What is PostgreSQL – Introduction

This is an introductory article for the PostgreSQL database management system. In this we will look into the features of PostgreSQL and why it stands out among other relational database management systems.

Brief History of PostgreSQL:

PostgreSQL also know as Postgres, was developed by Michael Stonebraker of the University of California, Berkley. It started as the Ingres Project and later evolved into Postgresql as we know today. In the year 1982, Michael Stonebraker started a post-Ingres project to address the problems with contemporary database systems. He was awarded the Turing Award in the year 2014 for the projects and techniques pioneered in them.

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.

The initial version of PostgreSQL was designed to run on UNIX-like platforms. However, it was then evolved to be mobile so that it could run on other platforms such as Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is one of the most advanced general-purpose object-relational database management system and is open-source. Being an open-source software, its source code is available under PostgreSQL license, a liberal open source license. Anyone with the right skills is free to use, modify, and distribute PostgreSQL in any form. As it is highly stable, very low effort is required to maintain this DBMS.



Why PostgreSQL is best for you?

The key features that make PostgreSQL a reliable and user-friendly are listed below:

  • User-defined types
  • Table inheritance
  • Sophisticated locking mechanism
  • Foreign key referential integrity
  • Views, rules, subquery
  • Nested transactions (savepoints)
  • Multi-version concurrency control (MVCC)
  • Asynchronous replication
  • Native Microsoft Windows Server version
  • Tablespaces
  • Point-in-time recovery

Why PostgreSQL is unique in itself?

Below is the list of features that makes PostgreSQL stand-out among other DBMS:

  • The multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) feature was first implemented by PostgreSQL.
  • Custom functions developed in languages like C/C++, Python, Java, etc can be added to PostgreSQL.
  • As PostgreSQL is designed to be extensible, one can define their own data types, index types, functional languages, etc.
  • If one intends to remove any part of the system, one can always develop a custom plugin to enhance it to meet their specific requirements.

Large Scale users of PostgreSQL

A number of companies have built products and solutions using PostgreSQL. Few of those companies are Apple, Fujitsu, Red Hat, Cisco, Juniper Network, etc.

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