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In the scope of a small community project we were compelled to create a database in order to manage our events, the participating members, their contact details and so on. I've created a PostgreSQL DB with different tables containing columns and their relationships. Now certain members of the project should be able to add, view and update entries in specific tables. I'm looking for a GUI front end tool that will enable users with no database experience to do these tasks. We specifically need following features:

  1. a form layout to add and modify entries
  2. a table layout for viewing an entire table

An additional plus would be, if the software would recognise the foreign key constraints and provide drop down menus with the possible options.

Can anybody recommend software? Is there anything out there tailored to PostgreSQL? A webbased application would also be an option.

  • Would a table layout to add and modify entries be ok? – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 1 '16 at 13:26
  • Absolutely! Foms are just a suggestion – Ratnanil Jun 1 '16 at 14:09
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If you take django you get the admin interface with nearly no extra work.

AND: you get a tool to handle database schema migrations.

I recommend it.

  • this sounds very interesting.. I've read about this somewhere before. Can you recommend a site where I can see how something like this could be achieved? – Ratnanil Jun 1 '16 at 22:01
  • @Ratnanil django is one of the few open source projects which provide great documentation: docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.9 There you can see how to achieve this. – guettli Jun 2 '16 at 13:08
  • @ It IS very well documented. But installing django, virtualenv, psycopg2 and whatnot is killing me, I don't know if I can make it as a novice. – Ratnanil Jun 2 '16 at 20:03
  • @Ratnanil don't be afraid. You will find help on StackOverflow in minutes or on the django-user list. My hint: switch off your computer, and read a book (maybe "two scopes of django") before starting. This gives you an overview and the chance that you get lost in details gets smaller. – guettli Jun 3 '16 at 4:47
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    I'll accept the answer that provided the solution I went for (as recommended here) . Django indeed provides a very neat admin interface where I can do exactly the needs I stated together with a powerful API to tailor the default options. I really cannot expect our project members to use techy tools like pgadmin or phpPgAdmin that are mainly designed for database structure management, not database data management. – Ratnanil Jun 4 '16 at 19:09
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There are several tools for this. Personally I would not recommend pgAdmin. It has a clumsy user interface which is OK for technical people, but for someone who has no experience with databases it is most definitely not the right choice (this will probably change with the upcoming new version of pgAdmin which is a complete rewrite)

There are two web-based projects that offer a nice UI and I think are better suited for unexperienced users:

Neither of those has support for "foreign key dropdowns" if I'm not mistaken.

One tool that seems to be better for non-technical users is DBeauty which has a completely different approach because you define a meta model that helps users to browse the information. I am not sure if you can edit the data in the results though (I have never used it)

A more SQL centric tool is SQL Workbench/J. It does support foreign keys while editing and also while browsing the data.

But - like pgAdmin - it is more targeted at users which are happy to use SQL directly. Not really as a replacement for a "forms application". So most probably also not what you are looking for.

  • For the record (and future readers): I went with django because I had already started reading into it intensively. But the solutions provided by this answer sound and look really promising. – Ratnanil Jun 4 '16 at 19:14
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pgAdmin could be the tool of your choice:

pgAdmin
pgAdmin (source: pgAdmin; click image for larger variant)

As the screenshot shows, it should match your needs quite fine:

  • a form layout to add and modify entries: Yupp (see lower-right)
  • a table layout for viewing an entire table: Yupp (see lower-left)
  • recognise the foreign key constraints and provide drop down menus with the possible options: Looks like (see lower-right)

Additionally, you can use it to explore your database(s), see upper half of the screen, and more. It's quite a while ago I've used it last, but it worked quite well then. You can download it for free; many Linux distros will even have it in their repos.


What I initially wanted to recommend was rather phpPgAdmin (was led astray by the almost similar name), a web-based frontend to PostgreSQL databases requiring an PHP enabled web server. You can find a summary of its capabilities on its Wikipedia page. As confirmed by OP:

  • a form layout to add and modify entries: Yupp
  • a table layout for viewing an entire table: Yupp
  • recognise the foreign key constraints and provide drop down menus with the possible options: Yupp

Available at no cost, and also shipping with many Linux distros. Sources available at Github. There's a demo installation setup to give it a try – but when I tried that, the given password didn't seem to work on any of the servers (maybe some script kiddy spoiled it).

  • I'm slightly confused. You're talking about "pgMyAdmin" but linking to "pgadmin". Are you talking about pgadmin III like @Franck Dernoncourt, NOT phpPgAdmin, right? – Ratnanil Jun 2 '16 at 20:13
  • Ouch, you're correct: Must have missed that when looking for the link. In fact I had phpPgAdmin in mind (that was the one I've used in the past), but got the wrong links (and thus also wrong screenshot) =:-0 I mostly use MySQL and thus phpMyAdmin. Remembering how close the two appeared, and knowing phpMyAdmin having the features described, I didn't notice. Will replace the names now. – Izzy Jun 2 '16 at 20:23
  • does pgadmin really support dropdown menues? I've used pgadmin for setting up my database (for which it is great), but it's not really useful to input data into the tables. As far as I can tell, the screenshot shows a form input with dropdown for setting options (e.g. "owner") not input – Ratnanil Jun 3 '16 at 9:19
  • whereas phpPgAdmin does support dropdown menus with respect to foreign key constraints. And just as a sidenote: you still have one instance of "pg_My_Admin" in your text :-) – Ratnanil Jun 3 '16 at 9:23
  • @Ratnanil will kill that last instance now :) As I wrote, I never used pgAdmin. Thanks to your feedback I'll include phpPgAdmin with my next edit (I have no PG running at the moment, and could not find a screenshot confirming the foreign-key-dropdowns, hence I didn't include it before). – Izzy Jun 3 '16 at 9:27
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You can use pgadmin:

  • Free of charge
  • Open source
  • Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
  • a table layout to add and modify entries, as long as your table has a primary key
  • a table layout for viewing an entire table
  • does not provide drop down menus with the possible options.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for this recommendation, but pgadmin is so counter intuitive that it really won't do as a data management tool (while its great for database management). – Ratnanil Jun 4 '16 at 19:15

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