DbVisualizer Review

Good for monitoring specific processes, built-in SSH tunneling support, easy-to-create graphs, and a clean GUI

What is our primary use case?

I use this mostly for browsing databases and for certain specific monitoring processes. Like monitoring a database restore/recovery where the time SQL executions and real-time graphs are a great help estimating the time left.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the features DbVisualizer has is the bookmarks. A bookmark is a file containing SQL that can be shared. Over the years, each consultant gathers a nice set of queries that can help in giving quick insights. Being able to share them helps when getting others up to speed, especially when they are not in their main comfort zone.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the timed SQL execution that collects the outputs from each run in the grid. This supports ad-hoc monitoring, be it technical or application-level monitoring, and it can be done if there is an SQL for it.

I like that graphs can be created by using the grid as input. This helps by giving a quick insight and can readily answer questions such as whether we are going quicker or slower. It makes it easier to see using the slope of a graph compared to a series of just numbers. There are a lot of choices in graph types.

This product has built-in SSH tunneling support.

The multi-platform and multi-vendor support are helpful as we run on Macs, Linux, and Windows machines. We support many different databases and applications.

The extensibility is very good. There are things we regularly do that can be built into the tool using local profiles.

For ad-hoc monitoring, you can define bookmarks. If they are there, they collect their data for each execution in the grid. Bookmarks are very helpful, as they act as a memory of all collected and saved queries.

Actions like exporting grids to Excel or other tools is a very easy task. You can copy/paste with or without headers, and it is quick and easy.

The developers understand that not every feature has to be available at all times and they use context-sensitive menus everywhere, giving a clean GUI, instead of a button or menu entry for every feature that really clutters the interface.

What needs improvement?

One thing I would like to see changed is having the JDBC drivers in a fixed location outside of the application package. The advantage of this is that the drivers are not altered during the application upgrades.

For how long have I used the solution?

For over 10 years I have been a frequent DbVisualizer user. It is very comfortable and has some features not found in any other SQL tool.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The performance is very good, it feels as good as a native application.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is very responsive and most of the time, we have a response within a day. It looks like they work around the clock.

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

We used and still use many other tools like Toad, PL/SQL Developer, pgAdmin, and SQL*Plus. It is just easier to use one single tool that handles all of the systems well, instead of having to get used to different tools with their different quirks.

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

The pricing for DbVisualizer is fair. 

What other advice do I have?

Coming up with ideas for new features is something that gets harder with every release. The developers of DbVisualizer listen carefully to their users and add features on request. It is also quite easy to add custom features using local profiles.

Also, for support, they make it easy to share logs and traces with their development team. All of these are automatically generated and it means that we don't have to dig for all kinds of files. This is a great solution.

My advice for anybody using this solution is that it helps when everyone sharing bookmarks uses the same encoding. Otherwise, there will be errors. Most of the time it works automatically, although, in earlier versions, this could be a small problem.

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