Best Database Managers for Developers


The technical management of relational databases is a highly mature technology in the software development profession. Many of the high-end tools such as those offered from Toad and Embarcadero are superlative with their capabilities but completely beyond the affordability for most individual developers, unless of course they need such powerful tools for their businesses and clients (Toad does offer freeware versions but they are somewhat limited).

For most of us, we tend to work with databases through client tools provided on their workstations or we use the individual offerings from such vendors as Microsoft, MySQL, and PostgreSQL to name a few. However, as good as these tools are, to use them requires understanding the idiosyncrasies that comes with each as all of them are proprietary to the database. This is not a major undertaking since all such database managers operate in relatively the same fashion.

Nonetheless, if you work with a variety of databases constantly and you do not require the extensive capabilities that come with the high-end offerings, working with a single database manager for all your efforts more often than not makes such work a much smoother process.

There are two such database managers that fit this bill and are in fact quite popular with many professional developers; Database.NET and the products from EMS Database Management Solutions.



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Database.NET is an all-in-one database manager that can handle multiple databases quite easily. Offered both as a free version and a paid, licensed version (for approximately $29.00), this tool allows one to work with just about every major database available, including some you have probably not even heard of. As can be seen from the listing below, the list is quite extensive.

  • SQL Server 2000/2005/2008/2012/2014/2016/Express/LocalDB
  • SQL Server Compact 3.1/3.5/4.0 (*.sdf;*.*)
  • SQL Azure 10/11/12
  • MS Access 97/2000/2002/2003 (*.mdb;*.mde;*.*), 2007/2010/2013/2016 (*.accdb;*.accde;*.*)
  • MS Excel 97/2000/2002/2003(*.xls;*.*), 2007/2010/2013/2016 (*.xlsx;*.xlsm;*.xlsb;*.*)
  • Firebird SuperServer/Embedded 1.5/2.0/2.1/2.5/3.0 (*.gdb;*.fdb;*.*)
  • SQLite 3.x (*.db;*.db3;*.sqlite;*.*)
  • MySQL 5.x, MariaDB 5.x/10.x
  • PostgreSQL 8.x/9.x
  • Oracle 10g/11g/12c
  • IBM DB2 9.x/10.x
  • IBM Informix 11.x/12.x
  • Sybase ASE 15.x/16.x
  • NuoDB 2.x – A distributed cloud database management system
  • Teradata 13/14/15
  • HP Vertica 7.x – An analytic database management
  • dBASE IV/5.0 (*.dbf)
  • Visual FoxPro (*.dbc)
  • Generic OleDB (*.udl;*.*)
  • Generic ODBC (*.dsn;*.*)
  • OData (Open Data Protocol) v1/v2/v3/v4

The author of this software, known as Fish, is a gentleman who resides in Taiwan and appears to have a genius level talent for developing software. He has been maintaining this product for a number of years and the free updates are made relatively often given the complexity of the software.

Light and quick this database manager offers every common function for database management in similar style for all of the listed database engines. Whether it is SQL Server CE, SQLite or IBM’s DB2, this little gem of a tool can connect to it and perform its functions seamlessly. It is also one of the few tools that can work with all three of the major embedded databases (SQLite, SQL Server CE, and Firebird Embedded) making such work as easy as working with a server database.

A free download is available at…

You will also probably find another tool to your liking from the several products offered.


EMS Database Management Solutions


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For those of you who would like a little more power than what Database.NET may offer, EMS Database Management Solutions, a Russian software company (Russian software is most often quite excellent.), has a product line that includes all of the major database engines…

  • DB2
  • Interbase/Firebird
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL
  • SQL Server

As can be noted, EMS only supports the most popular, major database engines. Nonetheless, its products are highly modularized allowing customers to pick and choose what they feel is necessary to accomplish their work. An entire suite of tools for each database can be purchased or their individual products that comprise them.

The most popular tools are the individual “SQL Manager” tools, which handle all of the common database functionality for the supported database engine. The power of these tools comes with their export and import features, which are a hard to find feature in most such managers. As a result, you may copy entire databases or export and import them or their individual facets (ie. tables, stored procedures, etc.). Data export and import is also offered as a feature in a variety of formats.

To get an idea as to how extensive the offerings are from EMS Database Management Solutions, note the list below for SQL Server that applies as well to the other supported databases…

  • SQL Management Studio for SQL Server (entire tool suite comprised of the tools below)
  • SQL Backup for SQL Server
  • SQL Administrator for SQL Server
  • SQL Manager for SQL Server
  • Data Export for SQL Server
  • Data Import for SQL Server
  • Data Pump for SQL Server
  • Data Generator for SQL Server
  • DB Comparer for SQL Server
  • DB Extract for SQL Server
  • SQL Query for SQL Server
  • Data Comparer for SQL Server

For each of the individual “SQL Manager” tools there is also a freeware version available, which is useful but limited. The cost of the individual “SQL Manager” tools is in the $130.00+ range.

All of the EMS products work in similar style across all of the databases thus avoiding the learning curves associated with the proprietary database managers.

Whether you are a DBA or a professional software developer, the EMS tools can handle the tasks at affordable pricing.

The entire product line can be found at…


A Publication of Black Falcon Software




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