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What Is PHPPGAdmin Hosting?
PHPpgAdmin is a php-based tool for setting up, editing, and managing PostgreSQL databases and database servers. PHPpgAdmin was originally a fork of PHPmyAdmin, providing similar functionality as its predecessor, but for PostgreSQL databases instead of MySQL databases.
The entire code base of PHPpgAdmin has been rewritten from scratch since the initial fork, and the two applications have diverged somewhat, but they continue to provide largely the same features, differing only in what database technology they support.
Why use PHPpgAdmin
Running a database is a complex task. Not all sysadmins are database administration experts, and certainly most developers are not. Many IT managers and others without a heavy tech background get pressed into service as db-admins without being fully comfortable with "old-fashioned" terminal interaction.
Even experienced database administrators often don't want to input the long and complicated SQL commands used in terminal-based database access.
PHPpgAdmin provides a web-based GUI (Graphical User Interface) for managing a PostgreSQL database or database server. This makes it more convenient to do typical tasks like creating and deleting databases, dropping or adding tables, and querying data.
Besides making common database tasks quicker and easier, PHPpgAdmin provides additional features such as creating visual representations of data structure and syncing between multiple databases.
PHPpgAdmin Key Features
Easy-to-use web interface
PHPpgAdmin's browser-based interface is easy to learn and use. It provides access to the most often needed database management features. The GUI also provides a status dashboard with easy access to key database usage and performance statistics.
Support for all commonly used PostgreSQL functions
- Create, drop, copy, browse, alter, and rename table, views, fields, indexes, and databases.
- Write, edit, save, and run SQL queries.
- Manage PostgreSQL users and user privileges.
Import and Export Data
With PHPpgAdmin, you can load data from a CSV spreadsheet or from direct SQL queries, allowing you to import from any other type of database or data management system.
PHPpgAdmin also offers complete data export out to a number of different file formats, including PDF, XML, CSV, Word Documents, and SQL.
Export Data Models
Besides the data itself, PHPpgAdmin provides tools for creating a visual map of your database design.
Manage several databases on separate database servers
With PHPpgAdmin, a database administrator can have access to management features for many databases in one place, even databases across several servers.
This makes database administration much more convenient and less time consuming. It also provides the db-admin with the ability to easily create cloned deployments in multiple environments, such as the typical Development, Test, and Production environments. Off-site backups can also be created with no problem.
Reasons not use PHPpgAdmin
Using a web-based db management tool like PHPpgAdmin does not affect your ability to access the database or server in another way, such as from a remote terminal. Therefore, from a configuration and setup point of view, there's no downside to trying out PHPpgAdmin -- if you decide to stop using it, it isn't like you have to remove it from the database.
Perhaps too easy
The biggest potential issue with PHPpgAdmin is precisely its strength: it makes it very easy to access, edit, and export data. This can be done without the protections of an application layer directing the flow and validation of data, and does not require special database expertise.
This ability can cause inadvertent data abuse and accidental corruption, leading to data loss and inconsistency.
While PHPpgAdmin may be easy for non-experts to use, any mission-critical database application should be managed by an experienced database administrator who understands how the database, and the management tool, are working "under the hood."
Not well documented
Compared to other similar tools like PHPmyAdmin (for MySQL), PHPpgAdmin is not exceptionally well documented. If you are not comfortable figuring things out on your own, or asking questions to developers directly over IRC, you may find using PHPpgAdmin a bit intimidating.
Other than that, the only other reason not to use PHPpgAdmin it that it only works for PostgreSQL databases. PostgreSQL is very powerful, robust, and free, but it is not as popular as MySQL (which is used with WordPress and Drupal, among other common Content Management Systems).
If you need to use MySQL, SQLite, or another database, PHPpgAdmin is not the tool for you.
Most hosting plans support the basic requirements of PHPpgAdmin already, and many even provide one-click install and easy setup of it via their control panel.
phpPgAdmin Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is an open source SQL server, developed to manage SQL relational databases. While a number of SQL servers exist, PostgreSQL is most often compared to MySQL, because both are open source, and both offer similar features. While historically PostgreSQL offered more features, but lagged in terms of speed to MySQL, these differences have all but disappeared with more recent versions, and choosing the appropriate open source database server now comes down to individual preference, availability, and in-depth research to determine which best suits your needs. Or, if you’re planning on using phpPgAdmin, then PostgreSQL is your only choice.
Does phpPgAdmin offer support for any languages other than English?
Yes. phpPgAdmin is available in 27 different languages, and it is designed so that you shouldn’t experience any encoding conflicts even if you are editing data in one language with an interface in another language. If your language is not supported, they provide steps on their website to translate phpPgAdmin into your own language.
Is there any way to try phpPgAdmin before installing it?
There are three demo versions available on the phpPgAdmin Sourceforge site, including a demo for the current release, the dev release, and the legacy release. All of them have access to demo servers, so you can test the functionality before you commit to utilizing phpPgAdmin on your own database.
What type of support is available?
While phpPgAdmin may not provide as much support as other database admin programs, they do have a small selection of documentation and FAQs available on their website, as well as a community-run help forum, mailing lists, and an IRC channel. If you need to report a bug or want to suggest a new feature, you can do so through their Sourceforge site. For help specific to PostgreSQL, there are also a number of mailing lists and documents available to assist you.
Are there additional extensions or plugins available?
At the time of this writing, there were two user-contributed plugins available to extend the features of phpPgAdmin. The GRUD Generator allows users to generate Create, Report, Update, and Delete pages from tables in a database. The Uselessplugin, despite its unenticing name, lets administrators Ping a server by making useless HTTP requests.
Why can’t I login as the database administrator?
In order to increase security for local databases, phpPgAdmin has created a new configuration, extra_login_security, which makes users unable to log in as the root, administrator, pgsql, or Postgres user with an empty password. They strongly recommend that you enabled md5 passwords for local connections to PostgreSQL. After you have done so, you can disable the extra_login_security config file.
What alternatives are available to phpPgAdmin?
There are a number of other tools available for administering PHP servers. Adminer, previously called phpMinAdmin, provides full-featured database management for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL, and Oracle. pgAdmin is the most popular open source tool for managing PostgreSQL servers. TeamPostgreSQL offers a web-based GUI for managing your database from anywhere.
What systems can run phpPgAdmin?
phpPgAdmin is written for Linux systems. The package does not need to be compiled, so it should run on any Linux-based system. However, there are some Debian packages available for legacy version, if you prefer to officially install the software. Instructions for some Linux versions are available on their Sourceforge site.
Can I perform a database dump with phpPgAdmin?
Yes, but you will need do some additional configuration to enable this features. In the config.inc.php file, you need to point phpPgAdmin to your server’s pg_dump and pg_dumpall utilities. After that, the database export option should be available in your admin panel.
Can I access the phpPgAdmin panel remotely?
For security reasons, phpPgAdmin is set up by default to only be accessible from your local computer, via localhost. However, depending on the system you are running, it may be possible to set up remote access. You should refer to the provided documentation and contact your server provider for more information.
How can I contribute to phpPgAdmin?
phpPgAdmin is an open source project, and they welcome contribution from the public. If you identify an error or want to offer a suggestion, you can let them know via their Sourceforge site. If you’re a developer and want to contribute directly to the project, you should check out the TODO list, which list features they plan on developing in the near future. If you see a feature you want to implement, you can send them a patch. They also welcome translator assistance. Instructions for getting involved as a developer or translator are available on their Sourceforge site and in the documentation provided with all distributions.
What type of a license is phpPgAdmin issued under?
The phpPgAdmin project is issued under the GNU Public License, which means anyone is free to download, use, modify, and redistribute the software in any way.