What Is PostgreSQL? Open Source Database System

PostgreSQL is expandable and versatile so it can quickly support a variety of specialized use cases with powerful extension ecosystem, which covers things from time-series data types to geospatial analytics. PostgreSQL has a robust concurrency management system with Multi-Version Concurrency Control, allowing multiple processes to access and modify shared data at the same time. SQL Server allows you to identify concurrency issues and long-running queries, but processes are often subject to locks, blocks, and deadlocks.

  • It has more than 15 years of active development and a proven architecture that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, data integrity, and correctness.
  • By 1993, the number of users began to overwhelm the project with requests for support and features.
  • PostgreSQL advertises itself as “the most advanced open-source relational database in the world.” There are a lot of benefits of using it.
  • The goal of the POSTGRES project was to add the minimal features needed to support multiple data types.
  • For database analysts, having the ability to collaborate on datasets and queries without having to rely on IT for access is an integral requirement.

Move legacy databases to PostgreSQL while consolidating license costs, retiring servers, and cleaning up database sprawl. This can remove vendor-lock in, decrease the total cost of ownership for the databases, and improve application portability. Explore all the features and benefits of using PostgreSQL, an advanced, open source database. Several companies are torn between the rise in appeal of open-source databases and the… You do not have to go through the delay and difficulties of hiring DevOps engineers who know how to stand up a high availability cluster.

Procedural languages

​According to Stack Overflow​, it’s the second most popular database among developers. With over 30 years of active development and the support of a dedicated open source community, PostgreSQL competes with top-ranked commercial https://globalcloudteam.com/ databases such as SQL Server and Oracle. PostgreSQL has become the preferred open source relational database of many organizations. Document-based databases process data as JSON-type documents and store them inside collections.

what is PostgreSQL

The new database creation of the user is done through template databases, which consist of the system catalog tables. PostgreSQL’s Foreign Data Wrappers and JSON support allow it to link with other data stores – including NoSQL types – and act as a federated hub for polyglot database systems. Heroku, a platform as a service provider, has supported PostgreSQL since the start in 2007. They offer value-add features like full database roll-back , which is based on WAL-E, open-source software developed by Heroku. Permissions can be granted or revoked on any object down to the column level, and can also allow/prevent the creation of new objects at the database, schema or table levels.

Millions of Happy Users

It uses and extends the SQL language with so many powerful and modern features. Although it is SQL compliant where many of the features required by the SQL standard are supported , there are some slight variations in syntax or function. PostgreSQL advertises itself as “the most advanced open-source relational database in the world.” There are a lot of benefits of using it. There are two client interfaces included in the base PostgreSQL distribution, libpq and ECPG. The graphical user interface tools of the RDBMS allow open-source database users to manage, manipulate, and visualize data.

what is PostgreSQL

Moreover, PostgreSQL is the default database for Apple’s macOS Server. The PostgreSQL community takes pride in releasing software that reliably stores your data. If you believe you’ve discovered a bug, please click the button below and follow the instructions on how to submit a bug. Some plugins can be used to clean the database of junky files on a monthly or weekly basis.

Language support

However, good database server security should always start at the network and server layer. PostgreSQL server administration is capable of many necessary optimization tasks. Database administration covers the essential activities, such as software installation, server set-up and configuration, users and databases management, and maintenance tasks. PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system with over 35 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. With PostgreSQL, you can even create an expression index, which works on the result of an expression or a function rather than just the value of a column. Partial indexing is also supported, wherein only a part of the table is indexed.

The project was originally named POSTGRES, in reference to the older Ingres database, also developed at Berkeley. POSTGRES aimed to add the fewest features needed to completely support multiple data types. In 1996, the project was renamed to PostgreSQL to illustrate its support for the SQL querying language . A dedicated and diverse community of contributors – the PostgreSQL Global Development Group – continues to make regular major and minor releases of the free and open source database project. Procedural languages allow developers to extend the database with custom subroutines , often called stored procedures. These functions can be used to build database triggers and custom data types and aggregate functions.

The goal of the POSTGRES project was to add the minimal features needed to support multiple data types. The POSTGRES project aimed at adding fewest features like the ability to define various data types and to fully describe relationships – something used widely, but maintained completely by the end-user. POSTGRES used various ideas of Ingres, but had its unique source code. PostgreSQL server is process-based , and uses one operating system process per database session. Multiple sessions are automatically spread across all available CPUs by the operating system. Many types of queries can also be parallelized across multiple background worker processes, taking advantage of multiple CPUs or cores.

Where you need stricter compliance, Heroku Shield​ delivers PostgreSQL with PCI and HIPAA compliance. The query flexibility of PostgreSQL makes it easier to dive deep into your data. Features, such as Foreign Data Wrappers, also let you query multiple PostgreSQL instances in a single query, bringing data together from across your organization.

PostgreSQL vs Other Database Management Systems

Popular GUI tools include pgAdmin, DBeaver, Navicat, DataGrip, and OmniDB. Since it is fully ACID compliant, it is an ideal choice for OLTP as these databases need to be written, read, and updated frequently, along with an emphasis on fast processing. It can be integrated with any software that carries out mathematical operations such as Matlab and R. The process of designing software so that it may be utilized in a range of regions is known as internationalization. It supports international character sets through multi-byte character encodings, ICU collations, Unicode, and it is locale-aware for sorting, formatting, and case sensitivity.

what is PostgreSQL

Further, there is redundancy and duplication of work, as different teams may be solving the same problem with it, independently. If the release team determines that a critical bug or security fix is simply too necessary to attend to the often regular minor release, then it may make a release available outside of the minor release roadmap. The thought behind MongoDB vs PostgreSQL keeping the name PostgreSQL is to maintain the legacy & honor the connection between the first POSTGRES and also the newer versions with SQL capabilities. Postgres95 was the second version and also the code was utterly ANSI C and cut in size by twenty-fifth. In 1994, two geniuses Andrew Yu and Jolly Chen added an SQL language interpreter to POSTGRES.

It supports procedural languages, such as PL/pgSQL, PL/Python, PL/Tcl, and PL/Perl, as well as other non-standard procedural languages, such as Java, .Net, Go, Ruby, C, C++, ODBC, and others. PostgreSQL is an open-source and free relational database management system that focuses on SQL compliance and extensibility. Riding on the back of 30+ years of active development, PostgreSQL is one of the most widely used open-source database tools across the globe. PostgreSQL supports Unicode, international character sets, multi-byte character encodings, and it is locale-aware for sorting, case-sensitivity, and formatting.


PostgreSQL contains a broader set of features that can handle complex queries against a high volume of data. MySQL is a fast, reliable, and performant database with an easy setup. As we saw in the previous section, PostgreSQL is the second most popular database among developers, and the competition is fierce.

Diagnosing and Repairing Your Database

PostgreSQL is highly scalable — in the number of concurrent users, it can accommodate as well as the quantity of data it can manage. Furthermore, PostgreSQL is cross-platform and can run on many operating systems including Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, and Solaris. Despite the benefits, there are challenges that enterprises shall be faced with when it comes to PostgreSQL adoption. PostgreSQL has one of the fastest-growing communities but unlike traditional database vendors, the PostgreSQL community does not have the luxury of a mature database ecosystem.

PostgreSQL: The World’s Most Advanced Open Source Relational Database

For a broader look at the state of databases today, see “A Brief Overview of the Database Landscape.” We handle 75-80% of the U.S. homeless management information systems requirements…and PostgreSQL has been a real asset to us. “By default, PostgreSQL is probably the most security-aware database available …” Good software with good services makes us very satisfied with our choice of PostgreSQL and free software. We also have many mailing lists where you can connect and participate in the community. There are also many events and local user groups where you can connect with other PostgreSQL users.

PostgreSQL is the world’s most advanced enterprise-class open source database management system that is developed by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. It is a powerful and highly-extensible object-relational SQL database system popular for its reliability, feature robustness, and high performance. It is known to be highly scalable both in the amount of data it can store and manage and in the number of concurrent users it can accommodate. PostgreSQL can link to other systems to retrieve data via foreign data wrappers .These can take the form of any data source, such as a file system, another relational database management system , or a web service.

In POSTGRES, the database understood relationships, and could retrieve information in related tables in a natural way using rules. After more than two decades, PostgreSQL continues to be one of the most well-known and supported relational databases available. As such, PostgreSQL offers a number of benefits to developers looking to create highly scalable computing environments across their on-premise and cloud-based infrastructures.

In practice, this means that reads don’t block writes and writes don’t block reads. PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system that is known for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. PostgreSQL is becoming the preferred database for more and more enterprises.

As we have seen in the previous sections, PostgreSQL is a robust database that has been around for quite some time. When comparing to the databases we have seen before, MongoDB is the most different one. PostgreSQL has a vast community behind it based on its open-source nature. Oracle is a proprietary system, and its evolution and support are directly connected to the Oracle Corporation roadmap. In order to manage your mailing list subscription, you need a PostgreSQL community account.

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