PostgreSQL Review

It offers strong enforcement of data types, because it can catch many errors and mistakes and protects data.


What is most valuable?

Strong enforcement of data types, because it can catch many errors and mistakes and protects data. Standard conformance, because in the end you are not locked to single vendor.

How has it helped my organization?

We used MySQL for many tasks, because there were simply more documentation available, but while using it, we found many serious weaknesses with it like no data validation even for string length, no transactions, etc. PostgreSQL catches a lot of things that MySQL didn't because it is serious about the data it protects!

What needs improvement?

It needs more parallelism for big tables. This is already in PostgreSQL 9.6 beta so things are looking promising.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it in production since 1999.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have had no major issues with the deployment, but tweaking does need to be done.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no performance issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Excellent mailing lists with active developers. Once I sent them my query which was about slow performance due to double sorting (group by, order by), and the fix for it went into PostgreSQL 7.4, because Tom Lane noticed that in such cases PostgreSQL should not do two sorts. So after upgrading to 7.4 things got way faster without touching the code at all.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used MySQL. PostgreSQL tries to solve things in the correct way for all platforms, all file systems, and all users. In the end, this means you get a better working and more stable system. They try to stay away from hacks and other non-portable or limited solutions and prefer to work inside the system. For example, an operating system already does many optimizations so why would one want to reinvent things with raw file systems, etc. like Oracle tried to do in the past?

How was the initial setup?

Defaults for PostgreSQL are very low. In almost all situations one has to do some tweaking to make it perform better. It does not take much time to do it at first, but has to be done!

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself with help from the internet. For beginners, I would advise you to read the documentation that is available. Also, you should read some books such as "PostgreSQL: Up and Running, 2nd Edition". "PostgreSQL Administration Essentials", "PostgreSQL 9 Administration Cookbook, 2nd Edition". Alternatively, you could look into getting professional help if you are in hurry.

What other advice do I have?

Explore this new world. PostgreSQL has taken a quantum leap over the last 20 years, and now it seriously threatens more established database vendors.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I teach and consult for EnterpriseDB which is a PostgreSQL partner.
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