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12 Best SQL Query Tool Shortlist

After extensive evaluation, I've handpicked the 12 best SQL query tools, perfectly tailored to address your data challenges.

  1. DbVisualizer - Best for visual database management and analysis
  2. Aqua Data Studio - Best for multi-database query and development
  3. Navicat for SQL Server - Best for SQL Server management and migration
  4. JetBrains DataGrip - Best for developers needing deep code integration
  5. SQLyog - Best for MySQL administration with a GUI interface
  6. Devart - Best for comprehensive SQL development and reporting
  7. DBHawk - Best for database security and auditing capabilities
  8. MySQL Workbench - Best for MySQL-specific development and modeling
  9. SolarWinds SQL Server Query Performance Analyzer Tool - Best for analyzing SQL query performance
  10. Oracle SQL Developer - Best for Oracle database development and management
  11. IBM Data Studio - Best for integrating with IBM databases and products
  12. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) - Best for native SQL Server management and tools

Navigating the world of SQL query tools, I've come to understand their pivotal role for programmers, particularly when working with relational databases across platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, and cross-platform capabilities. Whether interacting with Microsoft SQL Server or MS SQL diving into open-source realms, these tools provide a user-friendly user interface, designed to simplify the creation and execution of SQL statements, format SQL code, and offer real-time insights through dashboards.

Leveraging vital features such as syntax highlighting, visual query builders, and drag-and-drop for database objects for the programming language, they ease the pain points associated with diverse database management systems (DBMS), be it NoSQL databases, crafting SQL scripts, or grappling with different programming, query languages, and query execution.

What Is an SQL Query Tool?

An SQL query tool is a software application designed to facilitate interaction with databases using SQL commands. Typically used by database administrators, data analysts, and developers, it aids in crafting, managing, and executing SQL queries. These professionals leverage such tools to retrieve data, optimize database performance, and manage database structures, ensuring efficient and accurate data manipulation and reporting.

Features such as syntax highlighting and drag-and-drop functionalities streamline the creation process, while advanced capabilities like real-time data visualization and profilers are now more accessible, thanks to free versions. For those grappling with diverse database management systems or various programming languages, these tools alleviate the challenges, ensuring a smoother workflow, whether you're exporting to CSV, managing HTML elements, or developing SQL scripts.

Overviews of the 12 Best SQL Query Tools

1. DbVisualizer - Best for visual database management and analysis

DbVisualizer's SQL client graphical user interface (GUI)
This is an image captured from DbVisualizer's SQL client graphical user interface (GUI).

When you delve into DbVisualizer, it's evident that this tool isn't just another SQL interface; it's an interactive portal into the world of databases. By emphasizing visualization, it bridges the gap between complex database structures and understandable insights, making it immensely valuable for those who prioritize a visual approach to data handling.

Why I Picked DbVisualizer:

Choosing the right SQL tool is a daunting task, given the plethora of options out there. I zeroed in on DbVisualizer after extensively comparing and judging its capabilities alongside others. What tipped the scales in its favor was its exceptional emphasis on visual database management. When thinking about the ideal tool for visual database analysis and management, DbVisualizer consistently stood out, offering a blend of interactivity and clarity.

Standout Features & Integrations:

DbVisualizer has carved its niche with a set of features tailored for comprehensive database management. The visual data explorer, for instance, provides an in-depth yet intuitive overview of database structures. Its SQL editor isn't just functional but comes with assistance features like auto-complete. On the integration front, DbVisualizer plays well with a range of databases, including Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, making it versatile for varied database environments.


From $5/user/month (billed annually)


  • Robust support for multiple database platforms, such as Oracle and SQL Server.
  • Advanced SQL editor enhancing the querying process.
  • Emphasis on visual data representation for clearer insights.


  • New users might experience a slight learning curve.
  • Some advanced functionalities might appear complex to beginners.
  • Larger datasets can occasionally affect performance.

2. Aqua Data Studio - Best for multi-database query and development

Aqua Data Studio SQL query tool
With Aqua Data Studio's software, users can bring an advanced query analyzer that allows them to connect to any database server and execute SQL Queries.

Diving into Aqua Data Studio, it becomes evident that the tool positions itself as a comprehensive database management solution. Its strength lies in its ability to cater to various databases, a feature critical for teams working across diverse database environments.

Why I Picked Aqua Data Studio:

In the myriad of SQL tools available, Aqua Data Studio caught my attention for a few compelling reasons. After judging its capabilities and comparing it with other contenders, it was its prowess in multi-database support that made it distinct.

When determining the best tool for multi-database query and development, Aqua Data Studio emerged as the frontrunner, given its capability to interface with an array of databases, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Aqua Data Studio shines with features like its visual analytics platform and its integrated SQL editor, both crucial for comprehensive database management. It also offers schema synchronization, which is invaluable when dealing with multiple databases.

In terms of integrations, Aqua Data Studio impressively supports over 30 database platforms, from popular ones like Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL to others like MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and even cloud databases.


From $19/user/month (billed annually)


  • Broad database support spanning over 30 platforms.
  • Integrated SQL editor that caters to diverse querying needs.
  • Visual analytics platform to gain insights from data.


  • The interface might be dense for new users.
  • The broad range of features could be overwhelming for those looking for simplicity.
  • Some users may find performance challenges with extremely large datasets.

3. Navicat for SQL Server - Best for SQL Server management and migration

Constructing SQL statements in the SQL Editor
Users can construct SQL statements in the SQL Editor by picking the suggestions from the drop-down list.

Diving into the intricacies of SQL Server requires a robust and dependable tool, and Navicat for SQL Server stands tall in this domain. Offering features specifically tailored for SQL Server, this tool simplifies both day-to-day management and intricate migration tasks.

Why I Picked Navicat for SQL Server:

In my journey of selecting tools, I rigorously compared a myriad of options, weighing their pros and cons. Navicat for SQL Server caught my attention for its dedicated focus on SQL Server environments. The choice was clear: for SQL Server management and especially for migration tasks, this tool stands a cut above the rest.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Navicat’s design facilitates efficient SQL Server management. Its data synchronization, structure synchronization, and advanced data transfer capabilities are standout features. Furthermore, it integrates with cloud databases, including Amazon RDS, SQL Azure, Oracle Cloud, and more.


From $9/user/month (billed annually)


  • Comprehensive SQL Server-specific features.
  • Advanced data transfer capabilities for migrations.
  • Compatibility with major cloud database platforms.


  • The interface might be overwhelming for beginners.
  • Some occasional lags are reported during intensive tasks.
  • The subscription model might not suit every organization's budgeting.

4. JetBrains DataGrip - Best for developers needing deep code integration

JetBrains DataGrip SQL query tool
DataGrip correctly resolves all references in your SQL code and helps you refactor them.

For developers, the line between database management and code development often blurs. Here's where JetBrains DataGrip shines - it isn't just a database management tool but also a platform that integrates deeply with your coding environment.

Why I Picked JetBrains DataGrip:

Selecting the right database tool requires meticulous judgment. When evaluating tools for developers with a coding focus, JetBrains DataGrip emerged as my top pick. Its profound integration with coding platforms and its development-centric features make it an optimal choice for developers craving deep code integration.

Standout Features & Integrations:

One of DataGrip’s prominent features is its intelligent query console which supports context-based code completion. Beyond this, it boasts smart code navigation and an integrated version control system. In terms of integrations, it supports a plethora of databases from PostgreSQL to SQL Server, ensuring developers don’t find themselves boxed in.


From $8.90/user/month (billed annually)


  • Deep code and database integration simplifies developer workflows.
  • An intelligent query console improves productivity.
  • Supports a wide range of databases for maximal flexibility.


  • Might seem complex for non-developers.
  • Resource-intensive, particularly for larger databases.
  • Occasional syncing issues are reported with certain databases.

5. SQLyog - Best for MySQL administration with a GUI interface

Set preferences for the SQLyog environment
Users can set preferences for the SQLyog environment.

SQLyog is designed to bring ease and efficiency to the task of MySQL administration. Its GUI interface provides administrators with a straightforward way to interact, manage, and manipulate MySQL databases.

Why I Picked SQLyog:

The process of selecting database tools is never straightforward, but SQLyog stood out in the MySQL administration space. After comparing multiple tools, I determined SQLyog to be superior for those wanting a visual touch to their MySQL tasks. Its GUI interface specifically tailored for MySQL administration is what sets it apart from others.

Standout Features & Integrations:

SQLyog boasts a visual schema designer, helping to design and edit databases directly. The tool's data search and session restore capabilities are notable. It integrates well with many MySQL variants, including MariaDB, Percona, and Amazon RDS.


From $12/user/month (billed annually)


  • Intuitive GUI interface specifically for MySQL.
  • Visual schema designer aids in quick database design.
  • Supports multiple MySQL variants, ensuring flexibility.


  • Requires some familiarity with MySQL for optimal use.
  • Limited advanced features for heavy users.
  • Visual elements may feel cluttered on smaller screens.

6. Devart - Best for comprehensive SQL development and reporting

Devart studio for SQL Server
This is an image from Devart studio for SQL Server - Database Management.

Devart offers a suite of tools designed to streamline SQL development, administration, and reporting. With a focus on broad SQL functionalities, Devart excels in delivering comprehensive solutions for developers and database professionals.

Why I Picked Devart:

In the realm of SQL tools, Devart consistently came up in conversations and comparisons. Judging by its features and user feedback, I chose it as a top pick for those who dive deep into SQL development and require detailed reporting. The comprehensive nature of its toolkit is what distinguishes Devart.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Devart is renowned for its SQL formatter and code completion features, which bolster developer efficiency. Additionally, its database diagram tool assists in visualizing database structures. Devart provides integrations with popular databases like MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.


From $15/user/month (billed annually)


  • All-in-one solution for SQL development, administration, and reporting.
  • SQL formatter enhances code readability.
  • Integrates with major databases, offering a unified platform.


  • The learning curve can be steep for beginners.
  • Some tools in the suite might be redundant for specific tasks.
  • The interface can sometimes feel overwhelming due to the wealth of options.

7. DBHawk - Best for database security and auditing capabilities

DBHawk's software features
With DBHawk's software features like database security, database management, data governance, and data analytics are all in one solution.

DBHawk is a web-based database management platform, particularly focused on security and auditing. For those seeking advanced security features combined with comprehensive database auditing, DBHawk emerges as a reliable choice.

Why I Picked DBHawk:

Choosing the right database tool hinges on specific needs, and in terms of security and auditing, DBHawk caught my attention. My comparisons led me to appreciate the robust security and auditing features of DBHawk, making it a top pick for those priorities.

Standout Features & Integrations:

DBHawk offers SQL job scheduling, advanced data browsing, and a visual SQL builder. Its integration capabilities extend across a wide range of databases, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.


From $35/user/month (billed annually)


  • Comprehensive auditing capabilities.
  • Robust security features including role-based access.
  • Broad database integration, ensuring versatility.


  • It might be overkill for users without strict security needs.
  • Web-based interfaces might not suit all users.
  • Can be pricey for smaller teams.

8. MySQL Workbench - Best for MySQL-specific development and modeling

MySQL Workbench Administration Server Status
Users may use MySQL Workbench to graphically create, model, produce, and administer databases.

MySQL Workbench is a unified visual tool catering to MySQL developers, architects, and administrators. Its modeling and design capabilities, along with its specific alignment to MySQL, make it ideal for detailed MySQL-based projects.

Why I Picked MySQL Workbench:

When determining the best tool for MySQL-related tasks, MySQL Workbench naturally stood out. Through careful judgment and comparison, I concluded that its MySQL-specific features and modeling tools positioned it atop the list for MySQL development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

MySQL Workbench comes with a powerful visual SQL development and administration console. It supports schema design & modeling, SQL development, and server administration. The tool is tailored for MySQL, ensuring deep integration with all of its features.


Free (with premium versions available upon request)


  • Tailored specifically for MySQL, ensuring a refined experience.
  • Powerful visual modeling and design tools.
  • Extensive support and documentation given its official MySQL tie-in.


  • Limited to MySQL, not ideal for managing multiple database types.
  • Some features might feel advanced for beginners.
  • UI can be dense and less intuitive at times.

9. SolarWinds SQL Server Query Performance Analyzer Tool - Best for analyzing SQL query performance

SolarWinds SQL Server Query Performance Analyzer SQL query tool
With SolarWinds SQL, you have access to the quickest method for analyzing SQL queries, pinpointing performance issues, and fixing them.

SolarWinds SQL Server Query Performance Analyzer Tool is engineered to deep-dive into SQL Server performance metrics, providing invaluable insights. For those who want detailed SQL query performance analyses, this SolarWinds tool surfaces as a prime contender.

Why I Picked SolarWinds SQL Server Query Performance Analyzer Tool:

The task of selecting an optimal tool for SQL query performance is no small feat. After extensive comparisons and deliberations, it was evident to me that SolarWinds' tool was superior in its analytical depth. Its prowess in dissecting SQL Server queries is why I firmly believe it's the best in this domain.

Standout Features & Integrations:

SolarWinds shines with its ability to analyze SQL text, visualize query plans, and offer recommendations for optimization. Moreover, it integrates with SolarWinds' larger suite of database performance tools, making it fit well within an extensive DBA toolkit.


From $2,045 (one-time fee)


  • In-depth SQL query analysis for optimized performance.
  • Comprehensive visualization of query plans.
  • Strong integration within the SolarWinds ecosystem.


  • The one-time fee might seem steep for smaller organizations.
  • Primarily focused on SQL Server, limiting cross-DB versatility.
  • Might present a steep learning curve for newcomers.

10. Oracle SQL Developer - Best for Oracle database development and management

Oracle SQL Developer SQL query tool
With Oracle SQL Developer, users can browse the database dictionary, open and edit database objects, edit SQL or code objects in multiple windows.

Oracle SQL Developer stands as a free, integrated development environment (IDE) for Oracle databases. For individuals or enterprises deeply invested in Oracle-based projects, this tool is undeniably the go-to solution for database management and development.

Why I Picked Oracle SQL Developer:

In evaluating tools specifically for Oracle, Oracle SQL Developer naturally rose to the forefront. My selection of this tool was determined by its alignment with Oracle's ecosystem. Given its robust features tailored to Oracle databases, I am of the opinion that it’s unparalleled for Oracle-centric development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Oracle SQL Developer offers a rich interface with capabilities such as debugging, schema browsing, and data modeling. Furthermore, it integrates closely with other Oracle products, ensuring streamlined operations within the Oracle realm.




  • Designed and optimized specifically for Oracle.
  • Includes a plethora of tools for database management and development.
  • Strong integration with other Oracle products.


  • Exclusivity to Oracle might deter those looking for multi-DB solutions.
  • The interface can sometimes be daunting for beginners.
  • Updates can occasionally introduce stability issues.

11. IBM Data Studio - Best for integrating with IBM databases and products

IBM Data Studio's central platform
Take a dive into IBM Data Studio's central platform.

IBM Data Studio provides a comprehensive environment designed for managing, optimizing, and maintaining IBM databases. Those who are looking for an integrated approach to IBM database management will find IBM Data Studio to be the tailored fit.

Why I Picked IBM Data Studio:

In my quest to determine the finest tools for database management, IBM Data Studio emerged as a distinct choice. The reason for selecting this tool lies in its synchronization with IBM’s ecosystem. I am of the opinion that for those invested in IBM's suite of products, this tool best integrates and complements them.

Standout Features & Integrations:

IBM Data Studio boasts features such as visual SQL builders, routine development, and integrated debugging. It also supports tight integrations with various IBM products, especially IBM Db2, ensuring cohesive functionality across platforms.


Pricing upon request


  • Designed for IBM databases, ensuring compatibility.
  • Rich set of features for database optimization and management.
  • Comprehensive integrations within the IBM realm.


  • Not suitable for non-IBM database systems.
  • May have a steeper learning curve for newcomers.
  • Requires careful configuration for optimal performance.

12. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) - Best for native SQL Server management and tools

SQL Server Management Studio's main dashboard
Here is a screenshot of SQL Server Management Studio's main dashboard.

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) stands as Microsoft's proprietary tool tailored for managing, configuring, and administering SQL Server instances. For professionals deeply engrossed in the SQL Server ecosystem, SSMS presents itself as the quintessential management tool.

Why I Picked SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS):

Having judged numerous tools for SQL Server management, SSMS stood out prominently. My decision to choose SSMS was influenced by its native compatibility and comprehensive toolset. It is my belief that SSMS, due to its native design, is the top pick for SQL Server management and utilities.

Standout Features & Integrations:

SSMS is recognized for its robust SQL editor, in-depth performance diagnostics, and extensive management capabilities. Integration-wise, it pairs harmoniously with Azure SQL databases and other Microsoft products, lending to its strength in a Microsoft-centric environment.




  • Native tool for SQL Server, ensuring functionality.
  • A comprehensive suite of management utilities.
  • Strong integrations within the Microsoft ecosystem.


  • Confined mostly to the SQL Server ecosystem.
  • Can be resource-intensive on certain systems.
  • Updates may sometimes alter familiar workflows.

Other Noteworthy SQL Query Tools

Below is a list of additional SQL query tools that I shortlisted, but did not make it to the top 12. They are definitely worth checking out.

  1. DBeaver - Good for multi-database management and support
  2. Azure Data Studio - Good for integration with Microsoft Azure services
  3. RazorSQL - Good for extensive SQL querying capabilities
  4. Teradata Studio - Good for Teradata database management and analytics
  5. DbSchema - Good for visual database design and documentation
  6. SQuirreL SQL Client - Good for JDBC-compliant database interactions
  7. HeidiSQL - Good for managing MySQL, MariaDB, and SQL Server databases
  8. QuerySurge - Good for data validation and testing automation
  9. AQT (Advanced Query Tool) - Good for diverse database query tool support
  10. Valentina Studio - Good for Valentina DB management and reporting functions

Selection Criteria For Choosing SQL Query Tool

From my extensive experience and hands-on testing, I've explored dozens of database management tools. While many offered a range of functionalities, I specifically sought tools that excelled in specific areas critical for this niche. The criteria outlined below reflect the culmination of my research, trials, and personal interactions with these tools.

Let's delve into the key attributes that truly matter when selecting database management software:

Core Functionality

  • Data Security and Backup: Ability to safeguard data, allowing for periodic backups and secure restoration.
  • Querying Capabilities: Efficient and intuitive querying interfaces for accessing and manipulating data.
  • Scalability: Capability to handle growth, accommodating more data, users, or both.
  • Migration and Integration: Ease in transferring data between systems or integrating with other tools.

Key Features

  • Visual Schema Design: Tools or interfaces that provide graphical representations of the database structure, aiding in understanding and manipulation.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Features that enable the generation of detailed reports, charts, or graphs for analytical purposes.
  • Concurrency Control: Mechanisms to handle simultaneous data operations, ensuring data integrity.
  • Role-Based Access: Allows administrators to define specific roles for users, limiting their access and operations based on their roles.
  • Automated Error Detection: Systems in place to identify, report, and sometimes rectify errors in the database.


  • Intuitive Interface: A clear, logically organized interface where tools and options are easily accessible. For database software, SQL editor tools should be highlighted, with syntax assistance and query history.
  • Learning Resources: Given the complexity of databases, the tool should provide comprehensive documentation, tutorials, or even a learning library.
  • Role-Based Configuration: Especially crucial for larger teams or enterprises, the software should allow easy configuration of user roles, granting or restricting access based on role designation.
  • Responsive Customer Support: Accessible support teams that can provide expert assistance, especially when users encounter uncharted issues or challenges.

Most Common Questions Regarding SQL Query Tool

What are the main benefits of using an SQL query tool?

  1. Enhanced Productivity: SQL query tools offer intuitive interfaces and advanced functionalities, enabling users to execute complex queries with ease.
  2. Data Integrity and Security: These tools come equipped with mechanisms to ensure that data remains consistent and secure.
  3. Efficient Data Analysis: With built-in analytics and reporting features, users can derive insights and visualize data.
  4. Collaboration Features: Multiple users can work simultaneously, with role-based access and concurrent data operation handling.
  5. Streamlined Database Management: Features such as visual schema design and automated error detection simplify database management and operations.

How much do SQL query tools typically cost?

SQL query tools come in a range of pricing models. While some tools are available for a one-time purchase fee, others operate on a subscription model, usually charged monthly or annually.

Can you explain the typical pricing models for these tools?

  • Subscription-Based: Users pay a recurring fee, usually monthly or annually. This often includes updates and customer support.
  • One-Time Purchase: Users pay a single fee upfront and own the software for life. However, updates might come at an additional cost.
  • Freemium: Basic features are available for free, with advanced functionalities unlocked with a paid version.

What's the typical price range for these tools?

Prices can vary significantly based on the tool's features and target audience. Generally, prices can range from as low as $10/user/month to upwards of $300/user/month for enterprise-level solutions.

Which are the most expensive SQL query tools on the market?

Tools such as QuerySurge or some enterprise versions of established brands typically fall on the higher end of the price spectrum due to their advanced functionalities tailored for large businesses.

Are there any budget-friendly or cheap SQL query tools?

HeidiSQL and DBeaver have versions that are more budget-friendly, catering to individuals or small businesses without compromising on essential features.

Are there any completely free SQL query tools?

Yes, tools like SQuirreL SQL Client and the community version of DBeaver are available for free, though they might offer fewer features compared to their paid counterparts.

Why is there such a significant price difference between various SQL query tools?

The pricing often reflects the tool's target audience, features, support level, and scalability. Enterprise-level solutions cater to larger organizations with more complex needs, thus carrying a higher price tag. Conversely, tools designed for individual developers or small teams might be more affordable.

Other Query Tool Reviews


Choosing the right SQL query tool is pivotal for ensuring efficient database management, insightful data analysis, and streamlined collaborations. With a plethora of tools available in the market, it's vital to align your choice with your specific needs, budget, and desired functionalities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understand Your Requirements: Before diving into the myriad of options, clearly outline your needs. Whether it's enhanced analytics, collaborative functionalities, or robust data security, pinpointing your priorities can greatly refine your search.
  2. Consider the Total Cost: While initial pricing is essential, also factor in potential additional costs like updates, training, or integrations. Some tools might seem more expensive upfront but could offer more value in the long run.
  3. Usability Matters: The tool's interface, ease of onboarding, and customer support can significantly impact the user experience. Opt for tools that align with your team's proficiency and provide ample support resources.

What Do You Think?

I hope this guide provides a clear direction for choosing the ideal SQL query tool for your needs. However, the tech landscape is vast, and I'm always eager to learn more. If there's a tool you swear by that hasn't made it to this list, please share your recommendations. Your insights not only help me stay updated but also benefit our broader community in making informed decisions.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.