PostgreSQL – The Open Source Database you should start using!

Anudweipayan Bhattacharjee Sr. Project Manager Lyra Infosystems | Insights Success | Business Magazine

PostgreSQL is an open-source relational database management system. With the tremendous proliferation of cloud-web, mobile, IoT or even big data applications in last few years, its popularity has started to gain considerable momentum in recent years. Startups, small to medium enterprises, and even larger organizations are preferring Postgres over expensive vendor databases for its ease-of-use, cross platform compatibility and support from cloud vendors like AWS.
This unique database is commonly known as “Postgres” and is often pronounced as “Poss-gres” or “Post-gres or “Post-gri”, depending on the part of the world you are from. Over the years, Postgres has become most sought after Open Source DB in the software world.
To give some intro, the implementation of Postgres started in the year 1986 at the University of California at Barkley under the leadership of Professor Michael Stonebraker and was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Office (ARO), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and ESL, Inc. But since then from its humble origin, this open source database has gone through a lot of changes and improvements over the decades and turned out to be a database which can give many commercial databases a run for their money. The best part was that, it was started as an Open Source Project and it remained that way.
Since its free and open-source software, it is released under the PostgreSQL license, a liberal Open Source license, similar to the BSD or MIT licenses. Postgres has always been supported  by strong, extremely skilled and dedicated  open source community. Due to which over the years it has been known for its strong architecture, reliability, data integrity, robust feature set. PostgreSQL is ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) complaint which is nothing but a set of properties required for database transactions. ACID compliance ensures that no amount of data is lost or miscommunicated in case of a failure, even when there are numerous changes made during that single transaction. Postgres runs on almost all the Operating systems. Setting up Postgres DB in any of your environment is quite easy and only involves few steps.
Being a relational database, it supports features such as an array of different kind of data types, provides data integrity features, allows concurrency for better performance, SQL compliance, a reliable and very robust disaster recovery such as Write-ahead Logging (WAL), Replication (Master-Standby) which includes asynchronous, synchronous and logical, extensive security features, extensibility and amazing internationalization and text searches and many more features.
It has been proven to be highly scalable both in the sheer quantity of data it can manage and in the number of concurrent users it can accommodate. One can easily find winning case studies on how active PostgreSQL clusters in production environments can manage many terabytes and petabytes of data.
Postgres’s licensing terms does not put any restriction on how many databases one can have. With the increasing cost of the commercial databases with the increase in the amount of data, this is a major factor why many are going for this database.
With its active contributor community at its core, who are continuously working on improving this database, it has been observed that the frequency of enhancement of DB is more than any other database and lesser issue resolution time as well.
With respect to the security aspect, it manages security by either granting or revoking permission of a role on an object down to the column level. In this case, a role is regarded as a user or group of users. Postgres supports a number of external authentication mechanisms such as SSPI, GSSAPI, LDAP etc. It provides common configuration file where connection rules can be set which makes it easy to manage for a database architect.
When it comes to performance, it is one of the best among its peers.  It has been proven time and again in terms of server performance, scalability, data handling and even on financial ROI, it is the DB of choice. PostgreSQL has been found to perform well in OLTP/OLAP systems when read/write speeds are necessary and extensive amount of data analysis is required. PostgreSQL also works well with Business Intelligence (BI) applications but is much better suited for Data Warehousing and data analysis applications.
We use it in all of our applications and I always recommend it to our customers as well and also help them with set-up or migration. My personal opinion is you should also try it once and experience the difference and I am sure you will like. Go for it!
About the Author
Anudweipayan comes with 13+ years of experience and proven expertise in project management, service delivery and management domains. He works as a Sr. Project Manager for Lyra Infosystems. He has also worked for several customers in the energy sector across the globe.

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