CSCI 4380 Database Server

Welcome to the class database server hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud services. The server is accessible from a phpPgAdmin interface and can be accessed at:

See also The PostgreSQL documentation. The PhpPgAdmin web site.

Database concepts

You will be using PostgreSQL 9.3 database with the phpPgAdmin interface. The server installation you will be using is called PostgreSQL as well, that is the name of the machine.

PhpPgAdmin is written in PHP and supports SQL as well as web based interfaces to the database. You are welcome to use whatever works for you, but I will only concentrate on the SQL interface.

PostgreSQL introduces a number of basic concepts:

  • Server: the instance of the DBMS running on a specific machine.
  • User or role: an account on the server usually given by a username and password. Some roles may not be able to login to the server, but users always can.
  • Database: a specific filesystem created at the server. Tables are created in a specific database. Generally a user or role can access any number of databases as long as they possess the specific access privileges.
  • Schema: a namespace that is created within the database. Table names are assumed to be unique within the schema. All servers generally have a schema called Public which is the default schema. If the schema is Public, schema name does not need to be provided in the queries.

The current setup

All the students are given a username and a password. Later in the semester, we will also give each student a database. Everybody is assumed to use the public schema. You can change your own password by using the following command at the SQL prompt:

ALTER USER username PASSWORD 'password' ;

Once you change the password, you should logout and log back in to have full access to the system.

We will create a number of public databases for querying and homeworks throughout the semester. All students should be able to query tables in these databases, but not create their own tables. We will create your own database for this purpose later in the semester. Tables in your own database should be visible on to you unless you explicitly give access to specific users.

Working with the server

The main mode of working with the class db server is through the SQL interface. To access this do the following.

  • First login to the server by clicking:

    SERVERS -> PostgreSQL

    menu item on the left side menu, and entering your username and password.

  • Next, choose a database to work with either from the left side menu or the list in the main screen. By default this will be your own database or the class database is there is one.

  • Finally, choose SQL tab from the top right menu. You can enter SQL directly here or enter commands in a file and upload it here.

    Remember, regardless of how you input your commands, ALL SQL COMMANDS MUST END WITH A ;.

  • You can also view various objects in your database using the interface provided by phppgadmin. You can list your tables, views, functions, etc. by navigating from the left side menu.

  • Also, click on Servers -> PostgreSQL, and then choose tab Account from top. You can see your account and change password.