The PostgreSQL database is one of the most advanced databases available, which is why it’s essential for it to be appropriately managed and maintained. This guide reviews some of the most popular and well-regarded Postgres admin tools on the market, with particular consideration of the best PostgreSQL query tool, PostgreSQL migration tool, and Postgres GUI tools.
Overall, SolarWinds® Database Performance Monitor (DPM) ranks highest on our list as the most user-friendly and versatile Postgres tool. This tool consolidates PostgreSQL migration, monitoring, and management into a single platform, while delivering cost efficiency. A 14-day free trial is available for download.
What Is PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is a business-grade, open-source, object-relational database management system with support for both JSON for non-relational queries and SQL for relational queries. The PostgreSQL database management system is supported by an experienced and vast community of professionals and developers, many of whom have made enormous contributions to making PostgreSQL the powerful and reliable database management system it is today. PostgreSQL includes support for advanced types of data and enables sophisticated performance optimization. Many PostgreSQL features can only be found in commercial, expensive database competitors, such as SQL Server and Oracle.
Key PostgreSQL Features
PostgreSQL features are designed to help developers build applications and administrators build fault-tolerant environments by safeguarding data integrity. Some notable PostgreSQL features are as follows:
- Compatibility with multiple platforms, with support for many languages
- Advanced locking mechanism
- Multi-version concurrency capabilities and control
- Highly developed server-side programming utilities
- ANSI SQL standard compliant
- Supports client-server networks architecture
- Trigger-based and log-based replication SSL
Best Postgres Tool
If you aren’t already using PostgreSQL, you may well be considering migrating to it from your current database. As this guide has already mentioned, PostgreSQL offers impressive and powerful features and can offer several benefits. So, whether you’re looking for a PostgreSQL migration tool, a PostgreSQL query tool, or similar, one of the tools in our list will certainly be able to help.
SolarWinds DPM is a database monitoring tool with support for Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, and Amazon Aurora. This versatile PostgreSQL query tool provides 24/7 real-time monitoring, helping you meet KPIs for deployment frequency, lead times for changes, MTTR, MTTD, availability, and much more. DPM also provides instant recommendations, advising you on where you might find inefficient queries and when to alter server configurations. This solution is highly recommended for application development and is especially popular among DevOps teams, who use DPM to proactively manage database health and performance.
With DPM, you can create custom dashboards, which helps with prioritizing what really matters to your team. These dashboards let you track metrics, monitor trends, and view health summaries for systems and databases. From within these dashboards, you can access your best practice recommendations, analyze performance outliers, manage your resource capacity, and study before and after performance trends.
Key DPM features include:
- Second-by-second data collection
- Ability to share your postmortem documentation with your team via DPM Notebooks
- Support for including text, links, images, and code snippets in DPM Notebooks documentation
- Ability to correlate query behavior or response to system metrics
- High granularity data
- View the impact new code has on database query response and workload before deployment
DPM is a software-as-a-service platform with a user-friendly, web-based interface, which means it can be accessed from anywhere. It can be used to monitor cloud, hybrid, and local databases.
2. Datadog APM
Datadog, a software-as-a-service platform featuring an array of system monitoring tools, includes a Datadog APM module with integration for monitoring Postgres databases. With this tool, you can monitor your database’s operating throughput and proactively identify inefficient or poorly performing queries that might be hoarding resources. The Datadog PostgreSQL monitoring dashboard includes data visualizations, giving you at-a-glance insight into your database. You can set up alert thresholds for each of your key database metrics, so you can stay informed and get ahead of issues.
Datadog APM’s artificial intelligence-based system, called “Watchdog,” spots potential issues with impressive accuracy, deriving possible bottlenecks by combining event metrics. Because of Datadog APM’s consolidated approach to monitoring, you can rely on Datadog to watch your databases for you, freeing up time to concentrate on other priorities.
The Datadog APM dashboard is customizable, allowing you to visually prioritize the metrics most important to your business. You could, for example, establish stack views covering services that impact and support your database. The Datadog solution also includes advanced analysis tools, enabling you to detect inefficient queries and target them for optimization. You can extend Datadog APM’s live monitoring features and analytics capabilities by adding other Datadog modules. Modules you might consider are as follows:
- Datadog Network Performance, which allows you to monitor network capacity and traffic patterns
- Datadog Infrastructure, which monitors network servers and devices
- Datadog Synthetic Monitoring, which tracks website performance and uptime
Although the ability to extend capabilities with modules is a clear advantage of this Postgres tool, I feel Datadog could be more user-friendly and its dashboard more intuitive. Datadog is still effective, however, as a query tool for Postgres and a Postgres admin tool. All Datadog modules have a 14-day free trial.
Paessler PRTG is commonly known as a network monitoring solution. However, as a sensor-based tool with thousands of sensors available, PRTG can be whatever you want it to be. This solution even includes a specialized PostgreSQL sensor, which monitors your Postgres database. The sensor submits queries to the PostgreSQL server and then presents the metrics, enabling you to proactively monitor the query execution time, the number of rows each query addressed, the request execution time, and much more. The data is presented in the form of dials, which can be adjusted to reflect how you prefer to view the data—you have the choice of Historic Data, Live Data, or data over specific time periods (i.e., two days, 30 days, 365 days.)
To ensure you’re aware of what’s happening in your system, even when you’re away from your desk, this tool delivers notifications via SMS, push notifications, or email. The push notifications are compatible with both iOS and Android devices, so you can access alerts from your preferred mobile device when a metric threshold has been breached. For instance, if query execution time is abnormally high, PRTG will notify you of the issue.
Despite being a highly advanced solution, PRTG Network Monitor is completely free if you use fewer than 100 sensors. You can choose any 100 sensors you want, allowing you to make this solution entirely you own, but you’ll probably use up the free sensors very quickly. From that point on, PRTG attracts a high price tag. If you’d like to try the unlimited version of PRTG, a 30-day free trial is available.
PgLoader is a popular open-source PostgreSQL migration tool that can load data sourced from multiple locations directly into PostgreSQL. PgLoader includes two modes; either it can load data from a file or files (i.e., fixed-file format or CSV) or it can migrate the complete database from the original platform to PostgreSQL. This useful tool offers support for numerous relational database management systems as the migration source. PgLoader retrieves data from catalog tables across a connection, and then establishes a schema equivalent in PostgreSQL, enabling you to migrate to Postgres with just one command line.
PgLoader supports the following operations:
- Migration to PostgreSQL from MySQL
- Migrate to PostgreSQL from SQLite
- Migrate to PostgreSQL from MS SQL Server
You can also use PgLoader to migrate from your database files in both IXF and DBF formats. In these cases, PgLoader can examine the target table’s format automatically. You can download PgLoader here.
Choosing the Right Postgres Tool
The best Postgres tool for your business will depend on what your requirements and goals are. If you’re new to the PostgreSQL database, you may need a specialized PostgreSQL migration tool, or a solution compatible with multiple database types and capable of streamlining the migration process. If you’re hoping to optimize query performance, a PostgreSQL query tool may be better suited to your needs.
For a comprehensive Postgres tool designed to help you make the most of your database, SolarWinds DPM comes highly recommended. This multi-platform, web-based solution can help you optimize queries, streamline migration, and improve GUI administration activities. With a user-friendly and dynamic interface, as well as ample support options and no learning curve, this tool is ideal for new and experienced developers alike. A 14-day free trial is available.