Paper: Web-Based Database Client

We live in a world of disparity regarding how some technology receives advancements until the necessity comes. Some entities have the opportunity to anticipate moves by predictions that might or might not be very precise but present themselves as a good flight risk for investigation and/or development. We can separate how we advance technologies into 3 highly generic categories: first by extreme necessity, second by anticipating necessities, and lastly by creators of necessities. Albeit some of those necessities can be arguably not necessities, for the sake of this article I want to set them as necessities in our society by all factors that make us feel the need for something, it can be social pressure, status, adaptation needs, intrinsic intents or a bunch of other reasons that is not the goal of this paper to judge their legitimacy in any other field other than how entities and people see their priorities and consume to achieve better results to themselves in the market.

Current Market

The market of Code Editors and Database Clients has always been dedicated to experts like Software Engineers, Data Engineers, Database Administrators, etc. Still, we see more of the possibility of less technical professionals using such tools every year. Being a tool that requires a lot from a computer, it’s very common that they are installed on people’s computers rather than something available in a web browser due to the relatively powerful computational needs needed to run everything these applications need.

These tools are a good representation of a decadent technology that serves a small number of experts well, with all possible functionalities organized most conventionally. Don’t read conventional by something good; most of these application designs are full of assumptions and exclusive for a small number of people that belong to a bubble that, even though it is highly relevant in their context, they are very small when the big picture is revealed.

In 2018 there were around 23 million developers (1) (between practitioners, managers, educators, and technicians) compared to 1.25 billion Information Workers (2), making the number of developers only 1,84% of the total of all “people that use a smartphone, PC, or tablet for work” (2.a). If we try to highlight the number of developers that use a Database Client or the ones that are not happy using it this number can get even smaller. This difference can show us two intriguing characteristics of today’s market, the first one is that every need of consultation, maintenance, or iteration on database access-related tasks requires technical intervention, consuming time from the specific technical workforce to attend to other teammates’ needs; secondly, there’s an interesting cost of opportunity in some number inside the more than 1 billion people that could be using better tooling that can allow them to achieve what they want faster.

The Elegance of the Web enables new possibilities

On top of that, Database Clients are generally made to be understood rather than to fit users’ needs, which creates huge gaps in the opportunity for expansion and improvement in the daily tasks of a gigantic market in favor of a few with advanced needs. Most of these tools don’t collect usage feedback to improve tasks in people’s hands, they solve problems for computers, not for people, and it happens because it’s a characteristic of the culture behind how Database Clients have been made for decades and also because of their “natural environment”, by not being able to make sure people get their updates and consequently not receiving faster improvements. On the other hand, Web Applications are designed to receive much faster updates, culturally created by people who want to understand their users’ needs as the drive to change and improve.

The Opportunity Lies in the Innovators

And in those in need. Usually, technical people stick to their tools for a really while until something (usually a combination of) happens. For instance, VSCode, the Editor later bought by Microsoft, took off at the same time JavaScript and Front-End Development as we know it today took off and dominated the market. Their correlation is known, and although it’s impossible to define how much one helped the other, it’s clear that a group of factors can change the usual. So, thinking we will be able to make everyone in the mainstream adopt a new solution is quite preposterous, even though we can count on the innovators and early adopters of this group, our reality will fit much better in the professionals in need of a solution because databases clients are not their main tool still they need it. These professionals are all the technical or slightly technical ones, from business intelligence to front-end development and marketing to product, who will look for something to solve the problem of getting to the desired data rather than having a favorite tool based on its technical capabilities.

Lack of explorations

Areas such as product, design, and business often encounter challenges when discussing the full potential of certain tools due to a knowledge gap. This is not a shortcoming, but rather a reflection of the specialized nature of these tools, which are primarily designed with the needs and expertise of database client users in mind. This situation can sometimes lead to outputs that are tailored toward these users, and this specificity can pose challenges when trying to expand or improve the tool for a broader audience. It's a complex scenario, where understanding a market opportunity might not necessarily align with understanding the interface that meets its needs. This divergence can sometimes make the process seem cluttered and may lead to difficulties in proof of concepts. However, it's essential to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of professionals who designed these tools, even as we strive to broaden their application and reach.

The current No-Code tools and Artificial Intelligence are key to unveiling the possibilities to a much larger group of professionals and the only way to explore these possibilities in this field is to reduce the gap of knowledge by having great openness between Product and Engineering and try to bring both together either by pushing the envelope of communication between these groups or adding key Technical Product professionals to build those solutions alongside with the Engineering team.

The Box of Artificial Intelligence

Even though AI plays an important role nowadays, the lack of proactive actions and context understanding makes the AI world look like a buzz rather than something serious. There’s still space for designers to explore AI in a way that engineers can’t because of the same thing that makes them good engineers. Engineers think in beautifully designed systems from the engineering point of view. Designers can bring the whole experience to another level by connecting the technology meaningfully to the people, not to the machines or the engineering concepts’ perspective.

The explorations we can do with AI today by asking for specific things and receiving fine-tuned responses are helpful. Still, the difference from having to formulate the question to an AI to build some code versus, for example, how GitHub’s Co-Pilot can infer and actively help you in what you are building without you having to formulate what exactly you need makes me wonder how poorly AI is being explored.

Even though I strongly believe we should test how people react to the common and easier way to integrate AI into any platform, which is having the infamous “Ask AI” box, I’d firmly push into exploring how we can proactively help our customers by inferring rather than asking. And then, when people see AI interacting with them (instead of the opposite) with exactly what they need, when the technology seems almost invisible yet indispensable, AI will be the real differentiator where the bar is set in good experiences and efficient tools.

The map of opportunities with technologies

So far, we have developed a whole transport layer to connect natively or by one-off commands to databases, servers, and clients that use this connectivity to deliver high-quality user interaction over a CLI and the Web Browser. Even though CLI usage is highly valuable for our business and our customers, the usage we get from our Web Browser is still higher overall. It has space for many improvements due to the reasons given in this paper on iteration capabilities and simplification in experience for users that are mostly in the Web Browser rather than in the Terminal.

Within all of that, we have a way of reviewing anything that goes to some database or server beforehand; we have AI Data Masking for Data Layer Protection (DLP) that automatically infers which fields need to be masked without the need for user configuration; an access control system so administrators can delegate who sees what;  Slack integration; every session is fully auditable; Runbooks to automate key scripts or queries; and much more. All those features, for a while, alongside what we used to call our “Web Editor” were separated and sometimes not so well connected features, but they always had to be designed to work as add-ons of the session itself.

The format this article proposes makes this “Web Editor” the center of everything, behaving like a Web Client for accessing databases and services like servers and applications, as we do. Around this web client, we have a set of features, which are a reorganization of what we already have today, making the product the client and the features everything else.


In conclusion, this paper has shed light on the disparities in technological advancement and the evolving landscape of code editors and database clients. We've identified three broad categories driving technological progress: extreme necessity, anticipation of necessities, and creators of necessities. Despite the increasing accessibility of these tools, there remains a significant gap between technical experts and less technical professionals in their utilization.

The market for code editors and database clients predominantly serves a niche group of experts, leaving a vast untapped potential outside this niche of users. This discrepancy underscores the need for greater exploration and collaboration across product, design, and engineering domains. By harnessing emerging technologies such as No-Code tools and Artificial Intelligence, we can bridge the knowledge gap and unlock new opportunities for innovation.

Furthermore, the paper highlights the importance of proactive actions and context understanding in leveraging Artificial Intelligence effectively. While AI holds immense potential, its true value lies in its ability to integrate with user workflows and anticipate their needs seamlessly. By shifting from reactive "Ask AI" approaches to proactive inference-based interactions, we can create truly transformative user experiences.

Looking ahead, technologies inside presents a unique opportunity to reimagine the role of database clients. By centralizing features around a web-based client and leveraging AI-driven capabilities, we can empower users across technical and non-technical domains to unlock the full potential of their data. This holistic approach to tool development represents a paradigm shift towards more inclusive and user-centric solutions in the ever-evolving landscape of technology.


  1. How Many Programmers are there in the World and in the US? -
  2. The Global Information Worker Population Swells To 1.25 Billion In 2018 -
  3. First paragraph: “Yes, you read that right. There were 1.25 billion global information workers in 2018 — people that use a smartphone, PC, or tablet for work an hour more per day in a typical week. This number may seem astronomical . . . but in reality, the growth of information workers has just begun. New devices and innovations have flooded the market, making digital devices even more useful for work, so companies will be able to expand digital assistance to more tasks and more types of workers, far beyond white-collar office workers. The result is gains in productivity, efficiency, and business outcomes.”