I have come across a lot of developers who deal with MySQL and use PHPMyAdmin for accessing and administrating both remote and local databases. If you're a Mac user, there is a native app called Sequel Pro, that like PHPMyAdmin is also free (although donations are encouraged).
Sequel pro offers number of features that provide an improved experience over the browser based alternative.
Some of the features that I use regularly include:
- Connecting to local MySQL databases either via a socket or an IP address.
- Connecting to remote MySQL databases, either directly or via SSH.
- Favourite connections, allowing quick access to databases that you use regularly.
- Importing SQL and CSV files
- Exporting in multiple formats, including SQL, CSV, XML and Dot files
- Query editor with powerful text editor style features, autocompletion, query history, saved queries, query placeholders amongst other more advanced features.
In short, if I am doing development involving MySQL, which is more often than not, I will be using Sequel Pro. It is a solid application that I would rate alongside more well known development tools like Transmit, iTerm, Textmate in terms of quality and functionality.
So, if you are sick of dealing with PHPMyAdmin in a browser and want a fast, free native alternative, give Sequel Pro a go.