Connecting to MySQL from Oracle SQL Developer
Although MySQL (http://www.mysql.com) has released a suite of GUI tools, developers remain less than enthusiastic about options for configuring and maintaining MySQL servers via graphical user interface. For years the popular choice has been PHPMyAdmin (www.phpmyadmin.net), which is a web based interface. While PHPMyAdmin is a powerful tool, I find it rather slow and sort of unintuitive. I've been searching for a good way to interact with my MySQL databases for some time. I use Oracle's SQL Developer (http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/sql_developer/index.html) for a while and find it to be a great tool. SQL Developer is free, and because it's written in Java it can run anywhere.
With the latest version of SQL Developer you can now connect to MySQL databases by setting up connections in the same way that you set up Oracle connections. You do have to install the MySQL connectors though, and that part can be tricky.
In order to run SQL Developer you have to have Java installed on your computer. I have the J2SE developer kit. This is the Java 2 Standard Edition with all the tools you need to write your own Java programs. Once you've got this installed and you've downloaded SQL Developer the next thing you need to do is download the MySQL Java Connector (http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/j/3.0.html). This is a zip file that you can unpack. Inside you'll find the source along with the file:
This file needs to be copied into your /jre/lib/ext directory. On a windows machine this is typically C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_03\jre\lib\ext. Once you have the driver installed you can set up connections to your MySQL databases and use the convenient GUI of Oracle's SQL Developer.