PostgreSQL 10 – New Features and Functionality

PostgreSQL remains a popular option for organizations that need a traditional SQL database, but don’t want to spend the money required for Oracle. We’ve covered this open source database in the past here on the blog. For those companies who want extra support, a commercial Postgre option like EnterpriseDB needs to be considered.

With PostgreSQL 10 scheduled for release later this year, many users are undoubtedly curious about the new features and functionality. Let take a closer look at what’s in the feature set so you can consider either an upgrade or using this new version on your next development project.

Improved Query Performance

One of the most important enhancements in PostgreSQL 10 is its faster query executor. The database is already known for performing essentially as fast as Oracle, so any additional speed boost is sure to make those benchmark comparisons even closer.

Robert Haas, Vice President for Enterprise DB and a major contributor to the PostgreSQL codebase, commented on the technical changes behind the executor’s performance boost. “Hash aggregation has been rewritten to use a more efficient hash table and store narrower tuples in it, and work has also been done to speed up queries that compute multiple aggregates and joins where one side can be proven unique,” said Haas.

Improved parallelism is another enhancement in Postgre aimed at boosting query performance. Haas noted that parallel queries now run two to four times faster in version 10. Index scanning is another function now faster because of parallel processing.

The new XMLTABLE support improves query processing against data stored internally as XML. This is the one PostgreSQL 10 enhancement aimed at the NoSQL market.

Replication is now Better – and Easier

PostgreSQL 10 now supports replication at the table level; previous versions required the full database to be replicated. This additional flexibility comes with the bonus of being easier to use as well. Called Logical Replication, it is a feature greatly anticipated in the PostgreSQL community.

Extended Statistics help with Query Planning

Developers who write complex queries against a PostgreSQL 10 instance enjoy the benefit of expanded statistics that help the query planning process. Haas explains this in more detail: “If the query planner makes a bad row count estimate resulting in a terrible plan, how do you fix it?  With extended statistics, you can tell the system to gather additional statistics according to parameters that you specify, which may help it get the plan right.”

Other PostgreSQL 10 Enhancements

Other significant Postgre 10 improvements include Declarative Partitioning which makes inserting new records faster, among other benefits. Support for SCRAM authentication enhances the security of a database instance. Durable Hash Indexes are another new feature aimed at boosting database performance.

One future enhancement potentially coming out in a point release is just-in-time compilation. This is expected to add yet another performance boost to any PostgreSQL implementation.

PostgreSQL 10 definitely adds enough new functionality for current users as well as organizations interested in an alternative to Oracle. While its NoSQL support remains limited, it is definitely a traditional SQL database worthy of your interest. EnterpriseDB also offers commercial-level support for companies still wary of an open source solution.

Keep returning to the Betica Blog for additional dispatches from the software development world. Thanks for reading!

Try EnterpriseDB for a Business Class PostgreSQL Implementation

We recently discussed PostgreSQL here at the Betica Blog, which offers enterprises an open source database option to Oracle with similar performance specs. While open source software provides significant cost savings compared to proprietary applications, some companies worry about relative the lack of support. This makes it difficult to consider it as an alternative.

But what if it was possible to combine the lower cost of the open source world with the support and other features typical of commercial software? If you are considering PostgreSQL as a database solution, checking out EnterpriseDB also makes perfect sense. This company’s service offerings make the leap into open source databases an easier proposition.

A Closer Look at EnterpriseDB

EnterpriseDB formed in 2004 with the purpose of building a commercial product on top of an open source database. They chose PostgreSQL based on its active developer community and an already existing array of commercial deployments. The company currently boasts thousands of customers, from giant firms like ABN AMRO Bank and Sony to a host of smaller and medium-sized businesses.

Enterprise DB Product Offerings

EnterpriseDB’s main product is EDB Postgres, which comes in Developer, Standard, and Enterprise editions. All three editions include a version of PostgreSQL as well as tools to handle replication, backup and recovery, migration, and monitoring. Companies looking for the superior performance of Postgres Advanced Server need to choose the EDB Postgres Enterprise.

The Enterprise edition also provides additional functionality not offered by the other two versions. This includes additional security and performance enhancements, as well as added features suitable for your developers and/or DBAs. Full compatibility with Oracle rounds out the feature set.

Fresh software updates in addition to security alerts and fixes are also part of each package. Companies preferring to forego investing in their own on-premises data center need to check out EnterpriseDB’s Cloud DBaaS option. Postgres Plus Cloud Database offers both cost savings and seamless scalability, leveraging the Amazon EC2 platform.

Commercial Support for an Open Source Database

One of the main selling points of EnterpriseDB, or any commercial offering built on top of an open source product, is its production level support. This is vital for firms with mission-critical, public facing database applications. EnterpriseDB offers premium production support for the Standard and Enterprise Editions and even includes a measure of non-production support for the Developer Edition.

The production quality support boasts a 24 x 7 service level with a response goal of one hour. Phone, email, and remote access options are all provided with an unlimited number of incidents. The company also provides a robust supply of web-accessible documentation, including PDF manuals, a knowledge base, and a software archive. 

Since PostgreSQL is known for its developer community; don’t forget using it as a source for technical advice or to get any pressing questions answered.

If your organization hopes to replace its commercial proprietary database and is considering an open source solution, EnterpriseDB with its added security, performance, and support offers the best of both worlds. It is a product worthy of your consideration.

Stay tuned to the Betica Blog for future dispatches from the world of software development and QA.

PostgreSQL — an Enterprise Database Alternative to Oracle

Many enterprises still rely on Oracle as their relational database of choice. This decision largely makes sense, considering Oracle’s robust feature set and excellent performance handling huge amounts of data. However, with the rise in popularity of open source software solutions, many firms are now looking for an alternative to a proprietary RDMBS, like Oracle. Enter PostgreSQL.

One of the most popular open source relational database systems, PostgreSQL (or simply Postgre) boasts many of the same features as Oracle, most importantly enterprise-level performance. Companies are able to save significant money leveraging Postgre instead of the proprietary Oracle. While MySQL is another worthy open source option, it works better when used on smaller projects or for developers first learning relational database design and programming.

Let’s look more closely at PostgreSQL and see if it makes sense as another tool on your next open source development project.

PostgreSQL — Features and Functionality

PostgreSQL offers support for most of the core SQL:2011 standard and includes most SQL:2008 data types. The open source database provides many of the standard SQL features familiar to programmers, including foreign keys, views, triggers, joins, and stored procedures. Large data objects in the BLOB format are handled, so you can store rich media data (video, audio, etc.) within a relational database.

The database also supports a variety of enterprise level features, making it worthy of consideration as an alternative to Oracle. Multi-version Concurrency Control is vital for databases with heavy traffic, as is full ACID compliance. Online backups, asynchronous replication, and nested savepoints are other functionality in-demand from a high-end database.

Most popular operating systems run Postgre; most notably Linux, UNIX, Mac OS X and Windows. Programming interfaces exist for a variety of languages — Java, C/C++, the .NET Framework languages, Perl, Python, Ruby, and more. PostgreSQL regularly wins the Linux Journal Editors’ Choice Award for best RDBMS.

If you need to extend the database’s functionality, Postgre includes its own PL/SQL similar to Oracle. You are also able to write stored procedures and triggers in C for an added flexibility boost. Its continued status as an open source project means a robust and helpful community exists whenever questions or issues arise.

Is Postgre truly an Enterprise Replacement for Oracle?

Upon its first release in the mid to late 90s, Postgre’s performance wasn’t anything to write home about. Even the other major open source RDBMS option, MySQL, was faster, let alone Oracle and SQL Server. Over time and with programming skills of the open source community, the tables have turned. More recent benchmarks now show Postgre rivaling Oracle in query performance and surpassing MySQL as well.

When considering all the costs incurred on any large development project, proprietary database licensing definitely stands out. This is one reason many companies are now using PostgreSQL on projects instead of Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server. ROI happens much faster when leveraging open source software, like Postgre, compared to proprietary alternatives.

With Oracle no longer able to claim significant advantages in performance or functionality compared to PostgreSQL, businesses of all sizes need to consider going the open source route for the RDBMS on their next database project.

Check out the next edition of the Betica Blog for additional insights into the world of software development and quality assurance.