Information for: DEVELOPERS   PARTNERS

Tools for administering your database

This topic describes several different ways you can access and administer your Acquia Cloud application’s Drupal database. For most of these tools, you will need the connection details and credentials for the database. See Viewing database information for information about where to find these.

Desktop applications

You can access and administer your application’s Drupal database using a desktop application that supports SSH tunneling. This means that you are connecting to the database through an SSH connection, using the same private key authentication you would use to SSH to the servers. Here are some options to consider:

  • MySQL Workbench - MySQL Workbench is a free, cross-platform, visual database design tool developed by MySQL. It runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Navicat for MySQL - A well-designed and very popular commercial tool that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Sequel Pro - Sequel Pro is a free, open source tool for macOS with a well-designed interface.


Another alternative is to install phpMyAdmin on your server. This is a commonly used, open source database management tool for MySQL. If phpMyAdmin is installed on your server, any security vulnerabilities in phpMyAdmin can put your entire application at risk.

Keep your phpMyAdmin installation up-to-date

If you install phpMyAdmin, it is extremely important to restrict access and keep it up-to-date with security updates. Acquia does not manage security updates for phpMyAdmin, so this is the responsibility of the customer.

Command line

You can also access your database over SSH and use MySQL’s command line. For more information, see Accessing your database from the command line.


You cannot SSH directly into Acquia Cloud Enterprise database servers. Database servers generally have a server name that starts with fsdb or fsdbmesh. For Acquia Cloud Enterprise applications, you can check the Servers page in the Acquia Cloud interface to verify the server type. If the service for a server is listed as Database, you cannot SSH directly into it. You can SSH into multi-tier web servers or single-tier servers, which gives you access to the database on the command line.

Database tasks

You can use database management tools to perform the following tasks:

  • Rename, import, export, and otherwise manage databases and database tables directly in your web browser.
  • Export data in a range of formats, including CSV, Excel, XML, and OpenOffice.
  • Browse or search in your data.
  • Edit fields in your databases directly.
  • Import and export database snapshots for given releases in your development workflow.
  • Maintain your organization’s policies on data backup and archiving.
  • Test database queries during module development and debugging.

You cannot use database tools to create new databases in Acquia Cloud. If you need a new database, use the Databases page in the Acquia Cloud interface.

Using database tools on Acquia Cloud Enterprise

If you have an Acquia Cloud Enterprise application, it includes a highly available database cluster, using bi-directional replication between database pairs. Each database has an active and inactive instance. If you run intensive processes, such as database backups, against the active instance of a live application, it could impair the performance of your production website. Tools in Acquia Cloud, such as the Cloud UI and the Cloud API, automatically run against the inactive database instance, to avoid this performance impact. However, if you use other database tools — for example, if you run mysqldump or drush sql-sync from the command line — those will run against the active database instance. Therefore, you should, when possible, use the Acquia Cloud database tools for larger operations like database dumps. For example, if you want to create a database backup from the command line, you can use a Drush Cloud command like this:

drush @[site].[env] ac-database-instance-backup [db name]

substituting your own site, environment, and database names. The database backup will run against the inactive database, avoiding any performance impact on your active database.