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Top GUIs for PostgreSQL databases in 2024

The Superblocks Team

The Superblocks Team

Updated May 1, 2024

7 min read

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PostgreSQL is a long-standing and mature open-source relational database management system known for its powerful capabilities and versatility. While PostgreSQL has been widely adopted across various industries due to its robustness and flexibility, interacting directly with its PostgreSQL interface can be complex and challenging, particularly for non-technical users or those unfamiliar with the intricacies of SQL queries.

PostgreSQL GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) bridge this gap by providing user-friendly interfaces that simplify database interactions, enabling users to execute queries, visualize data, and perform various tasks without the need for extensive PostgreSQL knowledge. Traditional PostgreSQL GUI tools, such as pgAdmin or DBeaver, are essentially SQL clients that allow users to write and execute raw SQL queries. While these tools are valuable, they often have limitations in terms of customization, usability, and integration with other data sources.

An alternative approach is to build full applications on top of PostgreSQL, allowing non-technical users to read, write, and manipulate data without writing any SQL queries. Low-code tools like Superblocks are especially useful in this regard, as they enable developers to rapidly build CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) applications with minimal effort, leveraging pre-built UI components and seamless data integration.

the In this guide, we'll explore the various PostgreSQL GUI options available, evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, and suitability for different use cases. Our goal is to help organizations streamline management of their Postgres databases, empower non-technical users, and unlock the full potential of their data through intuitive and efficient interfaces.

Platform

Used By

Used For

Used With

Used Because

Superblocks

Applications are built by developers, used by anyone with access provisioned

Analytics Dashboards, Database Management Portals, Read/Write Interfaces, Internal Tools, Partner Portals

Any relational or non-relational database, as well as API

You want to build complex, multi-use tools on top of your data

pgAdmin

Database admins, technical users

Querying, Management, Monitoring, Data Visualization 

PostgreSQL databases

You want an open-source platform that is specialized for Postgres.

DBeaver

Database admins, technical users

Querying, Management, Modeling Entity Relationships, Data Visualization

Any database through JDBC drivers

You want a community-supported tool for managing diverse sets of data

Datagrip

Database admins, technical users

Querying, Management, Modeling Entity Relationships, Data Visualization, Monitoring

Any relational or non-relational database, as well as API

You want your database management tools to work in the JetBrains ecosystem

Navicat

Database admins, technical users

Querying, Management, Modeling Entity Relationships, Data Visualization, Monitoring

Any relational or non-relational database, as well as API

You want multi-database support for managing, automating and analyzing data

DBVisualizer

Database admins, technical users

Querying, Management, Modeling Entity Relationships

Any database through JDBC drivers

You want a versatile tool for managing and analyzing data

Key considerations

When evaluating PostgreSQL GUI tools, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. These factors can greatly impact the usability, functionality, and overall value of the tool for your organization: 

  • Ease of use and accessibility: A well-designed PostgreSQL GUI should prioritize an intuitive and user-friendly interface, enabling both technical and non-technical users to navigate and interact with the database effortlessly. Features like a query editor with autocomplete functionality and AI assistance for PostgreSQL query generation can greatly enhance the overall user experience.
  • Data visualization and reporting: An effective GUI must empower users to create and customize interactive dashboards featuring a wide array of visualizations, such as charts, graphs, plots, and tables. These intuitive interfaces enable company-wide data sharing, supporting informed decision-making by providing actionable insights derived from the database.
  • Access control and security on all data: Organizations should prioritize tools with strong Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and security for managing and integrating with data from Postgres and various other sources. RBAC ensures users only access relevant data, maintaining privacy and compliance across the entire data ecosystem, not just Postgres. This is crucial for minimizing risks and promoting compliance across your data.
  • Customization and extensibility: The ability to tailor the interface, incorporate custom code or extend the platform, and adapt the tool to specific organizational needs can greatly enhance its usefulness and longevity.
  • Integration with multiple data sources: Organizations work with diverse data beyond traditional PostgreSQL databases. A versatile GUI tool should enable users to access and manage information from multiple data sources within a unified interface.
  • Database administration: A comprehensive  GUI should incorporate robust database administration capabilities, enabling users to monitor access and usage of their databases, track performance metrics, manage user access, and streamline administrative tasks through intuitive applications or interfaces.

Which of these you prioritize will depend on the exact needs of your organization - like who needs access, the complexity of the too

Overview of Traditional PostgreSQL GUIs

PgAdmin

pgAdmin is a popular open-source administration and development tool for PostgreSQL databases.

  • Strengths: Provides comprehensive open-source tooling specialized for PostgreSQL management and development, offers a user-friendly interface, simplifies database administration tasks, enhances productivity with features like query editor with autocomplete, tooling for data manipulation, and ability to monitor and troubleshoot Postgres.
  • Limitations: It is used primarily for PostgreSQL and may not support other database or technology systems, expertise in PostgreSQL and SQL are required making it inaccessible to non-technical users.

DBeaver

DBeaver is an open-source, cross-platform database management tool with PostgreSQL GUI capabilities.

  • Strengths: Supports a variety of databases like MySQL, MariaDB, Postgres, SQLite and more, benefits from the open source community, and offers features like data export/import, PostgreSQL assist/auto-complete, data editing, a visual query builder, data visualization tools and entity-relationship (ER) diagrams.
  • Limitations: The product's advanced PostgreSQL features may involve a steeper learning curve to master, lacks advanced data visualization options, and is more difficult to maintain and support.

Jetbrains Datagrip

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JetBrains DataGrip is a cross-platform IDE for databases and SQL. As part of the JetBrains ecosystem, it comes with automatic connections to tools like PyCharm.

  • Strengths: It integrates with other JetBrains tooling, supports multiple databases like PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and more, provides intelligent code completion and assistance features, integrates with version control systems, offers data editing capabilities, and generates ERD for visual database design.
  • Limitations: Comes with a commercial license cost, may have a learning curve for users not familiar with JetBrains IDEs and those who aren’t familiar with coding and SQL, heavily dependent on and locked into the JetBrains ecosystem, and may have a higher resource consumption compared to lightweight database management tools.

Navicat

Navicat is a comprehensive, cross-platform database management and development tool.

  • Strengths: Supports multiple databases beyond Postgres, provides a user-friendly interface, visual design tooling for data modeling, and data import/export, enables database comparison and synchronization, as well as scheduling and automation features for database tasks and backups.
  • Limitations: Comes with a commercial license cost, may have a steeper learning curve for beginners and be inaccessible for non-technical users, dependent on the Navicat ecosystem, and may not have the same level of community support as open-source alternatives.

DB Visualizer

DBVisualizer is a popular desktop app that provides a comprehensive PostgreSQL GUI for database management and querying.

  • Strengths: Supports a wide range of databases like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and more, advanced visual query editor with features like autocomplete and bookmarks, as well as capabilities including query optimization and data editing. DBVisualizer also comes with security features such as dat encryption and restricted data access.
  • Limitations: May require more technical expertise to use effectively, lacks web-based collaboration features, and is limited to primarily relational databases.

Limitations of traditional PostgreSQL GUIs

While traditional PostgreSQL GUI tools offer valuable features, as a whole they often come with limitations that can hinder productivity and restrict the potential of SQL interfaces. Some common challenges include:

  1. Steep learning curve: Many PostgreSQL GUI tools require a significant amount of technical expertise to use effectively, limiting their accessibility to non-technical users. This can lead to a dependence on engineering teams and hinder the democratization of data access and analysis.
  2. Limited customization and extensibility: Traditional PostgreSQL GUIs often provide limited options for customization and extensibility. Users being limited to preset visualizations may struggle to tailor the interface to their specific needs or integrate with other tools and services, restricting the adaptability of the platform.
  3. Lack of advanced data visualization: PostgreSQL GUI tools may offer basic data visualization capabilities, but fall short in terms of interactive dashboards and the ability to combine data from multiple sources. This can dampen data-driven decision-making and limit the insights that can be derived from the data.
  4. Inadequate access control and security: PostgreSQL GUIs may lack granular access control and critical security features, exposing sensitive data to potential breaches or unauthorized access. This can be a significant concern for organizations dealing with sensitive or regulated data.

Introducing Superblocks: A PostgreSQL GUI without limitations

Superblocks is an internal app development platform that offers powerful PostgreSQL GUI capabilities along with a range of features that address the limitations of traditional solutions. Additionally, Superblocks is capable of addressing internal app uses beyond PostgreSQL interfaces, making it a holistic choice for your organization. Here's how Superblocks stands out:

  1. Powerful PostgreSQL capabilities with a user-friendly interface: Superblocks combines powerful PostgreSQL capabilities with a user-friendly interface. Connect to any database type easily, utilize Table Bulk Edit to build SQL queries via forms without writing raw SQL, and leverage features like Table Inline Editing.
  2. Powerful data visualization and reporting: Superblocks offers a rich set of data visualization options, including interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards. Users can easily create visually appealing and informative reports that facilitate data-driven decision-making. The platform also enables combining data from multiple sources, providing a comprehensive view of the organization's data landscape.
  3. Seamless integration with multiple data sources: Superblocks enables seamless integration with various PostgreSQL databases, cloud platforms,  and other data sources, such as APIs, monitoring, GPT-4, and more. This allows users to pull in, combine, and stream data from different sources effortlessly, breaking down data silos and enabling a holistic analysis of the organization's data.
  4. Granular access control and security: Superblocks prioritizes data security and provides granular access control mechanisms. Administrators can define user roles and permissions, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected and accessible only to authorized users to streamline usability and access. This means support teams can change a customer status in the database, upgrade subscriptions, and more without needing to involve an engineer.
  5. Extensive customization and extensibility: Superblocks offers extensive customization options, allowing users to build any number of applications on top their PostgreSQL databases and create adaptable GUIs and admin panels. The platform supports custom components, ability to infinitely extend with code by writing Python and NodeJS to customize logic, and integration with other tools and services, enabling organizations to expand the functionality of their PostgreSQL GUIs and adapt to evolving requirements.

The advantages of using Superblocks

Building a multi-source data dashboard: Superblocks enables organizations to create comprehensive dashboards that combine data from multiple sources, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, cloud platforms, monitoring tools, and more. With its drag-and-drop interface and powerful data visualizations, users can easily create interactive charts, graphs, and tables that provide a holistic view of their operations. With Superblocks, users are able to work across all of these sources rather than be limited to a single database when using traditional PostgreSQL GUIs. By integrating data from all of these sources, Superblocks empowers users to make data-driven decisions based on a complete picture of their business.

Creating custom workflows: Superblocks allows companies to streamline their business processes by creating applications with custom workflows. For example, an e-commerce company can create a custom application that integrates with Zendesk, Salesforce, and Snowflake to streamline order refunds, manage inventory, and track revenue. Superblocks also enables scheduled jobs, such as sending daily order data to a fulfillment center or resetting coupon codes weekly. Additionally, REST endpoints can be created to generate sales reports for finance teams, providing insights into different sales channels.

Enabling self-service data exploration for non-technical users: Superblocks empowers non-technical users, such as business analysts or product managers, to explore and analyze data independently without relying on engineering support. With its intuitive interface and drag-and-drop components, users can easily retrieve desired data and create interactive dashboards and reports without writing complex SQL queries. Superblocks' granular access control ensures that users have access only to relevant data, maintaining data security and privacy. By enabling self-service data exploration, Superblocks democratizes data access and promotes data-driven decision-making across the organization.

Conclusion

Choosing the right PostgreSQL GUI is crucial for organizations looking to unlock the full potential of their databases. While traditional tools like DBVisualizer, Navicat, Datagrip, or DBeaver offer reasonable capabilities, they may have limitations in terms of customization, scalability, and integration with other data sources.

By leveraging the capabilities of Superblocks, organizations can unlock the true potential of their PostgreSQL databases and build custom applications that drive business value with any data across the organization without limits.

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