A good UI is an important part of the development experience. The Mongo shell works great for administrative actions but when working with larger amounts of data, the UI becomes fairly important. There are a number of options when it comes to MongoDB GUI, some good and some not so good. Our customers regularly ask us which UI we recommend—below are some of the options for MongoDB UI we have considered. Our main scenarios are data visualization, presentation, and editing. As always your mileage might vary depending on your scenario and preferences.
1) MongoVUE is a desktop GUI for the windows platform. It has a simple clean UI and the basic features are free. Data can be presented in text view, tree view, or table view. You can also save your find queries for later usage—we find this rather convenient. The more advanced features require you to purchase a license. Overall the software appears stable and well-maintained.
2) MongoHub is a native Mac GUI for MongoDB. It provides you an option to connect to your MongoDB server through an SSH tunnel which is fairly convenient from a security perspective. The "StatMonitor" feature gives you a live display of stats a.k.a mongostat. The query interface is a little bit more limited in that it only seems to support a tree view. Also, there is no way to save a find query for later. In our experience, the software appears to work fairly well, but it doesn’t seem like it is being maintained, so use at your own risk.
3) RockMongo is an HTML-based MongoDB GUI. The GUI is authored in PHP and is open source. The downside of the HTML-based approach is that you need a PHP server to run this GUI. You can also choose to run the PHP server on your local box. The UI is no frills, fairly easy to use, and supports all the common options of working with collections, stats, etc. The find interface only presents data in a tabular/text model, so it could be an issue when you are working with multilevel documents. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of check-in activity, so we suspect the project is inactive.
4) RoboMongo is shell-centric MongoDB GUI that supports the Windows, MacOS, and Linux platforms. It’s still early days for RoboMongo with the latest version being 0.8.4. It is also one of the few GUI’s that supports SSL connections to your MongoDB server. There is also support for connecting through an SSH tunnel. The query interface displays data in tree view, table view, and text view. You can also save your queries for later usage. One of the coolest features is that it also has support for the shell, so you can still continue to use the shell commands that you are comfortable with. There are some quirks in the UI which I think will get worked out over time. If actively maintained, I think this could be the best cross platform GUI for MongoDB.
So, which UI do we prefer? Our developers on Windows prefer to use MongoVUE, but the ones on Mac prefer RoboMongo. As always if you have any questions please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org