DigitalOcean 1-Click virtual server

Step by step guide to set up a PostgreSQL server for The PlanMinder

If you do not have a server to run a PostgreSQL database on, or just want a simple way to get started, a DigitalOcean Droplet is a great way to go.

A droplet is a cloud based virtual server. On the DigitalOcean marketplace you will find a 1-Click application called ThePlanMinder PostgreSQL. It enables you to have a server up and running in a few minutes.

DigitalOcean https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Database-postgres.svg

1. Sign up with DigitalOcean

You must first sign up with DigitalOcean (which includes registering a payment method, i.e. a credit card). Note that Auspicia and The PlanMinder are not affiliated with DigitalOcean, and this is a business transaction between you and DigitalOcean.

Running a droplet costs (at the time of writing) $5 / month, and a little extra for automatic backups. If you sign up with the referral code below DigitalOcean will let you try for free for two months (more precisely, at the time of writing, you get $100 to spend in two months. Check current detailed conditions when you sign up).

https://m.do.co/c/6244be190a6f

This matches the 60 day trial period of The PlanMinder, giving you plenty of time to evaluate before paying anything.

DigitalOcean Referral Badge

Click to sign up.

Create a droplet

2. Go to the 1-Click application at

https://marketplace.digitalocean.com/apps/theplanminder-postgresql

and click “Create ThePlanMinder PostgreSQL Droplet”.

3. Select the Basic plan, and the cheapest 1 GB / 1 CPU option.

4. Chose a data centre region close to you.

5. Create a root password. Make it secure, and remember it.

6. Optionally, check the Enable Backups option. This is the simplest way to have automatic backups of your server.

7. Click “Create Droplet” and wait for the droplet to be created.

DigitalOcean choose a plan

Set up the server

8. Click on the droplet row to see details.

9. Click on the “Console” link. This will open a new browser window with a console interface. You will automatically be logged in as root.

10. Type

bash create_db.sh

and press enter

11. The script asks you to enter a username. This is the user name for the database administrator, called service login in The PlanMinder. Use only lowercase letters.

12. The script asks you to enter a password for the service login, and then to repeat it. Make sure you select a secure password, and that you remember it.

13. Enter a name for your database. This name will be visible in the application.

14. The script creates the database and displays connection information. You can copy the connection string from the terminal. Mark the string, right click and select Copy. Then click the paste button on the login screen and verify that the information is correct. (Ctrl - v will not work.)

Droplet terminal

Prepare the database

15. Start The PlanMinder, select the Service Login tab, and enter the connection information. If you have copied the connection string, you can click on the paste button to copy all the information to The PlanMinder. You always need to enter the password manually.

Then click Login.

If things are working, The PlanMinder will connect to the database, and will ask you if you want to create PlanMinder tables on the server. Click yes, and moments later, you will be logged in to your new The PlanMinder database.

16. The PlanMinder will be quite empty when you first enter. The first thing to do before starting to make plans is to create a user.

Go to the settings page, and select the Users tab.

settings tab icon

17. Click the New User button and create a user for yourself.

Username is the name you use when you log in. Pair it up with a strong password.

18. Fill out the other fields and when you come to the checkboxes, make sure that the Administrator checkbox is checked. If you are going to use The PlanMinder you should also probably check Developer, Manager and Regular. If you are setting this up for others as an IT administrator, Administrator will be enough. Click OK to create the user.

19. Click on the “Copy Login link to clipboard” button.

settings tab icon

20. Now you can close The PlanMinder, restart it and log in with your new user. Click on the connection drop down to reveal server settings, and click the paste button to enter your new user information. Then enter password and log in.

If you enter settings manually, The PlanMinder will remember the server settings, but you have to change the tab to User Login, and enter your new user name and password.

You can close the terminal window now.

Login window

Congratulations!

You can now start working with The PlanMinder. The database is ready, but you must also register it.

Go to the Settings / Registration tab and register your database. Fill in the form, click Register, and enter a password when prompted. You will get a confirmation email, and must click the link in the email to confirm your registration.

When confirmed you can go to the License Key tab and click Download Keys to get your 60 day trial license.

Next you may want to configure The PlanMinder to suit the needs of your team. You can read the guide Setting up The PlanMinder for Your Organization.

Register your database.

Extra security

The droplet is set up with firewall rules that only opens necessary ports. It also has fail2ban configured to make brute force attacks more difficult, and has unattended upgrades active.

If you will only use The PlanMinder from within your own network, or other known IP-adresses, you can further increase security by limiting access by configuring firewall rules.

You find firewall settings under Networking in DigitalOcean´s user interface. And DigitalOcean has as always good guides for how to use their features.

If you plan to use The PlanMinder on mobile devices with The PlanMinder Online service, you must allow access to that server too. Contact theplanminder@auspicia.se to get the IP-number it uses.

DigitalOcean firewall