As I’ve been working more with PostgreSQL, I’ve found that I’m basically pretty happy just issuing SQL commands to get work done. However, it’s handy to have an actual programming environment to work from. A few reasons for this. First, and probably most important, a good programming environment has easy connections to source control. Also, you’ll get, hopefully, some help with type-ahead for the code you’re writing. Finally, having a visual of the stuff in your database can be handy while working on it, so a GUI is nice.
I use Azure Data Studio for most of my PostgreSQL work.
Azure Data Studio and PostgreSQL
I’m not sure exactly when support for PostgreSQL was added. The two years I’ve been poking around with PostgreSQL, Azure Data Studio (ADS) has supported it the whole time.
First up, I love the easy integration that Azure Data Studio has with source control. Because of my job, I work with several different source control systems, from Github, to Azure DevOps to AWS Developer Tools. I need my development environment to connect to all of them and still function. Azure Data Studio does this.
Next, while the type-ahead/code completion with ADS isn’t the greatest, it actually works. ADS knows PostgreSQL syntax. I went to create a login (role) in PostgreSQL the other day and I realized, as I was typing, that ADS was helping me with the syntax. Huge win.
Finally, here’s a database I’ve been working on within the ADS GUI:
A lot of the basics are well covered using ADS.
I connect up from ADS to PostgreSQL databases running locally on my machine, containers running locally, AWS RDS, Azure Database, GCP and AWS Aurora. It just worked with all of them, equally well (best of all with Azure though, hardly a shock).
It doesn’t do everything I’d like. I wish it could generate scripts from the objects in the GUI. The option is there, but I get an error when I try it. It’d also be nice to see permissions on users & roles. In general an expansion on what it shows through the GUI would be nice.
If you’re just getting started in PostgreSQL, especially if you’re expanding there from SQL Server, Azure Data Studio is a great tool to help you on your way. Sure, more even more functionality would be great. However, I really do get the core of what I need for the kind of development work and testing I’m currently doing within PostgreSQL. Maybe if I get really advanced in the future, ADS won’t support me as well. However, that assumes it doesn’t grow and expand, which I fully expect it to do. I’d suggest you check it out.