Managing the databases using the command line interface comes with a lot of learning and needs the expertise to handle it.
For many databases, it has been so arduous to handle many database-related activities as the display may be compromised for what you are trying to achieve.
Tasks like browsing databases and database tables, checking for user privileges, checking indexes, managing, monitoring, and coding may get messy while attempting these through the command line console.
On the other hand, it is also unnecessary that you manually manage all these through command line commands. There are many tools available that will help you to do complicated DBA tasks too quickly.
These are called GUI tools. Next, let has a look at some of such top GUI tools for the widely used PostgreSQL.
What Are The GUI Tools?
Graphic User Interface (GUI) tools are software that helps to simplify the technical tasks easily through icons and graphical indicators.
Even a not-so-tech-savvy user can perform the actions with the help of these graphical elements. Using GUI is not mandatory, but it can certainly be useful to do the tasks quickly.
The significant advantage of GUI is that it is much easier to learn and perform than learn and memorize a lot of commands. A single action on the GUI may initiate a set of such commands and related actions.
Another big benefit of using a GUI is that it is more user-friendly than a raw command line. In many cases, you need not have to perform any programming or have system admin knowledge to accomplish the tasks.
However, you must be careful while executing PostgreSQL tasks through GUI as by using a wrong command, you may initiate some wrong steps, too, like the deletion of tables or table columns.
For this reason, one should be very careful and double-sure on initiating any GUI actions.
PostgreSQL Top GUI tools
The tool pgAdmin is a very popular GUI admin and development platform for PostgreSQL. It is custom-designed to serve the purposes of both experienced users and beginners.
It features a sturdy and functional graphical user interface, which simplified the creation, management, and maintenance of database objects.
This is supported by Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. From writing a simple query for an active database to creating a complex database, you can use pgAdmin to process all PostgreSQL functions.
Major Features Of pgAdmin
- Display with graphical query plan
- Quick wizard for all rapid updates to the ACLs
- Procedural based debugger for various programming languages
- Auto vacuum
- Continuous dashboard monitoring
- Quick execution of backup and restore
- On-demand analysis
- Auto-detection for the objects discovered and support
- Direct data editing capabilities.
- User support for all admin-related queries
- SQL editor with syntax highlighting.
- Robust tools and dialogs for the standard line tasks
- Responsive, context-sensitive, user-friendly behavior
ClusterControl is another popular PostgreSQL GUI tool listed on top at the RemoteDBA listing, which supports deployment, monitoring, management, and scaling up and down of PostgreSQL DB.
Each of the deployment instances can be configured easily with the use of this GUI tool, which features a simple point-and-click user interface.
You can also manage the database backups, run queries, and monitor all master and salves. It also has automated failover features to run if something goes wrong.
ClusterControl automation capabilities will let you set up a replication environment for the PostgreSQL database, in which you can add many new replication slaves and those which are configured already.
It will also let you promote the masters and then rebuild the slaves. You can choose from two versions of ClusterControl as the Enterprise Edition and Community Edition.
Features Of ClusterControl:
- Easily management of backup and recovery
- Constant monitoring and alerts
- Easy deployment
- Anytime easy scaling
- Patches and upgrades from time to time
- Optimum security and compliance with existing systems
- Configuration management
- Operational reporting tools
- Automatic bug repair
- Effective performance management
Adminer is a featured DBMS tool. It is coded in PHP and consists of only a single file, which can be deployed directly on the target server.
Along with PostgreSQL, Adminer GUI tools available for other relational and non-relational databases too as MySQL, MS SQL, SQLite, Oracle, MariaDB, Firebird Elasticsearch, SimpleDB, and MongoDB, etc.
The latest version is Adminer is 4.7, which was released last November.
Major features Of Adminer:
- Connects to any database server securely with username & password
- It can create a new database or select from an existing one.
- Easily lists the fields and indexes
- Triggers of the table and foreign keys are listed.
- It can be used to change the name, collation, engine, autoincrement, etc.
- Used to alter name, collation, type, commend, and default column values.
- To add and drop table columns and entire tables.
- Used to create, alter, and drop:
Search by indexes
Link lists by using foreign keys
- Can call stored procedures
- Can call functions
- List the data in different tables with search, sort, aggregate commands.
- Insert new table records and delete or update existing records.
- It supports all types of data.
- Execute SQL commands directly from a file or text field
- Show the running processes and can kill any if needed
- Can display the variables with documentation links.
- Manage the events and partitions of tables
4. SQL Workbench/J
This is another free cross-platform tool, which is DBMS-independent for GUI management of databases. This is built-in Java language and can run on any OS which offers a Runtime Environment for Java.
The focus of SQL Workbench/J is on running the primary SQL scripts and features export/import functionalities.
SQL Workbench/J features:
- Can directly insert, edit, or delete data in query results.
- Features export commands powerful enough to write on XML, text files, SQL, or HTML.
- User tables can also be exported into the directory using a single command.
- It can compress export files on the go.
- Easy XML, spreadsheet, even text file import. A group of files can also be imported from the directory on a single step.
- Can compare the schemas of two databases to find any differences. XML output can be transformed directly with XSLT statements.
Some other options to consider if you are looking for more choices in PostgreSQL GUI tools are DBeaver (open-source universal DB tool for developers and admins), Navicat (graphical GUI for PostgreSQL DB development), etc.
Even though using a GUI tool is not necessary for PostgreSQL database management, using one above will help you execute the daily DBA tasks much efficiently without the help of an expert. However, these tools are not a complete replacement for the command line management.