PostgreSQL databases – the new-generation back-end solution for contemporary dynamic websites
The ‘invasion’ of dynamic content driven websites into the global virtual space has lead to the establishment of new web usability standards. Today websites are competing with each other to ensure an intuitive user experience by means of various new-generation browse-and-click techniques. Although visually different from each other, dynamic websites share one thing in common, they use databases for organizing and updating their contents. And speaking of new-generation solutions – the first database type coming to mind is PostgreSQL.
PostgreSQL is popular as a free alternative to powerful yet expensive corporate applications like MsSQL and Sybase, as they all originate from one and the same platform, the Ingres software developed back in the 1970s. Today embraced by a growing number of users, PostgreSQL allows a great freedom in handling databases through a wide range of in-built features like defined-by-user objects, Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC), database triggers, indexes and various data types.
The user’s policy plays an important role in PgSQL, where the database user is called a ‘superuser’ and has all-round control over the access to the objects in the database. The PostgreSQL create user function of the software supports two methods – creating a user with an easy-to-use web interface (via PostgreSQL clients like pSQL, pgAdmin, or phpPgAdmin) and with the command-line wrapper called createuser, used mainly by programmers and administrators.
Each PgSQL user is assigned a wide range of privileges, like creating PostgreSQL databases and PostgreSQL tables, and managing their settings through the phpPgAdmin interface. Users can create databases in two ways – via the PostgreSQL command line, using the ‘create database’ command, and through the custom graphical interface offered by their hosting provider. Setting up tables is possible through the command line and via phpPgAdmin.
Alongside the regular database manipulation operations PgSQL databases also support some special little tools, like the PostgreSQL Sequence, aimed to alleviate your work with tables and databases. The sequence offers a simple and safe multi-user method for generating unique numeric identifiers in the PostgreSQL database. It is most often used for the creation of artificial primary keys. You can easily create a sequence in PostgreSQL via the command line or via the phpPgAdmin tool.
Managing PostgreSQL databases is also possible out of the operational system environment, through the ODBC software API method. This is done with the help of psqlODBC – the ODBC driver for PostgreSQL. It is now offered independently of the database package and undergoes constant updates and improvements.
For more comprehensive information on PostgreSQL – check out the newly updated Databases section of our NTC Hosting Encyclopedia. The separate articles are complemented with illustrative examples and video tutorials on creating and managing PgSQL databases and tables.