Using MySQL (in fact the MariaDB fork of MySQL) database, I want to design a user-friendly front-end – ideally using an HTML server.

More than CRUD: It's got to be able to do things like forms and subforms, i.e. be "client-facing". Rules out phpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench, sqlYog, etc.

I've seen this: GUI MySQL database frontend: no solution then, but this was 2 1/2 years ago.

I've also found the LibreOffice Base idea... but of course this doesn't use an HTML server. I've tried this route and found that these forms didn't work very satisfactorily: buttons and textboxes lack the configurability of JQuery equivalents, for example.

The plan is to find a solution in Windows which can then be used in Linux. So not Kexi or Access.

So I've reluctantly started rolling my own: PHP and Javascript, using things like JQuery Select2 for Combo boxes. It'll work, eventually, but because so many people must be looking for this sort of thing, I find it hard to believe there isn't a low/no-cost project which does this: i.e. generates forms-subforms, Access style, using PHP and Javascript, where the Javascript and PHP can then be tweaked.

Might Drupal be a possible answer? My impression is that this would mean much to learn before bearing any fruit.


After some thought and testing over a couple of days I have decided to try the Drupal route. The Wavemaker solution may work OK but I have sufficient doubts about the quality of the project and of the app for it to worry me. Drupal is much more widespread, more mature and probably represents a better investment for my time. It'll probably take a long time to get this relatively basic requirement (invoice forms with multiple entries, stuff like that) but it'll probably be interesting.

even later

Just come across nuBuilder, https://www.nubuilder.net/. This really does seem like the thing I'm looking for... works with an Apache server, PHP, Javascript, JQuery, MySQL: cross-platform. And you can tweak the code. Possibility of subforms. Very configurable and customisable. And above all simple: does not involve using a sledgehammer to crack a nut or force you (as with most CRMs and ERPs) to use rigid RDBMS set-ups.

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    Even after reading this 3 times, I've got no idea what you're asking for (except it's about some "MySQL front-end). Maybe you could edit your question and make it clearer: list your requirements, tell clearly what it should do? For a guide, take a look at What is required for a question to contain "enough information"? Thanks! – Izzy Dec 25 '14 at 14:52
  • @Izzy Sorry! It's really really simple: I have a MySQL database and I want to design a user-friendly front-end... ideally using an HTML server. I can write my own PHP-Javascript but I find it very puzzling that no solution appears to exist to generate PHP-JS basic forms (and subforms) in an HTML browser... – mike rodent Dec 25 '14 at 16:08
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    I've integrated that with your post. Still, a bullet-point list of requirements would be helpful. – Izzy Dec 25 '14 at 16:14

Along the lines of Kexi, LibreOffice, and MS Access style form/subforms; you might want to investigate WaveMaker.

WaveMaker provides an open source, Java-based alternative for developers wanting to migrate Microsoft Access and Microsoft .NET applications. WaveMaker Studio will look and feel especially familiar to client/server developers who are used to working with visual tools like Microsoft Access.


a few months later:

I consider WaveMaker and nuBuilder, in different ways, to be not want I want.

Another project which I discovered is phpMyEdit. This was mainly developed 2000-2008, but still has a forum where people post questions.

phpMyEdit is a simple idea: provide a straightforward means of editing a single mySQL table, using a PHP-generated HTML "list table" where you can click on a button to edit a single record. The PHP file to implement this is about 3000 lines long. It is very simple to use.

I have spent the past month or so using JQuery to change this so it implements subform functionality, and also massively altering and improving the 3000-line PHP file. It's now quite usable: each form or subform sits in a DIV and a change of location in a "master form" results in a change in a "slave form". Naturally there are many other Access-like features that I'd like to introduce but for a basic invoice/invoice-items system, for example, it works OK.

I'm thinking sooner or later of putting this phpMyEdit "fork" on github. If anyone's interested in checking it out please send me a message.

  • I have the exactly same issue, currently considering LibreOffice Base vs. NuBuilder as form frontends to a (simple) company's MySQL DB. Both Base and NuBuilder do not seem to be developed very actively. Any news in 2017? – nachtigall Apr 12 '17 at 15:07

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