Heterogeneous Database Management with Navicat Premium 16

Navicat Premium is a heterogeneous database development and management tool that makes it easy to quickly build, manage, and maintain your databases. With Navicat Premium you can simultaneously connect to heterogeneous database systems. Support is available for MySQL, MariaDB, Microsoft SQL Server, MongoDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQLite databases, and it is compatible with cloud databases like Alibaba Cloud AsparaDB, Amazon RDS, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud, and MongoDB Atlas.

Figure 1. Main screen of Navicat Premium (Windows)

The product can be used as the hub of operations for managing your disparate database environments with capabilities for database design and implementation, query building and execution, data migration and synchronization, data visualization, data generation, and even analysis capabilities for improving your databases and queries. So Navicat Premium is an ideal solution for DBAs that are required to manage multiple different DBMS products and installations. One small issue to keep in mind is that Navicat, unfortunately, does not offer support for IBM’s Db2.

One of the nice, long-term features of Navicat Premium is its cross-platform UI support, offering support for Windows, maxOS, and multiple Linux distributions (e.g. Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, and others). Although Navicat has been available for some time now, the latest and greatest version was released in late November 2022. So, let’s take a look at what’s new.

What’s New

If you have used Navicat Premium before then one of the first things you’ll probably notice is the refreshed user interface (refer to Figure 2 for a screen shot of the Linux UI). All of the buttons and icons have been enhanced and modified to improve the user experience. But importantly the user flow has not changed so the same sequence of actions and commands can be used. If there is one thing I hate it is when user flow changes from release to release for no apparent reason, but Navicat has done well here.

Additionally, many existing features, such as Connection Profile, Query Summary, and Value Picker have been updated to increase the overall efficiency of your database development.

Figure 2. A screen shot of the Linux UI

But there are several additional nice, new features in Navicat Premium 16, such as the new data generation tool. As any database developer will tell you, creating and managing appropriate data for testing applications is one of the more frustrating aspects of database programming and testing. Coming up with reasonable data, especially for brand new applications where no data exists anywhere, is a chore. And copying production data is not always possible (or legal). So how is test data created? You cannot simply just churn out random text; the data has to match the data types defined in the database. Furthermore, referential integrity constraints and business rules must be understood and adhered to in order to create proper test data that fully works out the application code.

Fortunately, the new data generation tool provided in Navicat Premium offers a comprehensive range of functions to generate a large volume of quality testing data. You can rapidly create realistic data sets with referential integrity based on business rules and constraints.

Figure 3. A screen shot of data generation (macOS UI)

Navicat Premium 16 drives that data generation with a wizard that walks you through the process of choosing tables in the proper order. The test data that it generates will be displayed so that you can view it, edit it if needed, or even regenerate it again. Navicat’s test data generation capability can save development teams a lot of time and effort.

But that’s not all. Working together in teams, or collaboration has become an increasingly important aspect for both database developers and DBAs, especially with the growing importance of DevOps. Although there are many aspects of DevOps (and the purpose of this piece is not to define it), the core underlying principle of DevOps is to improve the way your team works together throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

Although past versions of Navicat have made it easier for teams to collaborate in past versions, Navicat Premium 16 improves upon things by adding support for Charts and Code Snippets to the Navicat Cloud. Using the Navicat Cloud Portal teams can manage their files and projects, but also monitor cloud services using a single interface. These types of collaboration features help teams as they embrace DevOps practices and procedures.

The next big advance in Navicat Premium 16 is in the form of improved data visualization capabilities. Again, data visualization is not brand new to Navicat Premium, as the ability to chart data was previously available. But there are additional chart types and new functions included with the new release. Navicat Premium 16 supports more than 20 different types of charts. And you can use it to visualize live data.

Figure 4. Navicat Charts Workspace

You can connect to any data source and also extend your data with customized fields by changing field types, concatenating fields, mapping values, or sorting based on another field order. Furthermore, Navicat Premium 16 improves the usability and accessibility of charting with the dashboard, where you can share your charts across your organization.

There is also a new approach for resolving conflict files in the Navicat Cloud solutions. Cloud management is simplified because you can now discard the server file and keep your file, discard your copy without saving changes, or rename your copy to keep both files.

Other helpful new capabilities include:

Connection Profile, which can be used to configure multiple profiles for users who may need to switch between settings based on their location. This is especially useful with the increase in the number of people working from home (or outside of their traditional office).

Figure 5. Connection Profiles

Query Summary, which can be used to produce a detailed summary of each SQL statement. It is an easy-to-read, one-page summary for the health and performance of your queries with a shortcut to jump over to the potential errors.

Figure 6. Query Summary

Field Information, which delivers a quick view of column characteristics for reviewing information between columns within the Table Viewer.

Figure 7. Field Information

Summary

The latest version of Navicat offers up some nice features that make it easier to manage, use, and administer your heterogeneous database environment. Keep in mind that this overview examines the new features of version 16 and does not provide comprehensive detail of all the features and functionality of Navicat Premium. It really does offer a bevy of useful capabilities! So, if you are looking for a feature-laden tool for managing database development and management, you should take a look at Navicat Premium to simplify your effort. You can download a free trial here.

About craig@craigsmullins.com

I'm a data management strategist, researcher, and consultant with over three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development and implementation.
This entry was posted in cloud, DBA, DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, SQL. Bookmark the permalink.

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