Switching from Sequel Pro to TablePlus - A Review

Published May 10, 2018Last updated May 11, 2018

TablePlus is a modern, native SQL client with intuitive GUI tools to create, access, query & edit multiple relational databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon Redshift, MariaDB, CockroachDB, Vertica, and Redis.

Why I looked for an alternative?

Every once in a while, I try to change a couple things when I work, that can be a new tool or a new technique. Because if I change nothing, I will learn nothing, or if I change too much at a time, that can potentially be a mess.
I’ve been a loyal fan of Sequel Pro for almost 7 years and that was a fantastic experience. But recently, one of my friends recommended to try out TablePlus and he referred it as the best MySQL GUI Tool. So I gave it a try and to my surprise, TablePlus is such a brilliant app that boosts my productivity so much.

I work with MySQL a lot, and I indeed need a really good client for MySQL. And Sequel Pro was a perfect fit. It’s fast, easy to use, stable, and open source. It’s very easy to set up and get direct access to the MySQL databases on local and remote servers. I can use it to manage databases, tables, structures, indexes… For me, it provides a well-rounded solution to work with MySQL.

But TablePlus has something better

TablePlus workspace

Faster
TablePlus was built on top of  Swift, Objective-C, C/C++, Perl for OSX allowing the app to take advantage of the native elements of the system to provide a very fast experience. It’s fast to launch and doesn’t leave much memory footprint. You can see clearly while browsing the database, switching between two tables would take a couple seconds for Sequel Pro with a loading sign. But in TablePlus, it feels instantly.

Better usability
TablePlus just takes into account so many little things that happen when you work with databases, which means, the team really pay attention to the details and the experience is very intuitive.

One of my favorite examples is the inline edit. The spreadsheet-like view allows you to edit the table directly without having to write queries. In Sequel Pro, if you want to edit a data cell, it will pop up an editing box, and that takes a little more time. For me, TablePlus provides exactly what it means for a quick edit.

Better UI
Just in my feeling, the UI set for TablePlus is nicer than Sequel Pro. It’s also easier to navigate in the app than in Sequel Pro.
Welcome Screen

Open anything
One of the features I love the most in TablePlus is the ability to quickly open anything with the shortcut cmd + P. Type my keyword in and TablePlus will automatically lookup from the database, table, schema, view, function… You can expect something like a Spotlight Search of macOS.
Open anything

Multiple Filters
In Sequel Pro, you can only use one filter at a time. Sequel Pro users have been requesting multiple filters feature since 2013 but there’s no sign of implementation until now. This feature works perfectly well in TablePlus, you can open as many filters as you want (I’m using the happy version, for the starter version, it’s limited to only 2 filters) and run them at the same time.
Multiple Filters

Common keyboard shortcut
Avoiding using mouse or trackpad and keeping your hands always on the keyboard is vital to boosting my productivity. TablePlus assigns every function with a combination of shortcut keys so that you can navigate and take action faster. However, you can not edit your personal keyboard shortcut for now as it’s locked.

Fast development
TablePlus releases a new update every week with a lot of new features and bug fixes. They are also very responsive to the feature request and bug report. While Sequel Pro is still overwhelming with the requests for MySQL 8 support, TablePlus has it already.

Some more features that are worth mentioning:

  • Code Review
  • Safe Mode
  • Multiple Tabs/Windows Display
  • Syntax highlight
  • Autosuggest

Conclusion

TablePlus is a solid MySQL GUI client that I’m comfortable to recommend it to any developers. Unfortunately, for those non-macOS users, TablePlus is only available for Mac at the moment. The team is working on the Windows version and it’s expected to be out in June 2018. I could go on an on about how great this new tool is but I’ll just recommend you to give it a try.
If you have another great tool, I’d love to hear more about it.

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