Full Toolbox: PostgreSQL comes with many GUI tools.
Red Hat 6.1, 6.2, 7.0
SuSE 6.4, 7.0
Caldera eServer 2.3
21 MB free space
Distribution-specific source code
Available separately (call for pricing)
How much would you expect to pay for an easy-to-install, full-featured SQL-compliant database? How about nothing? GreatBridge PostgreSQL is a great database package with all the bells and whistles that come in its high-priced brethren — but it’s open source.
Both RPMs and source code are available for download, as well as an ISO image that comes complete with an installer. The distribution-specific ISO images are about 42 MB compressed, so they won’t take long to download with a reasonably fast connection. Additionally, there is an option to sign up for a free GreatBridge PostgreSQL CD.
We installed GreatBridge PostgreSQL from the RPMs onto a SuSE 7.0 system. The installation was painless, and PostgreSQL was up and running in less than twenty minutes (not including the time it took to download the RPMs and read the install instructions).
Manuals and Tools
The accompanying documentation is complete and is available both online and in printable PDF format. There are three manuals available on the site: an Installation Guide, a User’s Guide, and a Reference Guide. Unless you’re already a PostgreSQL expert, you’ll probably need all three.
PostgreSQL also comes with a user-friendly GUI client called PgAccess. PgAccess is a full-featured Tcl/Tk client that makes it easier to work with the database by handling everything from creating databases to adding users to creating queries. PgAccess allows you to create Tcl/Tk forms for data entry.
If you’re more comfortable using SQL in a terminal environment, don’t worry. The psql program lets you interact with the database from a terminal-based front-end. We spent a little while with psql and decided that PgAccess is more fun. Hardcore SQL maniacs may prefer psql, but PgAccess spoiled us.
PostgreSQL supports both TCP/IP and SSL connections. The Postgres postmaster program has to be explicitly told to allow connections over TCP/IP, otherwise it assumes you only want to be able to connect through domain sockets from the local machine. The first time we started PostgreSQL, we neglected to set these options and had to kill and restart the postmaster program.
The only complaint we have about GreatBridge PostgreSQL is its lack of a distribution-agnostic download. While they do have tailored RPMs for the latest versions of the major RPM-based distros, if you’re using a distribution that doesn’t support RPMs, you may be out of luck. However, GreatBridge is only one of the organizations that works with PostgreSQL, so if you find yourself in this unlucky situation, you can still find vanilla source code for PostgreSQL elsewhere on the Internet.
GreatBridge doesn’t make its money selling licenses to PostgreSQL or even by selling the CDs. It does ask for a little personal information when you download documentation, but there’s no charge for the PostgreSQL software itself. Instead, the company has chosen to make its money from technical support, consulting, and other services.
GreatBridge PostgreSQL is a great package. If you’re looking for an SQL-compliant database for your Web site or any other project, you should download GreatBridge PostgreSQL and try it out. It won’t cost you a thing.
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