Top Navicat Alternatives 2023
Database management tools simplify the process of managing data and databases, improve performance, and provide functionalities for data analysis. They are essential tools for organizations dealing with large volumes of data and ease the process of database management, development, and administration.
Launched in 2001, Navicat is a long-established database GUI. It is a great single-user SQL client. However, it has a serious limitation in multi-user scenarios where team collaboration and centralized control are needed. What's more, as you can probably tell, Navicat is developed using old-school desktop technology rather than modern web-based technology.
Let's take a look at the top modern Navicat alternatives to help you master database management.
DBeaver is arguably one of the most popular database management tools out there. It started way back in 2010, and 10 years later, it boasts more than 8 Mio users, with over 5,000 paying customers. Earlier this year, they also announced a funding round of $6M.
As per Google Trends, the interest for DBeaver is three times that of Navicat over the past 12 months.
You can run DBeaver on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It offers both open-source (free) and commercial products (subscription-based). The open-source version provides basic support for relational databases such as MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.; while the commercial one offers further support for NoSQL and cloud databases.
TablePlus is a modern, lightweight, and intuitive database management tool fit for macOS, Windows, Linux, and iOS. It offers a simple and streamlined interface for managing various relational and a few NoSQL databases.
Currently, TablePlus offers two plans: a free tier with no trial time (but with limited features) and a paid subscription model that provides extended features.
TablePlus is not open-source, but the team's side product is - DBngin, which can spin up a local database (Postgres, MySQL, or Redis) quite easily on your Mac, it can then be connected to TablePlus to visually manage your local databases.
DataGrip is a database IDE by JetBrains on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It provides complete support for the most popular databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Oracle, Redis, Snowflake, CockroachDB, and basic support with limited features for database vendors including DuckDB, Elasticsearch, SingleStore, TiDB, YugabyteDB, etc. It is not open-source and operates on a commercial licensing model (but offers a 30-day trial period).
DataGrip excels in providing a powerful IDE for database development and administration: it has an intelligent SQL editor, data compare to view schema diff, along with VCS support for GitHub.
DataGrip is part of the JetBrains ecosystem, offering integration with other JetBrains tools and frameworks and users have a consistent experience with other JetBrains IDEs. So it's perfect if you prefer a dedicated IDE with comprehensive database management features.
Beekeeper Studio is a modern and lightweight SQL client that supports MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, SQL Server, CockroachDB, etc. And it runs on Windows, macOS (M1 and Intel), and Linux.
It has two editions:
- Beekeeper Studio Community Edition: the open-source version, and free to use.
- Beekeeper Studio - the full version with all the features (along with a 14 day free trial).
The sleek and minimalistic UI comes from the frustration that other open-source SQL editors and database management tools added so many features that the UI becomes cluttered and hard to navigate. And Beekeeper Studio is created - one that's simple yet feature-rich with all the necessities, but also easy to use.
DbVisualizer supports a long list of databases including MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, ClickHouse, MongoDB, SQLite, SAP, and more. It is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix platforms.
You can use DbVisualizer for free, or unlock all features by purchasing a license-based subscription (the more users, the more licenses you will need).
Special Shout-out: PopSQL
PopSQL is a web-based collaborative SQL Editor specifically for modern data teams to collaborate on writing, editing, running, and organizing SQL queries efficiently. PopSQL supports connecting to a variety of databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, SQLite, among others.
PopSQL offers both free and paid plans. The free plan provides basic features with a limited number of users and queries. The paid plans (subscription-based) provide additional features like team collaboration and increased query capacity.
Unlike the aforementioned database management tools, PopSQL is not as extensive in database management features, as it focuses specifically on SQL query writing and execution for teams (hence the special shout-out).
Imagine: if everyone on your team used their own SQL editor, how would they share their work? How can they collaborate on the queries? And what happens to the queries when people move on to another job?
That's the problem PopSQL is trying to solve. Users can share query results, collaborate in real time, and leave comments to discuss and document their work.
If you have multiple different databases at your organization and are looking for a universal tool that can handle them all while covering database change, query, security, and governance all in one, please check out Bytebase. Aside from the visual SQL Editor integrated with access control and data masking, it also provides a customizable change workflow to fit your data/database change requirements.
There are many tools out there, but at the end of the day, they are all different (albeit slightly) and have different focuses on the problem they are trying to solve. The choice of which one to go for eventually comes down to you and your organization. Below is a summary for the aforementioned tools:
|Open Source||Free version||Paid version||Audience||Strength|
|DbVisualizer||✅||✅||✅||Individual||Comprehensive with good visualization|
|TablePlus||✅||✅||Individual||Native and intuitive interface|
|DataGrip||✅||Individual||Intuitive UX and integraiton with other JetBrains IDEs|
|Beekeeper Studio||✅||✅||✅||Individual||Mordern and sleek interface|
|PopSQL||✅||✅||Data team||Collaboration for data teams|
|Bytebase||✅||✅||✅||Entire engineering org for developer, DBA and data team||Centralized access control, data masking, change review workflow|