Why Choose PostgreSQL for your Next Application in 2021?
When it comes to creating an application, having the right database can make your life as a developer much more comfortable. Whereas if you choose the wrong database, you are going to spend a lot of time trying to work around your problems without much result. Thankfully, there is PostgreSQL that can meet all your database needs.
What is PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is an open-source object-relational database system that uses SQL to perform data manipulations. It is an advanced database system that is highly effective in enterprise-grade applications. PostgreSQL is a powerful system that allows companies to safely store and scale all of their data workloads.
PostgreSQL has been in active development for more than 30 years and has grown into an architecture that has a great reputation for:
- Superior Performance
- Data Integrity
- Data Correctness
- Robust set of features
- Community Support
What makes PostgreSQL a loved database management system is that it is not controlled by any corporation or an entity. The entire source code for PostgreSQL is available for anyone to look, edit, customize, and use according to their choice for free.
PostgreSQL supports queries for both types of data – Relational (SQL) and non-relational (JSON). Due to the ability to handle multiple types of data, PostgreSQL is one of the most compliant, stable, and mature database management solutions available today.
On top of that, PostgreSQL can be extended using powerful add-ons such as PostGIS geospatial to enhance the capabilities of the database.
Which Industries Use PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is used by companies across almost all industries including:
- Computer Science
- IT and services
- Hospital and Health Care
- Staffing and Recruiting
- Financial Services
- Marketing and Advertising
The list is of the top industries that use PostgreSQL, but it is used by various industries from various domains.
Which Companies Are Using Postgresql?
There are tons of companies that use PostgreSQL for their daily operations. The company size and products range from a few people to hundreds and thousands of people. Companies like: Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, IMDB, Reddit, Skype, Spotify, Twitch, International Space Station, Red Hat, Cisco, Instagram, Fujitsu, Juniper Network use PostgreSQL for their application. PostgreSQL is a great choice for anyone who has a database need for their project/application.
Key Features of PostgreSQL
Some of the most sophisticated features that make PostgreSQL an enterprise-class database management system are:
- User-defined data types
- Table Inheritance
- Sophisticated Locking Mechanism
- Views and Regulations
- Nested Transactions
- Multi-Version Concurrency (MVCC)
- Hot Standby
With every new release, more features are added to the PostgreSQL DBMS by a huge community of developers who are passionate about making PostgreSQL a great tool.
The list of features of PostgreSQL is abundant. You can always go to their official website to find out the list of features available based on groups and versions.
☑ ACID Compliant
ACID is a concept in Computer Science that stands for "Atomicity", "Consistency", "Isolation", and "Durability". Each of these terms has a special meaning and significance when it comes to databases. They represent the key guarantees that must be supported by any database transaction to avoid validity errors and to maintain data integrity.
Here's what ACID means:
1. Atomicity - Either the transaction will occur completely or not at all. If a transaction is aborted during its execution, all the operations performed up to that point must be completely reverted.
2. Consistency - All the constraints that are imposed on data must be implemented before allowing data to be written. If a transaction occurs that doesn't follow the "rules" of the database, the transaction must be reversed to achieve a consistent state.
3. Isolation - Every transaction must occur at a point in time regardless of any other transaction happening on the database. For example, one user might be reading the database while someone else is writing to the database and both of them won't see the change.
4. Durability - As long as the logs of the transactions are preserved, the database should be able to be restored to the original state even if there is a system crash.
Since PostgreSQL relies on a single database engine, all the transactions that occur on PostgreSQL are ACID-compliant. According to PostgreSQL, they have been ACID-compliant ever since the year 2001. This means that any operation that you perform on PostgreSQL is safe and secure.
☑ Highly Compliant to SQL Standards
Ever since the inception of PostgreSQL, their priority has always been to ensure compliance with SQL standards. According to PostgreSQL, out of the 179 mandatory features for SQL:2016 core conformance, they support 160 of the features.
Having high SQL compliance means that PostgreSQL implements most of the standard SQL features which make it easier to migrate to and from PostgreSQL. Also, it is easy to learn and get started with because of familiarity with standard SQL functions and features.
☑ Support for Various Operating Systems
- Linux (Red Hat family, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE, and others)
- BSD (FreeBSD, OpenBSD)
Support for a variety of operating systems is great as it lets one have a range of local and cloud development environments without having to worry about compatibility and operability.
☑ Point-In-Time Recovery (PITR)
PostgreSQL maintains a write-ahead log (WAL) at all times during its execution. Maintaining a WAL means that every database change is logged by PostgreSQL and it can redo or undo any change when required. This lets developers use Point-in-time recovery (PITR) to restore their database to a specific moment in time just like having a restore point for your computer.
☑ Various Data Types
PostgreSQL is amazing when it comes to storing and manipulating various data types. Unlike traditional databases, PostgreSQL has a ton of additional data formats due to which you won't have to resort to working with conventional data types.
The typical data types that you would expect from any database include:
- Decimal/floating point
- Varying character
PostgreSQL has additional data formats for various use cases which you won't expect in traditional databases, such as: Boolean, CIDR (IP address), Array, Path (To store coordinates), XML, UUID, Point (x,y), JSON, Circle, Box and so much more. In fact, if you find a highly specialized use case that can't be solved with any of the data types, you can create your data type!
☑ Range Data Types
Ranged data types are extremely useful and a wonderful addition to PostgreSQL. Not all data that we store is of character, integer, or other data type. Some data types are better if they are used as ranges. For example:
- Start and End date of an Auction / Event / Promotion, etc.
and many more. If you were to create a database structure in traditional systems, you would have to set up two different columns for minimum and maximum values. Next, you would have to implement the logic for constraints, data verification, managing valid ranges, non-overlapping ranges and so much more.
With PostgreSQL however, you can use the "range data types" feature which makes working with ranges a breeze. Almost every application would have a use case for at least some type of ranged data.
Instead of defining two columns of pre-defined data types, you can simply use a single column for storing ranges with PostgreSQL. One such data type is TSRANGE which stores a range of timestamps. Using PostgreSQL-specific syntax, you can then perform various checks and validation on the values for the column.
Why Choose PostgreSQL?
New technologies emerge almost every day in today's digital landscape making it hard to find stable technologies for maintaining dynamic systems. PostgreSQL has been evolving over the past 30 years incorporating new technologies along the way. PostgreSQL is very versatile and quickly expandable that allows it to be used for a variety of specialized use cases.
Here are some of the reasons why you should choose PostgreSQL for your next project/application.
☑100% Open Source
The no. 1 reason that makes PostgreSQL a favorite choice among companies is that it is free and open source. Some of the benefits that enterprises receive from PostgreSQL being open source are:
- Lower Infrastructure Costs
- Higher Flexibility
- Greater Performance
- Ability to Innovate
- Global support from a worldwide community
These types of benefits aren't received even when deploying proprietary database solutions. Since PostgreSQL is developed by a diverse group of contributors across the globe, it is built on a strong foundation of knowledge, experience, and expertise. This is the reason that PostgreSQL is the most advanced database solution in the world.
You can download PostgreSQL from their official website without worrying about copyright/licenses. Being open-source means that you don't have to wait for a vendor to investigate any errors that you face. In fact, if you require a feature, you can add the feature that doesn't exist and even offer it to the community.
☑ Non-Relational Data Support
Most databases focus on storing either relational data or non-relational data. Relational data is structured data that can be divided into rows and columns and rows are related to each other via a key. Non-relational data, on the other hand, don't have a direct translation into rows and columns, instead are a representation of objects.
Before starting a project, one always has to make a crucial architecture decision - A relational or non-relational database? If one opts for non-relational data, one would opt for MongoDB which is a document-based database. If one opts for a relational database, they would select MySQL, PostgreSQL, or a similar database.
With PostgreSQL, one has the option to use both types of data. PostgreSQL might have not some advanced features that are offered by pure document-based databases, but the JSON support from PostgreSQL is comparable to most databases.
☑ Best in Class Geographic Information Systems
PostGIS is software offered as an extension to PostgreSQL that allows PostgreSQL to support data types of geospatial nature. This makes it easier for applications that use maps, or locations on a geographical make to make business decisions.
By allowing data analysis and manipulation of geospatial format, PostgreSQL can help sales and marketing teams refine their processes by reducing the workload.
☑ Concurrency Support
Traditional database systems will usually block access to their records when multiple users try to access the same data at the same time. This is done to avoid read/write conflicts.
PostgreSQL manages concurrent reads / writes efficiently through its use of Multiversion concurrency control (MVCC). This would mean that any read that is performed doesn't block writers and vice-versa.
Therefore, multiple users can read and write to the database without having to worry about getting locked out or messing up the data.
There are any extensions available for PostgreSQL, which allow you to easily add on to the existing functionality of the database.
You can create your extensions to address your own needs or the needs of your team or company.
You can also download community-developed extensions. The PostgreSQL website has a range of them listed here, such as:
HypoPG: add hypothetical indexes for performance testing OpenFTS: a full-text search engine PostGIS: adds support for geographic objects
☑ Scalability And Performance
PostgreSQL shines when it comes to large applications where data authentication and fast store/fetch cycles are essential. PostgreSQL is highly scalable and can accommodate a variety of performance optimization techniques which are typically found in proprietary database management technologies.
PostgreSQL also has replication features built-in to the database. This means that the database will copy its data to a secondary database automatically, which allows for a reduction in downtime for the application. Database replication makes PostgreSQL a production-ready database that is scalable quickly and effortlessly.
Without a doubt, PostgreSQL is the most loved database in the industry with a history of great features and amazing developers. PostgreSQL is one of the databases that are open-source which gives it its real power as people from all around the world add features and functionalities to it.
If you are planning to get your next application built with PostgreSQL, just drop us an email at email@example.com and we would gladly assist you in building a robust application.