I’ll attempt to make this shorter than my adventure. So in the middle of rewriting the QGIS Class I decided to kickstart the PostGIS class…..Because why not do two things at once.
The QGIS part I have covered. The PostGIS part left me with two questions. First – how many wrong ways can someone install PostgreSQL/PostGIS and secondly do I want to make everyone use command line (psql) or a GUI (PGADMIN3). I lean towards command line because I like typing. That’s how I learned it – BUT – people like having something in front of them.
I run Linux on my day to day workstation and if you install pgadmin you get pgadmin3. I barely use pgadmin3. I will install it because if a client does anything with postgresql they will have this installed.
Pgadmin3 isn’t updated anymore. All efforts have moved to pgadmin4. So I decided to give pgadmin4 a whirl and Oh Boy. Since I’m running ubuntu I’m left with docker, python wheel (whatever that is), and compiling it from scratch to get it to run. I usually am OK with compiling but in skimming the README I’m left with talk of python virtual environments. Python wheel goes down that path. Which left me with Docker. I went with the docker option. If I was somewhat more prone to running something more common than linux I could just run a exe for windows or install a package for MAC (if I had one) and life would be easier.
Since I’m running this in docker (article coming on that shortly) I connect through a web browser and there we are. We have graphs and charts and jquery and python and some other catchy programming things I know nothing about. It’s a bit overwhelming. So much so the one person I’ve been testing my postgis judo on ran from pgadmin4. One of my clients downloaded it, installed it, and removed it and went back to pgadmin3.
I asked twitter and was pointed to DBeaver. I think overall the question of “If not pgadmin4 then what?” seems to be on a lot of people’s minds. So I installed DBeaver. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
I have a diagram of my database for starters. I have the all familiar SQL window in which I can execute scripts. This is running locally so I just save out what I need and keep moving. It appears friendly enough for newbies in a class.
So what have we learned? Well- I can use docker. If you are looking for an alternative GUI for your database needs DBeaver is pretty nice. I have pgadmin4 running in docker (even did an install with my windows 10 laptop) so I can keep learning on that one. Actually – I’m debating running pgadmin4 on my workstation running postgis. I can install docker and install pgadmin4 and just let it run. It’s out of the way and I can connect to it from anywhere on the network.
I won’t be running pgadmin4 for the class though – it has a high fear factor. I don’t want to have to spend time worrying over that while having to push and pull people through a postgis/postgresql install. Anyway – next up – Docker. Which given the time of year should be titled “The not quite Nightmare before Christmas”.