What's a good SQL client for Mac OS X that works with MS SQL Server? I don't really need a GUI, but it's nice to have for the color coding and resultset grid.

+3  A: 

This doesn't specifically answer your question, because I'm not sure in any clients exist in OSX, but I generally just Remote Desktop into the server and work through that. Another option is VMWare Fusion (which is much better than Parallels in my opinion) + XP + SQL Server Management Studio.

Shawn Simon

Since there currently isn't a MS SQL client for Mac OSX, I would, as Modesty has suggested, use Remote Desktop for the Mac.

+1  A: 

Ed: phpmyadmin is for MySQL, but the asker needs something for Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL).

Most solutions that I found involve using an ODBC Driver and then whatever client app you use. For example, Gorilla SQL claims to be able to do that, even though the project seems abandoned.

Most good solutions are either using Remote Desktop or VMWare/Parallels.

Michael Stum
The download link for Gorilla SQL seems to be broken. VersionTracker is using the same link, so that one's broken as well. Hacking the URL seems to show the whole site is down… Know of any working download locations?
Garrett Albright
+18  A: 

Java-based Oracle SQL Developer has a plugin module that supports SQL Server. I use it regularly on my Mac. It's free, too.

Update: here's how to install the SQL Server plugin:

  • Run SQL Developer
  • go to this menu item: Tools/Preferences/Database/Third Party JDBC Drivers
  • Click help.
  • It will have pointers to the jar files for mysql, sqlserver, etc.
  • SQL Server jar file is available here: http://jtds.sourceforge.net
Mark Harrison
Just a wee addendum - the menu is slightly different for the latest version. You can't click help anymore. Basically, download the server jar file, put it somewhere memorable and then point at it from Tools/Preferences/Database/Third Party JDBC Drivers.Casp
Note, it doesn't support Transact-SQL scripts. SQuirreL does, though.
Brian Harris
+1  A: 


I use it at work on windows but it's java and supports OSX.

+7  A: 

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned SQuirreL SQL yet. It's written in Java and is cross-platform. Works great and supports a ton of databases, including of course MS SQL.


I've started using RazorSQL, which is another Java cross-platform app. It's more user-friendly than SQuirreL SQL, but it's not free/open-source.

SQuirreL SQL and all other Java-based clients I've tried so far for connecting to ODBC DBs simply don't work on OS X. They all complain about the JDBC/ODBC driver missing. Maybe it's just my computer…?
Garrett Albright
Not just your computer. I can't get any of the Java ones to work either.
+3  A: 

This will be the second question in a row I've answered with this, so I think it's worth pointing out that I have no affiliation with this product, but I use it and love it and think it's the right answer to this question too: DbVisualizer.

Just installed this. It's waaaay better than the Sql Server Management Studio which tends to switch databases on me at random.
Agreed, DbVisualizer was the winner for me on OSX, though the free version has some limitations (no table dumps for example)

When this question was asked, Microsoft's Remote Desktop for OS X had been unsupported for years. It wasn't a Universal Binary, and I found it to be somewhat buggy (I recall that the application will just quit after a failed connection instead of allowing you to alter the connection info and try again).

At the time I recommended the Open Source CoRD, a good RDP client for Mac.

Since then Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac 2 was released.

I do realize that this answer is old, but deserves to be updated. Remote Desktop for OS X *is* supported, and a new version has been released within the last year. It's a Universal Binary, it's lightning fast, and has just about every feature of its Windows counterpart.
+2  A: 

I would also recommend RazorSQL

+1  A: 

I use the Navicat clients for MySQL and PostgreSQL and am happy with them. "good" is obviously subjective... how do you judge your DB clients?

Devin Ceartas
Navicat is fairly good, except is has some quirks like getting listings of every table and field in every database on the server...basically killing MySQL while it's doing that. I don't Navicat myself, but one of the guys I work with does and something he does causes this.
Darryl Hein
read the question please! MySQL != MS SQL

Not sure about open-source, but I've heard good things about http://www.advenio.com/sqlgrinder/ (not tried it, I prefer to write Python scripts to try things out rather than use GUIs;-).

Alex Martelli
+3  A: 

I thought Sequel Pro for MySQL looked pretty interesting. It's hard to find one tool that works with all those databases (especially SQL Server 2005 . . . most people use SQL Server Management Studio and that's Windows only of course).

+3  A: 

For MySQL, there is Querious and Sequel Pro. The former costs US$25, and the latter is free. You can find a comparison of them here, and a list of some other Mac OS X MySQL clients here.


Steve Harrison
+1 for Sequel Pro
User is asking about MSSQL Server.
Rizwan Kassim
Read the question! (:

DvVisualizer supports many different dbs. There is a free edition that I have used previously. Download from here

I probably should have been a little bit more detailed. I have been using DbVisualizer but it seems to chew up a lot of memory on Mac os x. It doesn't do to bad on windows and I don't seem to have a problem with it there.
+1  A: 

RazorSQL is excellent for the price. Aqua Data Studio is also very good, but very expensive.

+2  A: 

I have found PhpMyAdmin very good for MySQL. It's cross platform (not just OSX) and cross browser, so there isn't any platform it won't work on. (I've even used it on the iPhone before--slow but works.) It also ensures you don't have to have a MySQL port open on the server.

Darryl Hein
We do everything in PHP here, so we just use PhpMyAdmin to administer and do minor tests, but it seems to work well...
Brian Postow

There's also an eclipse plugin that works well for me. Don't recall the name offhand, sorry. Google it.

Brad Cox
+1  A: 

Squirrel SQL is a java based SQL client, that I've had good experience with on Windows/Linux, since its java it should do the trick.

Its open source, http://squirrel-sql.sourceforge.net

You can run multiple sessions with multiple databases concurrently.

I've used it extensively, and find it very mature. It also has lots of nice extras (script generation, SQL formatting and highlighting, metadata displays, cross-DB table copying).It even has plugins to give access to DB-specific functionality, if you need it. And it's free software.

Aqua Data Studio is free for "qualified" open source developers.


+1  A: 

I have had good success over the last 2years or so using Navicat for mySQL. The UI could use a little updating but all of the tools and options they provide make the cost justifiable for me.

Navicat has always worked well for me. It's a little pricey but it works well.
A Dent

I've used eclipse with the Quantum-DB plugins for that purpose since I was already using eclipse anyway.

+1  A: 

I like SQLGrinder: http://www.sqlgrinder.com/

It's built using Cocoa so it looks a lot better and feels more like an OS X app than all the Java-based apps mentioned here.

It uses JDBC drivers to connect to MS SQLServer 2005, FrontBase, MySQL, OpenBase, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Sybase.

Free trial or $59.


I use Eclipse's Database development plugins - like all Java based SQL editors, it works cross platform with any type 4 (ie pure Java) JDBC driver. It's ok for basic stuff (the main failing is it struggles to give transaction control -- auto-commit=true is always set it seems).

Microsoft have a decent JDBC type 4 driver: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6D483869-816A-44CB-9787-A866235EFC7C&displaylang=en this can be used with all Java clients / programs on Win/Mac/Lin/etc.

Those people struggling with Java/JDBC on a Mac are presumably trying to use native drivers instead of JDBC ones -- I haven't used (or practically heard of) the ODBC driver bridge in almost 10 years.

What plugin do you use?
Daniel Silveira
+3  A: 

When this question was asked there were very few tools out there were worth much. I also ended up using Fusion and a Windows client. I have tried just about everything for MAC and Linux and never found anything worthwhile. That included dbvisualizer, squirrel (particularly bad, even though the windows haters in my office swear by it), the oracle SQL developer and a bunch of others. Nothing compared to DBArtizan on Windows as far as I was concerned and I was prepared to use it with Fusion or VirtualBox. I don't use the MS product because it is only limited to MS SQL.

Bottom line is nothing free is worthwhile, nor were most commercial non windows products

However, now (March 2010) I believe there are two serious contenders and worthwhile versions for the MAC and Linux which have a low cost associated with them. The first one is Aqua Data Studio which costs about $450 per user, which is a barely acceptable, but cheap compared to DBArtizan and others with similar functionality (but MS only). The other is RazorSQL which only costs $69 per user. Aqua data studio is good, but a resource hog and basically pretty sluggish and has non essential features such as the ER diagram tool, which is pretty bad at that. The Razor is lightning fast and is only a 16meg download and has everything an SQL developer needs including a TSQL editor.

So the big winner is RazorSQL and for $69, well worth it and feature ridden. Believe me, after several years of waiting to find a cheap non windows substitute for DBartizan, I have finally found one and I have been very picky.

Vijit Coomara

Another vote for SQL Grinder, I've been using it for years. Very nice, AppleScript / Automator support, native GUI, etc.


I vote for RazorSQL also, it's very powerful in many respects and practically supports most databases out there, I mostly use it for MS SQL, MySQL and PostgreSQL.


It may not be the best solution if you don't already have it, but FileMaker 11 with the Actual SQL Server ODBC driver (http://www.actualtech.com/product_sqlserver.php) worked nicely for a client of mine today. The ODBC driver is only $29, but FileMaker is $299, which is why you might only consider it if you already have it.


I've used DB Solo (www.dbsolo.com) and I like it a lot. It's only $99 and comparable to much more expensive tools. It supports Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, MySQL, Postgres and others.