DbVisualizer Review

Integrates with many databases, clean GUI, and provides valuable real-time graphs

What is our primary use case?

I use DbVisualizer to run complex queries in many databases, including about every vendor with a relational database.

Timed SQL execution and real-time graphs are the killer features. It is a multiple-platform tool, based on Java but with a native look and feel. Most colleagues initially don't believe it is entirely written in Java.

For Oracle, I use it to analyze AWR data.

During database restores, I use this to monitor the progression and to estimate the remaining time.

The limits to its use are by imagination only.

How has it helped my organization?

There is no need to have a separate client for every vendor, allowing it to have sets of SQLs in the bookmarks so that we can share them easily. There is good help available for connecting to the various databases and a lot of drivers are included.

If a database vendor is not included yet, it is fairly easy to create a custom profile for that. Initially, a simple object tree with tables and indexes, adding more objects as the need arises. The profile is written in XML and a smart editor could make life a bit easier here.

What is most valuable?

Timed queries that add their result to the result grid for every execution are helpful.

Real-time graphs of data in the result grid.

Bookmarks are a way to store SQL and organize them in folders.

The built-in SSH tunneling is a valuable feature.

Customizations allow us to add elements in the object trees that can be made database/application-specific.

Sharing bookmarks, which are stored SQL queries/scripts, is straightforward.

I can easily adjust graph types, although I mostly use line graphs.

Markings that highlight the environment where you are in (prod/acceptance etc.) helps to keep production alive.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes, I feel that the startup time takes a bit more time than needed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using DbVisualizer for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The tool is working fine, although sometimes a bit slow on startup. Next to that, it tries very hard not to lose your work. Sometimes when shutting down, this leads to a series of 'are you sure' dialogs.

With big data sets, the memory settings need some adjustment, which is understandable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good. The tool also includes an automated way to provide the needed logs and traces to their development and their responses are quick. Most of the time, within a day.

Just a simple email will do in most of the cases and currently, they have a feature included that simply collects all kinds of logging and tracing that they use to debug the issue. In earlier releases, this was all to be done manually and is now fully automatic, almost like magic.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Like most people working with databases, we initially used the vendors' tools. These included applications like SQL Plus, PL/pgSQL, etc. They all are a bit limited and all respond differently to edits.

Tools like Toad, PL/pgSQL developer, pgAdmin, and DBeaver have been in use but no tool could win here. Maybe some other tool has more options in a specific database but a lot of people have trouble finding them because of the cluttered interface. There are buttons for every feature.

Here, DbVisualizer, shows strong and smart use of context menus, making the GUI a lot cleaner than most similar tools.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple. Download, install and GO.

What was our ROI?

We have quick access to our saved reports/queries that have been evaluated over the years. This is a big win that is hard to quantify but imagine someone having to reinvent that report or query over and over again. The tool has a fair price and quickly earns itself back if you are using many databases.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

A license with a few years of support is a good and valuable option. In that, period upgrades are included and support is simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Mostly, vendor-specific tools are used. They still are used in scripting on the servers but for client access, DbVisualizer is used. Next to that, we have evaluated Toad, PL/pgSQL developer, pgAdmin, and DBeaver.

What other advice do I have?

Suggesting new features keeps getting harder and harder since they already added an awful lot. The support is quick and they add new features or fix bugs, most of the time in the next release.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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