData comparison and synchronization - DBEAVERSchemaData comparison and synchronization - STUDIO

Data import, export, backup & restoration

This is the cornerstone feature, available in both solutions. However, dbForge Studio offers a broader range of capabilities. While DBeaver can import data from CSV only, the Studio embraces more formats: CSV, text, XML, JSON, XLS, Google Sheets, MDB (Access), command-line interface, and even more. The export functionality is also superior, as it also allows to export selected data to a similar variety of formats. Fast and reliable data migration becomes much simpler with the Copy Database feature.

Besides this, dbForge Studio can save database backups to SQL and ZIP formats and the script folder. DBeaver does not offer such functionality. The command line support in dbForge Studio is an additional advantage for routine tasks automation.
Data import, export, backup & restoration - DBEAVERData import, export, backup & restoration - STUDIO

Performance tuning

Both solutions ensure that all SQL statements run as quickly and efficiently as possible. However. DBeaver has a potent ace, the Visual SQL explain plan feature, which is not currently available in dbForge Studio.

It is also worth noting that both solutions provide the plans of the queries displayed in the tree view and the option of history profiling. These features help you review queries and save the data for further reference and analysis. Still, dbForge Studio for MySQL is more robust in this respect. In addition to the options mentioned above, it offers session statistics and comparison of profiling results, with all the differences highlighted. These results can be conveniently printed in case of need.

Database projects

The possibility of collecting and logically organizing SQL scripts and query files in one place is in high demand. Both DBeaver and dbForge Studio for MySQL provides a dedicated wizard to create a new project with the option of importing from an existing database. DBeaver also has a handy comparison feature. As for the rest, dbForge Studio for MySQL is far superior.

The Project Explorer window for managing project files and the Schema View window for browsing logical project structure is only present in dbForge Studio, which allows exporting a project into a script with multiple script options available. You can deploy projects on the server with one click. One more beneficial option is the comparison of a live database with a project. DBeaver lacks all these features.
Database projects - DBEAVERDatabase projects - STUDIO

Data analysis

This is where DBeaver is limited to the basic feature of displaying query results in a chart. dbForge Studio for MySQL offers lots of additional options to accelerate task performance and help analysts. Among these options, we would like to single out parent-child dependencies displayed in table data and the data report designer and the generation wizard.

There is also a feature of automated report generation and distribution, with the command line support. You can save report templates and refer to them whenever you need to generate a particular report again.
Data analysis DBEAVERData analysis STUDIO

Data generation

Similar to many of its other features, DBeaver delivers the basics: multiple generators with data customization and support for all MySQL column data types. The functionality of dbForge Studio is much more potent; it includes meaningful and user-defined generators. Many vital operations that are not supported by DBeaver are in the actual focus of dbForge Studio for MySQL.
Data generation - DBEAVERData generation - STUDIO

Database documented

This feature, demanded by many modern database specialists, is available in dbForge Studio for MySQL with a profound functionality. DBeaver does not have it at all.

The dedicated dbForge Documenter tool generates all the necessary database documentation, registering database objects and properties. The procedure is automated and takes only several minutes. As for the documentation formats, the Documenter supports Markdown, HTML, and PDF. Additional customization options make your documentation more accurate and organized.


Both DBeaver and dbForge Studio for MySQL are worthy of consideration, ranking among the best database tools on the market. DBeaver positions itself as a universal tool that delivers decent functionality free of charge. It includes all the basic features to perform essential database tasks, and these features apply to all the supported databases.

On the contrary, dbForge Studio for MySQL is a proficient solution that targets specific databases with a much more in-depth approach. As you can see, it wins the competition by a huge margin.

After comparing these database tools directly, we've come to an unambiguous conclusion: when you need robust functionality and high customization options, the best MySQL client is dbForge Studio for MySQL. Please feel free to get a free 30-day trial to test its robust functionality properly. You'll see how simpler and clearer your work will become with this tool.


Guest Author: Metal heart_10 Dec 2020

Cool product! I use dbForge Studio for MySQL and it helps me with all MySQL tasks i need to solve quickly and reliably.

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