The Anvil Podcast: Adminer

Rich: I’m speaking with Jakub Vrana, and he’s a member of the Adminer project.

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Rich: Thanks for speaking with us. I as wondering if you could tell us some more about the project – tell us what it does and how you got started working on it.

Jakub: The project is a web-based administration of databases. I started with MySQL, but the project currently supports several other database engines, like Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQI, and MSSQL. I started the project because I needed some web-based tool. There are other great desktop tools, but they are all limited in the possibilities of connecting to the remote server, because remote servers often forbid connections from the desktop client. I needed something web-based. I used primarily MySQL, and there’s this PHPMyAdmin project, which lots of people use, but I don’t like it much. There’s also another problem – the PHPMyAdmin project is very big, and if you want to use it on a server you must upload 700 files which is several megabytes, which takes 10 minutes. Then you do something, and if it’s not my hosting, I’m supposed to delete it afterwards. So I started with a small tool just for performing basic operations on the server with MySQL database. But it grew up, and currenty it has all the features you need to manage MySQL server or other databases.

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Rich: What do you have in mind for future versions of the product? Are you thinking of supporting other databases, or do you have other features that you’re working on?

Jakub: Yes. Regarding other databases, I’m mostly done, because the project supports all the databases I need, and I use. So I don’t plan supporting other databases, because I don’t like working on features which I don’t personally use. But the project is Open Source, of course, so anybody can add support for another database, and it’s quite simple. For example, the MSSQL was added primarily by someone else. I don’t plan on adding another engine.

I’m also not sure about more features, because currently the project is feature-complete. It supports all of the features of MySQL, and most of the features of other databases. My current focus is probably on allowing more extendibility of the project. Currently you can very easily change the design, you can quite easily change how the program behaves. For example, if you wanted to add some custom button there, for example, to send an email from the application to the address inserted in the database, it’s quite simple. My primary focus will be on this – improving the extendibility, which is currently, I think, quite good. But there are not many extensions yet, so I think this needs some improvement.

Rich: I notice that you’re also involved in several other projects. Would you like to tell us something about those as well?

Jakub: Yes, sure. I created a small library which is called NotORM, which means that it looks like ORM, but it’s not an ORM. It’s a library that allows you to access the database from PHP code, in a database, regardless of the type of database. MySQL, SQI, Oracle and all other databases are supported. It allows you to very easily access the data in the database. With this very simple and easy to learn API, you also get very good performance, which is also extremely cacheable. It almost doesn’t allow you to perform unefficient queries to the database. All queries produced by NotORM tend to be performant. That’s another one of my projects.

Rich: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your project?

Jakub: Just try it! If you haven’t tried it, just try it. If you use any other clients for communicating with the database, just try Adminer, and you’ll find that it’s very small. The whole application is just 300 kilobytes embedded in a single file that you can copy to the server. It looks like a very primitive tool, but it actually has more features than most competitors, so give it a try, and let me know how you like it.

Rich: Thank you very much for your time.

Jakub: Thank you for calling me.

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