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pgCenter – stress free Postgres stats.

pgCenter has seen a new release with several significant changes.

If you used pgCenter before, you might have noticed that I stopped issuing updates for a while. This is because I was working on this new release with several new features and overall improvements that will make the use of the tool easier and will allow additional functionality to make your life easier when working with Postgres stats.

This new version has been completely rewritten using Golang.
Why Go? To me, Golang is much simpler than pure C, but, at the same time, it is an amazing and powerful language. I had a few requests that I was aiming to address in this release and frankly, it was much easier to implement these using Golang.With this release pgCenter became quite comprehensive toolbox for working with Postgres stats.In this 0.5.0 version I’ve added two new key tools – for recording stats into history files and building reports based on those files. People who are familiar with pgCenter, often asked me about these features, and now they are available and ready to use.

Additional features
There are also a few additional minor changes that were made in this version of pgCenter:

  • pgCenter’s functionality is now split into subcommands and looks like Git or Perf style. pgCenter obtained new functions that have different aims and distributed across several sub-commands with different execution options and parameters.
  • pgCenter uses lib/pq library for handling the connections to Postgres, and one of the advantages is the built-in support of .pgpass file and environment variables. And the cherry on the cake is that you can override connections settings using PGOPTIONS variable.

pgCenter top changes
As mentioned earlier, pgCenter split into several sub-commands, the “top” is now a dedicated sub-command, so in a new version it has seen some improvements:

  • Activity statistics are shown by default. In previous versions, database statistics were default, but majority of pgCenter users often switched to activity stats, so in this version activity stats are the default.
  • Activity shows background processes. Recent Postgres versions tend to show background processes in pg_stat_activity, I implemented this change in pgCenter to reflect these
  • Ability to hide/show idle activity (hidden option). You can now see all the activity including idle connections.
  • Show recovery status in Postgres summary, that may be useful in case of streaming replication.
  • Some hotkeys have been changed, for example, for filtering, iostat and nicstat.
  • Tables and tables IO stats merged into one single view and you can now use single hotkey for watching tables statistics.
  • Filtering now supports regexps and it’s quite amazing, because it allows to set advanced filtering options.

Dropped features
When one writes an update there is always a matter of prioritisation but also deprioritization, so a few features that pgCenter had in the past have been dropped. The main reason for this is that they were unclaimed, so if you used pgCenter before you might not even notice that they are missing.

  • Tab support.
  • Colors support.
  • .pgcenterrc support is dropped, because there are no tabs hence no need to store connections settings because they can be stored in .pgpass which is well supported by lib/pq driver.

Some users may ask, but what about old, C pgcenter? Well, it still exists, but it has been tagged in repo (pgcenter-c) and won’t be updated anymore. If you prefer using it, you can certainly do so.

I hope you enjoy this new and updated version of pgCenter as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Comments, suggestions and any feedback is appreciated, so dive in!If you are going to PostgreSQL Conference Europe 2018 I will be there too and will gladly discuss any new ideas and hear about your experience working with pgCenter!

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