In each successive release we have worked to add functionality to XNAT, inadvertently making the job of XNAT Administration more complex. In XNAT 1.7, we are hoping to combat that complexity by making XNAT easier to set up, and by bringing more control into the Admin UI.
With that said, however, there are some tasks related to administering your XNAT that still require access to the file system (such as adding pipelines and plugins), and still some reporting (such as complex data freezes) that can only be done with access to the PostgreSQL database.
With that in mind, there are multiple ways you can set up Admin Access in XNAT. You can create a user that has full access to your XNAT and all its data, or you can limit the powers of certain admin users by not granting project data access. Learn more about Admin UserRoles.
When your task necessitates working with the back end, it is helpful to know how XNAT and its components are organized. Learn more about the XNAT backend.