After completely failing to get postgres spanner setup I thought I’d compare how easy other platforms made it.

Some ground rules, I don’t include the time it takes to signup and login, and just getting a connection string isn’t enough, I have to be able to run a select 1;.

Also I recorded videos for all of these setups but they were boring so I didn’t include them.

name time (sec) time (mins) notes
Neon 9 < 1 Although I couldn’t use table plus with the provided connection string, had to use psql $connection-string
Heroku Postgres 26 < 1  
Render Postgres 57 < 1  
Planetscale 103 2  
Cockroach DB 162 3 Couldn’t get TablePlus to work with their encryption stuff, used psql instead
Supabase 171 3  
DigitalOcean Postgres 242 4  
Mongo 277 5 TablePlus didn’t work so ended up having to download mongosh
Crunchydata Postgres 600 10  
Yugabyte 719 12  
Google Cloud Postgres 765 13 A little trouble exposing the instance to the world, but got there.
Amazon RDS 1973 33 Spent a ton of time messing with security groups and database visibility settings to actually connect to the database.
Cloud Spanner Postgres DNF DNF Gave up after 1 hour of trying. Running the postgres java converter thing was annoying but auth was a complete nightmare.


Some providers make auth setup way harder than it needs to be.

Lots of UIs made it difficult to copy the connection string text from the UI due to text selection issues.

Other sites only had bits and pieces of the connection params, so you have to play detective.

And finally, if you have a “setting up your database” status message in your UI, I shouldn’t refresh the page to see the database is ready and that the polling interval was too infrequent to notice.

Overall, there are a lot of easy to use offerings available!