Back in Feburary I took a look at the open-source database tool Sequel Pro and compared it against the commercial tool, Querious. Querious had the winning edge at the time, despite being for MySQL 5 only and costing money. It was only Sequel Pro’s support for MySQL 3 and 4 that provided any feature advantage. However, Sequel Pro 0.95 was released yesterday, and this release continues the steady pace at which Sequel Pro is catching up to the features and polished nature of Querious.
The version of Sequel Pro I previously looked at was 0.93, and in the two versions since then the whole feel of the application has lifted from a ‘rough open-source app’ to that of a ‘polished professional tool.’ They have added and enhanced functionality that was previously lacking, and tweaked the UI here and there to give a smoother user experience — which makes the important difference between an app that is functional, and an app that is enjoyable to use.
The general look and feel of the application is polished in the details and has more of the Mac sleekness that we have come to expect from great OS X software. The buttons on the main interface have all been tweaked, both in terms of style and the icons used to depict the action. The preferences dialog has also been redesigned and offers many new customizations and time saving options. There are lots of other little UI tweaks that help the application look like it belongs in OS X.
There is also finally a much improved query editor, with line numbers, full syntax highlighting and expanded code completion (press escape to bring this up). You can also right-click on keywords (such as WHERE or INSERT) and look up the MySQL documentation for that keyword in your browser with just one click. Editing query favorites is also easier with an improved favorites editor.
The output console log can now be hot-filtered with a live search term, making finding what you want easier than ever, too.
Just as importantly, there are many more tweaks and changes behind the scenes that results in a better user experience, including performance improvements and lots of bug fixes. With the speedy rate of development going on, the Sequel Pro team have their sights set on a 1.0 release with improved printing, user privileges management functionality and an enhanced Import/Export interface. This is exciting to watch — when open-source software gets solid momentum behind it, awesome things can happen. You can download Sequel Pro 0.95 from here, while the full release notes documenting all changes can be found here.