Any good application needs an airtight back-end to support it. And one of the most important parts of back-end development is integrating a good database system. PostgreSQL is also known as Postgres, and it stands out for its extensibility and the large community support behind it from the PostgreSQL global development group. PostgreSQL was initially called POSTGRES, referring to the fact that it was created as a replacement for the Ingres system at the University of California, Berkeley.

The project's title was changed to PostgreSQL in 1996 to represent its SQL support better. The database system offers transactions that follow the ACID properties - Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. It is created to manage a variety of workloads, including everything from separate workstations to entire data warehouses or applications that have several simultaneous users. It is accessible on operating systems like Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD, in addition to being the default database for the macOS Server.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is a powerful and business-level open-source relational database. It allows the use of relational SQL and non-relational JSON data and queries. PostgreSQL has a strong community behind it. PostgreSQL is a very reliable database management system with excellent levels of support, security, and accuracy. Several mobiles and web applications use PostgreSQL as their default database. Many geospatial and analytics solutions also make use of PostgreSQL. Its latest version is PostgreSQL 15.

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL supports sophisticated data types. In fact, the database was created with a large number of data types in mind. Its database performance is similar to that of its competitors, such as Oracle and SQL Server. AWS provides a completely maintained database service for PostgreSQL with its Amazon Relational Database Service. PostgreSQL is also used in the construction of Amazon Aurora. You can learn more about the PostgreSQL documentation here.

Key PostgreSQL features

One of the reasons why PostgreSQL is so popular is because of its feature set. The database aids in the development of applications by preserving data integrity. It enables administrators to create fault-tolerant environments. It can also be used across a variety of platforms and leverages all common programming languages. We'll see the exact list of this later on.

The database also provides an extremely advanced locking system. It also has concurrency control with several versions. The PostgreSQL database server also has the functionality for mature server-side programming. It conforms to the ANSI SQL specification, and client-server network architecture is also fully supported.

PostgreSQL also has high availability and a backup server. It is compliant with the ANSI-SQL2008 and object-oriented. The ability to connect with other data warehouses, such as NoSQL, which serves as a unified hub for polyglot systems, is made possible via the database's JSON support. The information of precisely one database cluster is always managed by one PostgreSQL instance. A cluster of databases is a group of records that are kept in the same place on the file system.

Difference from SQL

We have seen that PostgreSQL supports the latest versions of SQL. But how exactly are the two different? Oracle Corporation now owns the MySQL project, which has several premium versions available which require its users to pay for it. At the same time, PostgreSQL is a free and open-source database. In contrast to PostgreSQL, MySQL is only fully ACID compatible when used with the NDB and InnoDB Cluster Collection engines.

MySQL does well when read performance is the only factor, like in OLAP and OLTP applications. At the same time, the performance of PostgreSQL is optimal in applications that need the processing of sophisticated searches. MySQL is more dependent when it is working with business intelligence projects, which tend to be difficult to read. PostgreSQL, on the other hand, works better with analytics and warehousing applications.

What is PostgreSQL used for?

Several popular brands and companies use PostgreSQL as a part of their back-end. This includes names like Netflix, Uber, Instagram, and more. Since it is a database, it allows users to store various kinds of data. It is especially popular because it stores large amounts of complicated data. PostgreSQL has several software applications that use it. This includes the following.

Finance sector
PostgreSQL is an excellent DBMS for the finance sector. As we have mentioned before, it is completely ACID compliant, which makes it the best option for online transaction processing or OLTP. Additionally, it can conduct database analysis, and mathematical programs like Matlab and R can be connected with it.

Store government geographic information system (GIS) data
The robust GIS provided by PostgreSQL is known as PostGIS. Numerous features are included in this module to handle geometrical data in various forms. PostGIS adheres to many SQL standards. Additionally, the Open Source community offers the simplest way to manage Geodata by utilizing both QGIS and GeoServer.

Manufacturing
Industrial firms are currently using PostgreSQL to streamline their entire workflow. Utilizing this open-source database as a data back-end aids them in further optimizing the efficiency of the supply chain. It enables businesses to lower their operating expenses.

Website development and NoSQL
Scaling is undoubtedly a major problem if your site needs to handle a large number of requests each second. The best option, in this case, is PostgreSQL. The database works with all contemporary web frameworks, including Django, Node.js, PHP, Hibernate, and more. Additionally, it provides replicating features that let you expand as many database management systems as you like.

Scientific information
When you are engaged in an academic or scientific endeavor, you will be required to produce terabytes of information. Consequently, it is crucial to managing this data in the most effective manner possible. PostgreSQL's fantastic analytical features and potent SQL engine are ideal for this. The database makes it easier for you to handle a lot of data.

Benefits of using PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL has several major advantages that make it very attractive to its users, from the open-source community to its reliability. Through an open-source license, PostgreSQL's source code is accessible for free. Because of this, you are allowed to use, alter, and employ it as your company requires. You also don't require a lot of instruction to understand PostgresSQL because it's simple to use. The database is easy to maintain and administer for both integrated and corporate use.

Here are some of the main benefits the database offers.

Good PostgreSQL features

PostgreSQL has a very strong feature set. This includes its ability to Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) and its point-in-time recapturing database performance. The database also has granular access controls, tablespaces, and asynchronous reproduction capabilities. Both in terms of the amount of information it can handle and the number of simultaneous customers it can support, PostgreSQL is very scalable. The database also allows international character sets, Unicode, as well as multi-byte string encryptions. It can also carry out nested transactions, online backups, and write-ahead logging.

Open-source database

You are allowed to employ, change, and use PostgreSQL in any way you want to because its source code is made accessible through an open-source license. No licensing fees are associated with PostgreSQL, so there is no chance of over-deployment. The passionate PostgreSQL community frequently discovers and fixes issues, enhancing the database's security.

Adherence to norms and dependability

As we have mentioned above, one of the best features that the PostgreSQL database server offers is write-ahead logging. This makes it a very error-resistant database. Thanks to the vast number of open-source participants, it has a strong community support system integrated into it. It also supports foreign keys, primary key, joins, views, and more in various programming languages.

These terms mean the same as in a regular SQL database. For example, a PostgreSQL primary key is a field of combination of fields that can distinctly identify a record. It contains the majority of the data types supported by the latest versions of SQL, notably data types like INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, and more. Additionally, it facilitates the storage of big binary things like images, audio, or videos.

History of PostgreSQL

At the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Michael Stonebreaker oversaw the beginning of the PostgreSQL program in 1986. The project's initial title, POSTGRES, was a nod to Berkeley's earlier Ingres database, which was created in 1977. POSTGRES, which is now one of the most well-known open-source databases, aims to include the minimum functionalities necessary to serve a variety of data types fully. It wants to make using many data types easier.

Even though PostgreSQL is still frequently referred to as Postgres, the project was rebranded to PostgreSQL in 1996 to emphasize its compatibility with the SQL query language. The free and open-source databases continue to get periodic significant and minor updates from a committed and multicultural community of developers known as the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. Versions 7.2 to 8.2 of PostgreSQL provided features like Nonblocking and Schema support.

Some of PostgreSQL's main use cases are detailed down below:

OLTP database

PostgreSQL is the major data repository for online software applications on the internet's scope. It is used by solutions and products employed by both startups and established businesses.

Geographic database

PostgreSQL enables geographic entities and can be employed as a geospatial data storage for location-based operations and geographic information systems when combined with the PostGIS module (GIS).

Federated hubs

PostgreSQL can connect with other data warehouses, particularly NoSQL, and serve as a federated center for polyglot database systems thanks to its Foreign Data Wrappers and JSON compatibility.

Open-source LAPP stack

LAPP is an abbreviation for Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, PHP, Python, and Perl. You may build dynamic software applications and web pages using PostgreSQL, a reliable alternative to the LAMP stack.

Language support

PostgreSQL is written in C language, and its main distribution is made up of:

  • PL/pgSQL
  • PL/Tcl
  • PL/Perl
  • PL/Python

Here, PL stands for procedural languages.

PostgreSQL supports most of the popular coding languages and protocols, such as:

  • Python
  • Java
  • Perl
  • .Net
  • Go
  • Ruby
  • C/C++
  • Tcl
  • ODBC

PostgreSQL and AppMaster

No-code development has made the creation of software applications more accessible to the general public. What was once something that only software engineers could do, is now a process that has a much easier learning curve. No-code development allows people to create responsive websites as well as mobile applications and web apps.

You can use AppMaster to create the source code for your applications automatically. Users can export the source code if they wish to do so. You can create amazing no-code projects with AppMaster that are entirely within your control and ownership.

With the AppMaster.io database designer, you can easily design a complex enterprise-level database. The database runs on PostgreSQL, using an advanced DBMS, which significantly increases your applications' reliability and fault tolerance. The DBMS has an open license, and you do not have to pay extra for its use.

Deploying a project to a cloud service and PostgreSQL

The database engine on AppMaster uses PostgreSQL 13, which means that you can upload your application to any PostgreSQL-compatible cloud, such as AWS or Azure not only to AppMaster Cloud.

Conclusion

PostgreSQL is undoubtedly one of the most advanced open-source relational databases that are also free. Here we have gone through the database's origin and why it is a good choice for an application. Its compatibility with several systems and database performance to use many popular programming languages and middleware are among its many benefits. The database is also attractive because it is free. It also supports JSON data, which can be necessary for certain projects.

PostgreSQL's open-source databases also ensure that it is always evolving. The large community behind it will also be helpful if you are stuck at any point with the database. If you are choosing among the database options available for your application, PostgreSQL is an option you should seriously consider.