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MySQL for Visual Studio vs dbForge Fusion for MySQL: A Comparison of Plugins

Microsoft Visual Studio plugins continuously compete to empower users with extended capabilities. Free tools have the most obvious advantage — while you don’t have to pay for them, they tend to deliver all the essentials to cover your basic needs. Paid tools mean broader functionality, convenience, and customization, but the bottom line is whether the value you get surpasses the price.

Today we’d like to illustrate this idea with a feature comparison of two Visual Studio plugins for work with MySQL databases: dbForge Fusion for MySQL and MySQL for Visual Studio v1.2.9. And since you keep reading this, you must be curious whether dbForge Fusion gives enough value to gain the upper hand. Let’s get started then!

MySQL for Visual Studio v1.2.9: a brief overview

MySQL for Visual Studio is a plugin that delivers basic access to MySQL objects and data directly from the Visual Studio. SQL development features include operations with database objects (create/alter/drop), visual object editors, and data viewers. Another notable feature is Query Designer, which helps query and view data from tables and views, additionally combining filters, parameters, and group conditions. Finally, MySQL for Visual Studio offers querying and debugging of stored routines, as well as support for the Entity framework and the new MySQL X DevAPI.

dbForge Fusion for MySQL: a brief overview

dbForge Fusion for MySQL is a plugin designed by Devart to enhance MySQL database development and administration capabilities. Its most notable features include a visual database designer, handy database projects, intelligent SQL coding with context-sensitive autocompletion and formatting, query building and optimization, database comparison and synchronization, as well as automated MySQL routine debugging. Besides all this, we should mention comprehensive documentation and support. You can also download a free 30-day trial, which helps evaluate the product before purchasing.

Plugins comparison

Now let’s take a look at these MySQL tools for Visual Studio feature by feature — you will be able to see which tool serves your purpose best.

Features dbForge Fusion for MySQL [Professional Edition] MySQL for Visual Studio 1.2.9
Support for MySQL 5.5 or later Yes Yes
Support for MariaDB Yes Yes
Support for SSL/SSH/HTTP Yes Yes
Pluggable MySQL authentication and Windows authentication on connecting to the MySQL server Yes No
Support for Amazon RDS Yes Yes
Support for Sphinx and Percona Yes No
Work with the embedded MySQL server Yes Yes
Multiple database connections in the Database Explorer window Yes Limited (you need separate connections for each database on a single server)
Connection coloring Yes No
Dynamic help on MySQL, accessible from the editor Yes No
Enhanced visual data editor Yes No
Shortcut customization Yes No
Rich user settings Yes No
Import and export of user settings Yes No
MySQL stored procedure debugger Yes Yes
Query Profiler (query optimization tool) Yes No
Context-sensitive code completion Yes No
Quick information about schema objects Yes No
Parameter information for stored routines Yes No
SQL code formatting Yes No
SQL refactoring Yes No
Automatic SQL syntax check Yes No
One-step access to the schema object editor from the code Yes No
Visual Query Builder: support for the SELECT statement Yes Yes
Visual Query Builder: support for the INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements Yes Yes
Visual Query Builder: support for sub-queries Yes No
Quick generation of INSERT statements from the data grid without opening the wizard Yes No
SQL editor with syntax highlighting, bookmarks, and text search Yes No
Execution of scripts, selected SQL fragments, and statements Yes No
Code snippets Yes No
Customizable DDL generation wizard Yes No
Execution planning tool Yes No
Database Designer Yes No
Database refactoring Yes No
Schema comparison and synchronization Yes No
Dependency list Yes No
Database project framework Yes No
Schema object search in a live database Yes No
Visual routine editors Yes No
Flat table editor with the heuristic support Yes No
Support for partitioning in the table editor Yes No
Object Viewer window for quick browsing of schema object properties Yes No
Administration tools Yes No
Security Manager to administer user accounts and privileges Yes No
Session manager Yes No
Server Variables window Yes No
Service control to start and stop MySQL servers Yes No
Table maintenance wizard and flush dialog Yes No
Database backup and restore wizards Yes No
Data comparison and synchronization Yes No
Data import wizard Yes No
Data export wizard Yes Yes
Pivot tables Yes No
Data reports Yes No
Master-Detail Browser Yes No
Data search in a live database Yes No
Data editor with filtering, grouping, and sorting options Yes No

Naturally, both products offer seamless connection to Visual Studio, but even here dbForge Fusion proves superior with its intuitive user interface. Additionally, we could mention the integration of dbForge Fusion with other Devart products, such as dotConnect for MySQL, an ORM-enabled data provider for the development of MySQL-based database applications.


When all is said and done, MySQL for Visual Studio is a rather limited tool that provides the necessary minimum to operate with MySQL databases. Still, if building queries and getting results is precisely what you need, there may be a reason to prefer the free tool. Otherwise, the vast functional advantages of dbForge Fusion for MySQL make it an all-encompassing choice. Most of its key features are either absent from the competitor or seriously limited (for instance, the need to create a separate connection for each database on a single server).

You can see everything for yourself — just download the free Professional Trial of dbForge Fusion and see how effective it can be for your own daily operations.