PostgreSQL is an outstanding open source object-relational database application started in the late 1980s at the University of California at Berkley (UCB). At the time Mike Stonebraker, a computer scientist at UCB, and his team decided to break new ground to design the data store of the future by exploring the concept of “object relational” technologies. After many years the current PostgreSQL has evolved to a robust object relational database system.
During the last 15 years it has earned a reputation for reliability, data integrity and functionality used on most major operating systems.
The following are four reasons that PostgreSQL is arguably the most advanced open source object-relational database:
- Open Source Community
PostgreSQL is open source and follows open source community guidelines allowing various programming pioneers to examine the code, fix the little bugs, and, while in the process, add new features. The project policies allowing this growth, state:
- This is a collaborative effort; it is a community where everyone benefits, especially when new people and ideas are contributed.
- All contributors get credited, so efforts are rewarded.
- Contributors can also answer users questions that encourage new users to ask questions and report any problems.
The PostgreSQL system is reliable, robust and has very few bugs or security flaws. It is through strong collaborative support that it has acquired a reputation as a reliable and efficient database; its once a year updates keep it functioning seamlessly. For programmers PostgreSQL just works. It is transactional and optimized for anything between 1 byte and 1 gigabyte. You don’t need to use a different data type for the size column you are using as you do with other database systems.
PostgreSQL has more than a few advanced features that also draw developer use. These coupled with the advanced built in optimizer keeps developers using the system. The following are the features PostgreSQL is best known for:
- Array types that are indexable and work well.
- Server-side programming languages like PL/pgSQL and options that allow you to write procedures in java, tcl, R Perl, Python, Ruby, etc.
- Extensible operators that allow for text research, additionally programmers have access to GIS systems and other data types
- Windowed aggregate queries, plugins, and recursive queries are also fully supported.
PostgreSQL is completely open source, meaning it is free and yet also offers excellent updated versions and follows SQL standards, so you can reuse skills from other databases. Additionally, it has a low DBA overhead, with many people having said they use it and don’t have to think about fixing it for years.
The Bottom Line
PostgreSQL has always been a favorite of those who come from a database background. For the average user, PostgreSQL may be an unknown system, simply because it hasn’t undergone the strong marketing other systems have. But experienced database programmers know that PostgreSQL and MySQL are very different from each other. They differ in everything from code quality, code license, features, typical use and even in organization features.
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