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4 free, open source management GUIs For MongoDB

Rick Grehan | June 13, 2013
Genghis, phpMoAdmin, RockMongo, and UMongo free MongoDB database management from the command line.

UMongo's interface is easy to navigate, clean, and understandable. In addition, you have access to plenty of configuration preferences. For example, you can select what type of socket is used to connect (plain or secure). You can also control the details of the connection pool that UMongo uses. UMongo lets you simultaneously connect to as many MongoDB servers as your client system's processor and memory can handle.

My main complaint with UMongo is the same as with the other tools. The only documentation available is on the product Web page, and it's limited to a features list and brief installation instructions.

MongoDB tools with a view
None of the MongoDB management tools reviewed here have user documentation worth mentioning. The thinking seems to be that, with a bit of tinkering, even novice MongoDB users will be able to find their way around. That may or may not be true, but it certainly means you should not turn any of these tools loose on a production database until you've worked with them extensively in a test environment.

Of the tools I tested, RockMongo and UMongo had the broadest selection of features. But only UMongo had complete support for GridFS, though ostensibly Genghis should have as well, once the "Unknown error" issue is resolved. RockMongo only allows downloading the chunks in a GridFS collection, while phpMoAdmin has no GridFS support that I could find. Whereas only RockMongo had the handy database transfer capability, the same can be accomplished in the other tools by exporting and importing, though less elegantly.

phpMoAdmin is fine if you want a tool that's easy to install, but you'll need to spend some time exploring its quirky interface. I really wanted to like Genghis, with its straightforward tabular display, but it needs to solve some functional problems before I could recommend it over RockMongo or UMongo.

None of these GUIs is a complete replacement for the Mongo shell. But if you need to quickly create a new database or collection, rapidly throw together a query, or select and modify specific documents, these can be handy tools to have ready on your desktop. And the price is certainly right.

MongoDB management GUIs at a glance
Version tested 2.3.4 1.1.1 1.1.5 1.0.1
Language PHP or Ruby PHP PHP Java
License MIT GPL v3 BSD None
Authentication Username / password Username / password Username / password or MongoDB authentication Username / password
Overview statistics Yes No Yes Yes
Queries BSON PHP associative array syntax BSON or PHP associative array syntax BSON
Projection documents No No Yes Yes
JavaScript functions No No Yes Yes
GridFS support Buggy No Partial Yes
Index management No Yes Yes Yes


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