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Transactions are only useful when you actually use them, otherwise it's too late when you realize you've forgotten the WHERE clause and would really, really like to be able to roll back the changes - as Robert Treat found out recently.

If you're lucky conventional backups or PITR will help you avoid total disaster, but apart from the delay in extracting the necessary data from the backups and reading it in, Murphy's Law dicates that exactly the data you need won't be in the backup. Far better is to remember to start a transaction in the first place, putting recovery a blood-pressure friendly ROLLBACK away. psql has two surprisingly little-used functions which help ensure you're inside a transaction when you need to be.

Posted at 2006-04-26 08:51:00

2006-04-22 20:23:00

PostgreSQL | Installing phpPgAdmin

phpPgAdmin Screenshot
phpPgAdmin in action
phpPgAdmin is PostgreSQL's answer to the ever-popular phpMyAdmin. It's a PHP-based web-frontend for administering PostgreSQL databases - a serverside equivalent of pgAdmin III if you like.

Installation is very simple. The basic requirements are a PHP-enabled webserver, typically Apache, with PHP 4.1 or later, and access to a PostgreSQL server. In the following description I'm assuming a UNIXoid environment such as Linux or OS/X.

Posted at 2006-04-22 20:23:00

According to this post by Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly books fame, the market for PostgreSQL books is "up 84% over a year ago", at least in the US market. This is based on data for the entire market, not just O'Reilly publications (see an earlier post for more information on the methodology; sadly O'Reilly analyzed the data with MySQL). With more and more books such as Beginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8 appearing, this is not surprising, and a further sign that PostgreSQL is gaining much-deserved mind-share.

Posted at 2006-04-22 01:18:00

As a followup to this interview with Robert Treat and Jason Gilmore (authors of the recently published bookBeginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8), TechTarget has posted some comments from Oracle DBAs reacting to comparisions made in that interview between PostgreSQL and Oracle.

Most comments are quite favourable towards PostgreSQL, though evidently there's still a knowledge gap that needs to be bridged:

Allen was unimpressed by the fact that in PostgreSQL, stored procedure parameters are not typed. "Everything is passed as strings, even integer arrays," he said.

And one comment in the interview's feedback section is from someone who obviously doesn't know what he / she is talking about.

Slashdot has also picked up the story.

Posted at 2006-04-06 23:34:00

Beginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8 Jason Gilmore and Robert Treat kindly sent me a copy of their latest book "Beginning PHP and PostgreSQL 8: From Novice to Professional" (pictured on the right, though if you're reading this via a feed the image won't be visible). Unfortunately I haven't had time to go through it in depth yet; a detailed review will follow ASAP. (I'm in the middle of a PHP-based project, and as a non-PHP-specialist it looks like I'll be able to give it a proper "road test").

More information is available on the Apress website.

Posted at 2006-04-03 10:00:00

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