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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.

Finally, a drop-down menu next to the "Add collection" button lets you introduce a GridFS collection. Unfortunately, Genghis stumbled altogether at this point. Though we could create a GridFS collection, Genghis displayed "Unknown error" whenever we tried to upload a file into the collection. In addition, even though we could add files to the GridFS collection by other means, Genghis could not even open the fs.files collection. (When you create a GridFS file system in MongoDB, two collections are created. One stores the metadata information about the file including its name, its size, and so on. This is the fs.files collection. The other collection, called fs.chunks, stores the data of the file itself.) Trying to display the contents of fs.files, Genghis would simply lock up, displaying a never-ending progress bar.

Aside from this problem, plus the fact that Genghis has no more documentation than any of the other tools in this review, there's a lot missing from Genghis. It doesn't provide any index management, and it doesn't allow you to enter JavaScript functions, which means you can't issue mapreduce operations. Admittedly, Genghis's author recognizes these limitations; he says Genghis is not meant to be a replacement for the Mongo shell.

Genghis at least deserves praise for its clean interface. But until the issues are ironed out and a bit more functionality is added, I would recommend Genghis only for performing basic MongoDB operations.

phpMoAdmin: Easy install, busy GUI
Obviously named after phpMyAdmin -- the well-known PHP-based GUI administration tool for MySQL -- phpMoAdmin is a single-file application. The entirety of phpMoAdmin resides in a solitary PHP file, moadmin.php. This, of course, makes it exceedingly easy to install. Just create a folder in your Web server's webroot directory, drop the moadmin.php file into it, and you're set.

Being in a single PHP file doesn't mean that phpMoAdmin is unconfigurable, however. Open moadmin.php, and you'll find various configuration options that can be enabled by uncommenting the lines that contain them. For example, by default, phpMoAdmin provides no user authentication. Uncomment one line, edit in an administrator name and password, and access authentication will be required when phpMoAdmin launches. You can also configure phpMoAdmin to use one of three display themes.

phpMoAdmin owes its slender size to its origina as a stripped-down version of the open source Vork Enterprise Framework [14], an MVC framework for building PHP Web applications. The full Vork Framework is about 500K, but the designers of phpMoAdmin whittled it down to less than 100K for phpMoAdmin. (The phpMoAdmin file itself is about 113K.) The designers chose the Vork Framework because, at the time of phpMoAdmin's inception, Vork was the only framework with integrated MongoDB support.


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