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Show HN: Arctype, a cross-platform database GUI for developers and teams (arctype.com)
200 points by justindeguzman 31 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 61 comments
Hi HN! I’m Justin, founder and CEO of Arctype, and we’re very excited to share Arctype with the community. Arctype is a cross-platform GUI (soon to be open-sourced) to manage and query your databases, with built-in collaboration and visualization. It currently supports Postgres, MySQL, and SQLite, as well as newer-generation databases like ClickHouse, PlanetScale, and Yugabyte (and more coming very soon!).

Think of Arctype as “phpMyAdmin meets Postman”. Most of our team grew up learning how to program using the LAMP stack and we missed the experience of interacting with our databases using phpMyAdmin. We wanted to bring back the experience of a simple app that lets you explore and query your databases, but with an updated and modernized interface.

At the same time, we were heavily inspired by the ease-of-use and collaboration features of Postman. We wanted to create a super useful, collaborative app like Postman that your whole team uses for development—but for databases instead of APIs.

We have a few thousand developers using Arctype today but we haven’t shared it with the HN community yet–we’re excited to hear your feedback! We also have a very active Discord community at arctype.com/discord where developers can ask questions and talk about databases/SQL.

I’m sure the community has a lot of questions, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common ones we get:

“Why isn’t Arctype open source yet?”

It will be soon! We’ve been focusing mostly on features that users have been asking for, as well as performance, stability, and security. We’re not completely happy yet with the documentation and development experience of contributing to Arctype, but this will be a core focus for us in the coming weeks. We just want to make sure it will be very easy for the community to contribute once we publish on GitHub.

“How does Arctype make money?”

Arctype is free (and will be free forever) for most developers. We have a typical SaaS model for large teams based on a per-seat license as well as an enterprise version that companies can run on their own infrastructure.

“Why is Arctype built using Electron?”

We wanted to make it easy for anyone to use Arctype–Electron is currently the most practical solution to make it cross-platform and also accessible via a web app. Apps like VSCode and Discord have shown that it’s possible to achieve decent performance so we’re confident that over time the advantages of developing on Electron will outweigh the slight performance hit compared to native apps.

“Does Arctype need an account?”

You can use Arctype without an account or you can login via email or Google. Certain features such as sharing queries and dashboards with your team require an account.

“Is Arctype secure / does it store credentials?”

All of your credentials are stored locally, and queries are also executed locally on your machine. We do have a feature that lets you automatically share your credentials to your team, but that is strictly opt-in, and all credentials are encrypted on our backend. Additionally, we have an enterprise version that companies can run on their own infrastructure for organizations that have stringent security requirements. If you’d like to learn more, we have more info at arctype.com/security.

“Does Arctype use any analytics software?”

Arctype has usage-based analytics and error reporting (we use Sentry) that we use to improve the app and to help us fix bugs/crashes. However, this can be turned off. Additionally, Arctype can be used fully offline.

“Why doesn’t Arctype support X database?”

Email me at justin at arctype.com :) We’ll make it happen.




> It will be soon! We’ve been focusing mostly on features that users have been asking for, as well as performance, stability, and security. We’re not completely happy yet with the documentation and development experience of contributing to Arctype, but this will be a core focus for us in the coming weeks. We just want to make sure it will be very easy for the community to contribute once we publish on GitHub.

Sweet! Excited to have you join the community of open-source data tools. :)


they didn't say when!


True but you don't get internet points for saying something will be open source and not doing it.


There's a million fancy looking database clients, and yet I'm still using the crappy built-in MySQL Workbench that crashes if you look at it the wrong way.

Why? Because I need to be able to do more than just run queries. I need to be able to manage users & permissions, see the current server configuration, kill connections from other clients if necessary, etc.

The collaboration features are a nice touch, that certainly makes this stand out compared to others, but if I still need to use another client as well then it's just not going to work...


MySQL Workbench is indeed a mess. If you're on a Mac, Sequel Ace (formerly Sequel Pro) is great and has all the features you mentioned.


+1 for Sequel Ace. It's fantastic.


TablePlus for viewing and querying stuff and PgAdmin when you need deep PostgreSQL integration.


Any recommendations for Postgres?


Postico


TablePlus


I'm a big fan of Navicat, been using it for years.

https://www.navicat.com/en


I tried Arctype a couple month ago and really liked the UX.

Unfortunately, as I used it week after week I kept running into cases where it was really slow or completely unresponsive (with no error message or loading indicator), or where it simply was consuming a lot of resources on my Mac. I got in the habit of waiting a few seconds, giving up, killing the app and restarting it.

To be fair, part of the issue may have been me tunneling to a free Fly.io postgres database, which wasn't particularly fast. I eventually got so frustrated I paid for Postico (a barebones native MacOS app), and couldn't be happier.

I realize it takes a lot of time and expertise to build a complex cross-platform web app that doesn't have memory leaks and performance problems, and I hope Arctype will get better over time (like the VSCode or Slack apps). Looking forward to trying it again at some point.


Hi Micah, thanks for the feedback! We had a particularly nasty memory leak for some Mac users about two months ago (likely when you used it) but that's now since been fixed. I appreciate you giving us a try!


We have been happy customers of Arctype for a few months. What started as a nice to have tool has now turned into a must have for our team in terms of sharing queries, and browsing data.


Neat product. I think that dynamic UIs for general purpose databases is an underexplored space, I'm happy to see another entrant. How does it compare to Ultorg [0] [1]?

[0]: homepage: https://www.ultorg.com/

[1]: 10m video: https://www.hytradboi.com/2022/ultorg-a-user-interface-for-r...


also check out www.human.software


I love Arctype. Time-to-visualization is one of its best features. You can go from a CSV to SQL query to shareable chart in like 3 clicks. Also the focus on fully offline usage is a nice change of pace.


As the only SQL client with native support for PlanetScale, Arctype is definitely useful from that perspective. I also like the UI and find it pretty easy to use.

In my admittedly limited experience using it, I found that some MySql datatypes seemed to be missing from the table editor (e.g., `TEXT`). Not sure why this is and I haven't had time to dig further.

It's promising, and way better than even some of the other paid options. (Like, what is DBeaver even doing??)


DBeaver is the main database IDE I've used. What are your issues with it? The UI is not the most beautiful. My biggest gripe that I can remember was that I needed an extension for SSH that kept getting uninstalled after every update of DBeaver.


We <3 PlanetScale. If we have some data types that aren't showing up for you, please let me know at justin at arctype.com, we'll get those fixed asap!


Really excited to see what happens with this project!


I found out about Arctype a while ago when I started writing for their blog about SQL, a topic I really enjoy. I'd recommend checking out their product if you spend a lot of time in SQL databases: it has tons of cool features, a nice flow & layout, and it might just be your thing.


I found this app a few months ago from another HN comment. Unfortunately it was slow and unresponsive. I started looking for other options and found TablePlus which I’m loving so far.

Hope they can improve, might give it another go once I have time.


i'm currently using TablePlus for Mac and it's a native app, which you pay $79 for and can own for life

https://www.tableplus.com

how does your product compare to TablePlus?


Hi! I've been using Arctype as my daily driver for DB interaction for the last month or so and asides from a few quirks here and there my experience has been really great so far! Excited to see where the project goes.


Feel free to email me about the quirks at justin at arctype.com and we'll get those fixed for you :) Thanks for using us!


I always like trying new database tools, but I always seem to keep going back to DataGrip. Main thing it is missing is basic data visualizations, but other than that I find it really nice for writing queries


Arctype is super cool and I've yet to find a better DB client out there!


> Arctype–Electron is currently the most practical solution to make it cross-platform and also accessible via a web app

Is it currently available on the web? I want to try but do not want to download a binary.


Is there any plan to expand to things like database modelling? I've been searching for a good modelling tool with automatic SQL generation, but most software is either legacy or very expensive.


This is a great product. Surprised there's not a popular version of this already. Bummer all these people who apparently are too covert to use web apps are sucking the air out of your post.


> Apps like VSCode and Discord have shown that it’s possible to achieve decent performance

the difference is that they have the resources and employ people who work full-time to not make Electron suck


long time postico user, this is my new favorite sql client especially since we now have multiple database vendors and I can tab through each one with a nice UI to boot!


>“Why is Arctype built using Electron?”

Have you considered transitioning to something that uses the system WebView like Tauri or NeutralinoJS? If you did, what were the blockers?


System Webviews are not a replacement for what Electron provides.

I will, once again, link to the comment on this very site from a Slack engineer who explained why they moved from system provided Webviews to Electron: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18763449


We started building the app about two years ago where these frameworks were a lot less mature (and I still think Electron is the most battle-tested today). If we were to start over, I'd definitely consider Tauri or using Rust directly for a lot of the app. I suspect over time we'll slowly transition parts of the app to more native code.


I'm on mac and I put it under ~/Applications. But it told me:

> Please move Arctype into your Applications folder

What's the difference?


I think it's a bit weird to compare yourself to Postman rather than Metabase which is in your space. However Metabase is fully about visualization instead of editing data directly, which is extremely dangerous on a tool like this.

How focused are you on providing top notch visualizations such as maps with pins using OSM or custom GeoJSON maps, and other more dynamic type of data vis?


This seems to be a tool for devs, the pricing, capabilities and so on reflect that. This seems to be something between phpmyadmin and datagrip with a unique touch. More of a IDE/inspection type of thing.

Metabase is a great tool but occupies a different space. It’s more about rich visual affordances.


<3 Arctype. Query Variables & visualisations are awesome features.

Disclaimer: Worked with them in the past


Cool! this is an exciting project!


I just downloaded it to try it out but it connects to like 4 domains on startup and after blocking internet access I cannot continue by clicking "Continue without account". I downloaded 240MiB, it shouldn't need to download any more stuff to run.

arctype.com, intercom.io, sentry.io and s3.amazonaws.com.

These all happen while the window isn't even loaded on first start.

I get that I'm not entitled to anything, but jesus, I dislike the electron age. Well, not that other apps are much better, I'm just sad.


After you create an account or click "continue without an account", all errors/crash reporting can be turned off from the Settings page. In the future, we'll add an option to turn this off in the initial page.


why isn't it turned off by default?


Because then no one would turn it on?

I get it though… I don’t really want my database access tracked either. Maybe it would be better to include this as part of the account creation process. At least then you can tell the user what you're collecting and why.


hard disagree

they should store crash reports locally and next time i open the app ask me whether i want to send them or not

what they decided to do instead is spying


Build a competing product and show them how to do it?


Do you run your whole dev environment with the internet off?


You're completely missing the point - it's the principal of the matter in question here. The app _should_ work offline, even if that's not how your actual environment is configured.


Calling home, AWS and Sentry (Error tracking) is very reasonable. Intercom is the only "eh" one and it's not even that bad.


HN tends to bikeshed about the questions you asked above so I'm very glad that you preemptively answered them so that we can discuss the actual product at hand. More Show HNs should do this so that we all have better discourse here.


Bummer about Electron. My workstation can take it with flying colors, but I also work from a laptop at times and just having 3-4 instances of VS Code, a browser, and a communication app drags my poor 16GB RAM T490 through the mud, to the point I'm working on replacing VS Code despite how fast it helps me get started with new languages compared with Neovim.

FWIW: I would pay 100$ yearly for a JetBrains like license to a solution like this written in something like Qt or Gtk that could successfully replace DBeaver for me.


This is one reason I'm bullish on some of the new UI frameworks coming out of the Rust community in particular. For example https://github.com/iced-rs/iced looks quite good.


> This is one reason I'm bullish on some of the new UI frameworks coming out of the Rust community in particular. For example https://github.com/iced-rs/iced looks quite good.

What are you smoking? :-)

"Lack of x-platform native GUI frameworks" is not the reason for non-native GUI applications.

You're already spoiled for choice if you want to write a reasonably cross-platform native-code application. Personally I use Lazarus (calling into .so/.dll libraries for anything non-GUI).

The difficulty with using the existing frameworks is why developers are choosing Electron.

I don't think throwing another even more difficult and even more time-consuming tech stack into the mix is going to cause GUI application developers to decide "Finally we can do x-platform GUI apps".

If the creators of whatever application decided that it would take too long to design and implement in QtCreator, Flutter, Lazarus or any of the existing rapid tools, I doubt they are going to want to spend even more time doing it in Rust which doesn't even have the rapid-prototyping tooling!


i like slint (sixtyfps) better

https://slint-ui.com

it's actually written by Qt folks


Jetbrains has a DB client, probably in Java however.


Yeah, DataGrip. It's slow and unresponsive, unfortunately.

Their software probably is the best example of Swing, but it is still Swing, so performance makes a lot of operations feel slow and it doesn't prioritize data-first so the most intuitive way to do some things is in a blocking manner, with no smooth transitions from/to loader indicators.


> Apps like VSCode and Discord have shown that it’s possible to achieve decent performance so we’re confident that over time the advantages of developing on Electron will outweigh the slight performance hit compared to native apps.

I wonder if this is really true. As I understand, Discord had to start using rust to overcome the slowness of electron, VSCode had to add some really complex code to render the text fast enough. At what point is it easier to just use native code over trying to optimize the electron beast? FWIW lite-xl[0] has a better approach. A core app built with C and SDL and then high level parts made in Lua.

[0] https://github.com/lite-xl/lite-xl


I'm pretty sure discord is using rust on the backend, not on the electron app. They use it to make some code faster (through NIFs) inside of their larger Elixir codebase.


“Send download link” is such a dark pattern.

Just put a demo on the site.


You want to download a DB client on mobile? There's a DL link on desktop.




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