So, I'm starting a new project in my "off" hours at night. It's a scary scene...me, my lava lamp, in my basement, with XM radio on, and all of the lights are off save for a small lamp with a 40-Watt light bulb in it.
For my project I have chosen to to use MySQL, which I have never used before and am excited to explore. I've worked with Oracle and a tiny bit of MS SQL Server, and it's about time I play around with MySQL. One of the tools that I've chosen to use in this project is SQuirreL, otherwise known as the universal SQL client. I had the pleasure of being introduced to SQuirreL by a colleague during the past year while working on a project at work, and since then it has become my tool of choice if I have to attach to a database and do some work.
It's written entirely in Java and allows you to do pretty much whatever you need to do (or whatever I've needed to) administrative wise on a database, without any quirky restrictions often found in limited versions of pay-for tools (such as DBVisualizer). Oh, I didn't mention that it is freely available via an open source license. The latest version made a UI change that I like, and that is that Drivers and Aliases are now available as tabs on the left hand side of the application. It seems like in prior versions I always seemed to loose one or both of those, and had to go searching to pull them back up. You pretty much just have to point SQuirreL to the jdbc drivers for whatever database you want to attach to, and away you go.