Top pgAdmin Alternatives 2023
Postgres is one of the most advanced open-source relational databases on the market. While you can leverage Postgres' powerful capabilities without a GUI, having one is gonna take your experience working with Postgres to the next level.
If you happen to work only with Postgres, pgAdmin is your go-to. It is free and open-source (just like Postgres itself). As pgAdmin is a web app, it can only interact with the local filesystem in ways that are allowed by modern web browsers, but this does mean that it works on Linux, macOS, and Windows.
But - if Postgres is not the only database you work with, you need to look elsewhere. This article highlights six database GUI alternatives for pgAdmin.
DBeaver is a universal database tool that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It offers both open-source (free) and commercial products (subscription-based). The open-source version provides essential support for relational databases such as MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.; while the commercial one offers further support for NoSQL and cloud databases.
Navicat is another long-established database GUI tool, which supports a long list of databases. It is a great single-user SQL client that works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, it has a serious limitation in multi-user scenarios where team collaboration and centralized control are needed. Navicat is not open-source, nor does it offer a free version, it operates on a subscription-based model with a 14-day trial.
TablePlus is a modern, lightweight, and intuitive database management tool fit for macOS, Windows, Linux, and even iOS. It offers a simple and streamlined interface for managing various relational and a few NoSQL databases.
Currently, TablePlus offers two plans: a free tier with no trial time (but with limited features) and a paid subscription plan that provides extended features.
TablePlus is not open-source, but the team's side product is - DBngin, which can spin up a local Postgres, MySQL or Redis on your Mac, it can then be connected to TablePlus to visually manage your databases.
DataGrip is a database IDE by JetBrains for macOS, Windows, and Linux. It provides complete support for the most popular databases like Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB, etc., and basic support with limited features for database vendors including DuckDB, Elasticsearch, SingleStore, etc. It is not open-source and operates on a commercial licensing model (but offers a 30-day trial period).
DataGrip excels in providing a powerful IDE for database development and administration: it has an intelligent SQL editor, data compare to view schema diff, and VCS support for GitHub.
DataGrip is part of the JetBrains ecosystem, offering integration with other JetBrains tools and frameworks and users have a consistent experience with other JetBrains IDEs. So it's perfect if you prefer a dedicated IDE with comprehensive database management features.
Beekeeper Studio is a modern and lightweight SQL client that supports Postgres, MySQL, SQLite, SQL Server, CockroachDB, among others. And it runs on Windows, macOS (M1 and Intel), and Linux.
It offers two editions: the open-source community version, which is free to use; and the full version with all the features (along with a 14-day free trial).
The sleek and minimalistic UI comes from the frustration that other open-source SQL editors and database management tools added so many features that the UI becomes cluttered and hard to navigate. And Beekeeper Studio is created - one that's simple yet feature-rich with all the necessities, but also easy to use.
DbVisualizer supports a long list of databases including Postgres, MySQL, Oracle, ClickHouse, MongoDB, SQLite, SAP, and more. It is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix platforms.
You can use DbVisualizer for free, or unlock all features by purchasing a license-based subscription (the more users, the more licenses you will need).
Postico is a Mac-only app for Postgres databases (and some compatible databases including Amazon Redshift, CockroachDB, Greenplum, and others).
One thing to note though, Postico is not (yet) capable of tasks such as backup and restore, user and permission management, or database monitoring. Postico is probably not your best option if you have database administration needs. However, if you are a data analyst who uses Mac, this is the tool for you.
The person behind Postico also built postgres.app, which starts a Postgres server on your Mac.
The best-fit tool depends greatly on your level of familiarity with PostgreSQL, and what you need to accomplish in the tool/GUI.
If you have multiple different databases at your organization and are looking for a universal tool that can handle them all while covering database change, query, security, and governance all in one, please check out Bytebase. Aside from the visual SQL Editor integrated with access control and data masking, it also provides a customizable change workflow to fit your data/database change requirements.
There are many tools out there, but at the end of the day, they are all different (albeit slightly) and have different focuses on the problem they are trying to solve. The choice of which one to go for eventually comes down to you and your organization. Below is a summary for the aforementioned tools:
|Open Source||Free version||Paid version||Audience||Strength|
|pgAdmin||✅||✅||❌||Individual and teams||Built for Postgres|
|TablePlus||❌||✅||✅||Individual||Native and intuitive interface|
|DataGrip||❌||❌||✅||Individual||Intuitive UX and integraiton with other JetBrains IDEs|
|Beekeeper Studio||✅||✅||✅||Individual||Mordern and sleek interface|
|DbVisualizer||✅||✅||✅||Individual||Comprehensive with good visualization|
|Postico||❌||❌||✅||Individual||Mac-native, streamlined UI|
|Bytebase||✅||✅||✅||Entire engineering org for developer, DBA and data team||Centralized access control, data masking, change review workflow|