Introduction to MySQL Workbench

This will be a quick blog teaching you how to start using MySQL workbench. Although MySQL Workbench is obviously for MySQL, we will be using it to design databases for pretty much any RDBMS. If you have a different modeling program that you prefer, use it! Now that we know the basics of database design we will be really diving into things.

MySQL Workbench is an entity relationship diagram designing program. An entity relationship diagram (ERD) is a visual representation of our database structure. You may also hear Enhanced Entity Relationship Diagram (EERD), Which is an ERD with more functionality. We typically ignore row values and only worry about tables and columns. Now, let’s begin!


Downloading MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is free! They have commercial versions, but there is a free version. You can either look around on their website (http://www.mysql.com/) or you can use this quick link to go to the MySQL workbench download page.

Follow these steps:

Select your operating system:

I’m using Microsoft Windows.

Click Download for the MSI Installer. If you prefer the ZIP then you can use that too (but I will not be showing that here):

Click “No thanks, just start my download.”:

Here you can see that creating an account or logging in is optional. If you wish to sign up or login, go for it!

Make sure you know where you are downloading it. Probably your downloads folder. If you get any prompts such as “open or save,” click save! If you get any prompts such as “are you sure you want to download?” Click yes! The file size at the time of this writing is 31.5MB and the version is 6.1.6 win32.msi.

If you haven’t done so already, you will need to install the .NET framework and the Visual C++ Distribution Package. If you are honestly not sure, just continue with this tutorial and see if any problems come up. It should be fairly easy to fix on your own.

Here are the prerequisite downloads before you can use MySQL Workbench:
http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/

Installing MySQL Workbench

Open the file from the downloads location and click “Run”:

Click next on the Setup Wizard to get to destination folder page. The default will probably work fine!

Yours will probably say C:\ rather than G:\ (I’m on a second partition).

I selected Complete for simplicity sake (don’t worry…there are no toolbars, search engines, weather apps, or any other garbage installed when you select complete.

Once you select “Complete” or “Custom” click install! You will probably get a prompt asking you if you give permission for the program to install on your computer, obviously click yes! Here is the installation process:

This is what the installation process will look like once you give MySQL permission to install on your computer.

Click “Launch MySQL Workbench now”:

This is how to launch MySQL from the Setup Wizard.

You can also launch by finding the file location or using the shortcut:

Your file location may be different!

You have now successfully downloaded and Installed MySQL workbench!

Using MySQL Workbench

Here is what MySQL Workbench will look like when you open it:

ooooooo So pretty!

Now, we will create a new model from the top toolbar:

You can also use the shortcut control (CTRL) and N.

Now we will create a new Diagram:

If you want to just mess around with the features of MySQL Workbench, go right ahead! I’m just showing you around but you are not obligated to follow me by any means.

When you create a new model, we have a new tab at the top with the new EER Diagram as well as a new diagram in the model overview.

Here is the tab with the EER diagram.

Here is the new model on the Model Overview. From here we can rename, delete, or open our diagrams.

We can use this new model to model our database. The MySQL Model home page (the first tab) is the actual database and each EER diagram uses the tables and information from the MySQL Model. Here is a video explaining how to do some of the basic things in MySQL workbench:

Further Study

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