What Is PostgreSQL? Definition, Benefits, Alternatives

MySQL is weak on complex queries, the query optimizer is not mature enough, and explain looks at the results of execution plans simply. Performance optimization tools and metric information are insufficient. PostgREST can easily provide a full RESTful API service for any PostgreSQL database. Jsonb and json look almost the same at a higher level, but are different in their store implementations. MySQL is backed by a well-established commercial company, while PostgreSQL is backed by a large volunteer development group. This makes MySQL’s development process more deliberate, while PostgreSQL is more responsive.

  • This is an object-relational database management system, And it uses SQL (Structured query language) as its primary query language.
  • A session can issue a NOTIFY command, along with the user-specified channel and an optional payload, to mark a particular event occurring.
  • The project was originally named POSTGRES, in reference to the older Ingres database which also developed at Berkeley.
  • The Postgre structured query language has many features that we could find in other databases.
  • 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 not only holds an increased amount of information in its catalogs but also details on the data types, access methods, functions, and so on.

Looking at the results for Stack Overflow’s 2020 survey for most popular databases among all respondents, we can see that PostgreSQL is the second most popular database right behind MySQL. This ranking reflects data that is collected directly from all surveyors. PostgreSQL allows these languages to be integrated using a handler built with the C language responsible for making the bridge between the user-defined function and PostgreSQL core. Since then, the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, a dedicated community of contributors continues to make the releases of the open-source and free database project. In this article, we covered some of the salient features of PostgreSQL, PostgreSQL’s architecture, its use cases, benefits, operational challenges, and key alternatives. We wrapped it up with a few recommended practices to keep your WordPress database in peak condition while you continue to scale up.


PostgreSQL can be downloaded and installed using installers or ready-to-use software bundles for various OS flavors from the PostgreSQL website, or often found packaged for specific operating systems. At the time I am writing this, the latest available version of PostgreSQL on my version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is 12.5. Innodb’s rollback segment-based implementation of the MVCC mechanism is superior to PG’s XID-based MVCC mechanism that stores old and new data together.
What is PostgreSQL used for
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. Oracle is a proprietary database and one of the most adopted relational database management systems. It’s been around since 1979, but its popularity has been decreasing, as we can see in the previous section, where it ranks in the 8th position in the developer’s preferences, way behind PostgreSQL. The decrease in popularity can be connected to the increasing adoption of open-source databases like PostgreSQL by developers and businesses due to their robustness and low costs. The new feature would allow the definition of data types, and once defined, POSTGRES would entirely manage all the types and respective relationships.
PostgreSQL is a highly stable database backed by more than 20 years of development by the open-source community. Write operations in PostgreSQL can be performed concurrently without the need for read/write locks. Indexes are used to speed up queries when dealing with large amounts of data, which allows databases to find a specific row without having to cycle through all of the data. Table inheritance is another feature supported by PostgreSQL due to its object-oriented characteristics.

Diagnosing and Repairing Your Database

The licensing can be expensive, and innovation can be limited or squelched. Now, let’s go deeper — and get to the enterprise, production-ready solutions. To fully answer the question — and to make the information relevant and solution-focused for enterprise businesses and organizations — we’ll also ask and answer a couple more.
What is PostgreSQL used for
Unlike jsonb, which is stored in binary format and does not guarantee the order of the keys. So if you have software that relies on the order of the keys, https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ jsonb may not be the best choice for your application. The advantage of using jsonb is that you can easily integrate relational and non-relational data.

Advantages of PostgreSQL over MySQL

It’s not going to be a fit for every project, just like RDBMS aren’t typically the right choice for horizontal scaling. When thinking about a supply chain that can cross the globe carrying goods, keeping track of the data involved in that supply chain is a massive effort. Like we have seen before, PostgreSQL databases can grow in size and handle a high amount of transactions while maintaining data integrity. This is a crucial feature for a reliable supply chain where the type of stored data can go from product catalog to GPS coordinates of the trucks making the deliveries, passing by the product prices and payment registries. In 1985, Michael Stonebraker returned to Berkeley to start a new project that would address the challenges related to the database systems at the time. The new project was called POSTGRES, and it aimed to support data types.

The following sections will cover some of the most common applications of PostgreSQL in the modern world. There are a few key features of the PostgreSQL database that makes it unique and widely favored when compared to other databases. Currently, it’s the second-most used database, only falling behind MySQL. They often consist of a universal core that is adapted for various specific database products. These tools mostly share the administration features with the open source tools but offer improvements in data modeling, importing, exporting or reporting. There are numerous ways to install PostgreSQL, and which one is most appropriate for your situation will depend on your environment and specific needs.

This RDBMS also has special features intended to help build high-performance systems. Thus, PostgreSQL can scale from one computer to thousands of computers in an enterprise deployment. There’s no doubt PostgreSQL provides a solid foundation for innovative development. But unfortunately, in its vanilla form, PostgreSQL does not have all the components needed to create large-scale, complex systems and applications that meet the needs of enterprise businesses and organizations.

postgresql performance solutions

It’s primarily used to store data for many mobile, web, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL is the leading open-source database system and powers thousands of websites, services and applications. In other words, it offers atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability features. PostgreSQL’s advanced features include stored procedures, triggers, user-defined functions, transactions and replication. Postgre Structured query language is one system that implemented multi-version concurrency control (MVCC).
What is PostgreSQL used for
This makes PostgreSQL extremely efficient when running deep, extensive data analysis across multiple data types. Expert developers and commercial enterprises who understand the limitations of traditional database systems heavily support PostgreSQL. They work diligently to provide a battle-tested, best-of-breed relational database management system. PostgreSQL runs on all major operating systems, has been ACID-compliant since 2001, and has powerful add-ons such as the popular PostGIS geospatial database extender. It is no surprise that PostgreSQL has become the open source relational database of choice for many people and organisations.
PostgreSQL is a fault-tolerant database thanks to its write-ahead logging. You can query 70 external data sources (including Mysql, Oracle, CSV, hadoop …) as if they were tables in your own database. PostgreSQL is highly extensible as its operation is catalog-driven, i.e. information is stored in databases, columns, tables, etc.
He won the Turing Award in 2014 for these and other projects,[21] and techniques pioneered in them. PostgreSQL has a hidden optimistic lock version field in the column, and the default repeatable read level can guarantee the correctness of concurrent updates with the performance of optimistic locking. This generally requires that the primary key should not be too long and the primary key should preferably be incremented sequentially when inserting, otherwise it has a big impact on performance. In addition to storing normal data types, it also supports storing. Transactionality is a crucial feature for any application working in the financial sector.
The project was originally named POSTGRES, in reference to the older Ingres database which also developed at Berkeley. The goal of the POSTGRES project was to add the minimal features needed to support multiple data types. PostgreSQL is an open-source and free relational database management system that focuses on SQL compliance and extensibility.