How to Prepare your PostgreSQL Database Server for The PlanMinder

How to Prepare your PostgreSQL Database Server for The PlanMinder

These instructions assumes that you have a PostgreSQL server to use for The PlanMinder. If not, go to postgresql.org to find software and instructions. The procedure is different for different operating systems and server setups, so we are not going to try to keep up with all variations here. There are instructions on postgresql.org, and many tutorials to google on the internet.

If you have set up a new server you must also make it accessible to those who are going to use The PlanMinder.

Installing PostgreSQL on our own computer

You can install PostgreSQL on your own computer just to test it out, and to try The PlanMinder. It may also be something you want to do to get the tools used to administrate a remote PostgreSQL server.

This guide assumes that you can use the pgAdmin 4 tool.

In windows, after the PostgreSQL installation has finished, you start pgAdmin 4 by typing it in the windows search field.

When you start pgAdmin 4 it will launch a web page. Clicking on Servers will let you connect to a local or remote server using the superuser password.

Step One: Create an Administrative User Account

You need a user on the server that owns and has administrative powers over the database used for The PlanMinder. Create a new user by right-clicking on the server and selecting Create and Login/Group Role …

Give that user a name (in the General Tab). Switch to the Definition tab and set a password for the user.

In the Privileges tab you decide what this user can do. It must have the privileges to log in and Create roles. You could also give this user privileges to make backups, but it is not required.

Then you can click save to create your service user for The PlanMinder.

Step Two: Create a Database

Next step is to create a database to use with The PlanMinder. (Right-click on the server and select Create and Server.)

The database name is shown in the title bar, so you should choose a meaningful name, like the name of your organization.

Set the service user you just created as owner. Then Click Save.

Your PostgreSQL server is now prepared.

Step Three: Launch The PlanMinder

Start The PlanMinder. On the login screen, enter the address to the server, the port number and the name of the database you created.

Click on the Service Login tab, and make sure that it becomes marked.

Enter the username and the password for the service user you just created. Then click Login.

If the login succeeds you will be asked if you want to create database tables for The PlanMinder.

You do, so click yes. The PlanMinder will populate the database with tables, and you will be logged in to a fresh instance of The PlanMinder.

It will be quite empty in there when you start, but before you start setting up The PlanMinder you should create a user. Go to the settings page, and select the Users Tab.

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.

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 the IT administrator, Administrator will be enough.

The Service user is used only for specific service tasks. If the database tables needs to be changed or expanded after a software upgrade, the Service user is required to allow The PlanMinder to do that.

Exit The PlanMinder and login as your new user. The PlanMinder will remember your last login (if the remember me checkbox is checked), but you need to click on the User Login tab, and change the user name to your new user.

When You log in you may notice a warning triangle on the home page. It signals that The PlanMinder needs to be registered. Click on it or 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. After that you can go to the License Key tab and click Download Keys to get your 60 day trial license.

For guidance on how to continue configuring your The PlanMinder instance, follow this guide …

Other considerations

Co-hosting with other databases

Can you have The PlanMinder on a server that contains other databases? Yes you can, but there is one thing regarding users you should consider before deciding to do so.

All users that can log in to The PlanMinder also has a corresponding user on the database server. Users belongs to the server, and not to the database, and that is important when it comes to backups. If you restore a database backup where users and roles does not match up with the users and roles on the server, there will be some problems. They can be managed manually, but it is a hassle.

Backing up the whole server maintains consistency between the database and the users and roles, but it affects all databases on the server. This may not be a problem, but it is something to consider.

Backups

You should consider how you will be handling backups of the database. You can do it manually using the pgAdmin 4, but you should probably consider doing something better than that.

As mentioned above, users exists on a server level and not in the database itself, but the database assumes that they exists. If there is a mismatch there will be trouble, so consider making server level backups.

Security

The PlanMinder accesses the database as a user corresponding to the user defined in The PlanMinder. This means that The PlanMinder relies on PostgreSQL security to protect your data. If you can limit access to the server with firewall rules, that will improve your security and protect you from brute force and denial of service attacks.

You should also keep up to date with security news from PostgreSQL, and keep your server up to date if there are new security related releases.

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