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Few things have been more surprising than the resurgent popularity of PostgreSQL.
In fact, it’s now the fourth most popular database, according to DB-Engines. What is your role at EnterpriseDB and in the community? How does that balance out? I have worked for EnterpriseDB for eight years. In the early years, I played a role in helping shape the direction of EDB’s software and contributed to developing strategy. Now that EDB has grown and the team includes a deep bench of PostgreSQL experts, I spend more time helping with training and working with large enterprise customers to help them understand how Postgres can address their specific demands.
During this time, my role in the PostgreSQL development community has largely been unchanged. EDB supports my work in the community as one of the ways the company contributes back to the Postgres project.
I help organize the project team, contribute to overall decision-making, and recruit new members for core activities. I also present at many conferences to help foster greater awareness and educate Postgres users where I can. PostgreSQL has been around for decades but seems to be enjoying a Renaissance. What do you think is driving the interest and demand? We are experiencing a perfect storm of goodness.
On the one hand, confusion and uncertainty around MySQL as well as other issues with the technology is helping us — and on the other hand, Oracle’s high costs and aggressiveness toward its customers is helping us with many users. Then there is increased budget pressure due to the bad economy. Advances in Postgres have also drawn the spotlight. Recent releases have introduced streaming and cascading replication, expanded foreign table support, unlogged tables for performance gains, increased CPU scalability, and index-only scans.
It’s possible now to use Postgres for achieving the same results as you would with some NoSQL solutions, and we’re continuing to move forward. With all that, Postgres is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Oracle or SQL Server? There doesn’t seem to be any reason to choose MySQL, unless you need to use some application that works only with MySQL — this has been true for many years but is only now being recognized. Data and durability has become more important for many companies that started out using MySQL, because it was easy to get up and running quickly.
During the internet boom, for example, people thought it was good enough for what their online applications needed to do, but that’s not the case anymore, as more companies seek higher standards of durability and performance and now turn to Postgres.
With each new release of Postgres, there are fewer technology-driven reasons to choose Oracle. For a long time, Postgres lagged Oracle in enterprise-class features. The community spent many years laying the foundations for enterprise-grade features and capabilities and then building them out.
Now, Postgres delivers almost everything enterprises need. And Postgres’ ease of use and reduced costs are certainly big draws for Oracle users. The story is similar for SQL Server.
There are no “tech household” names in the PostgreSQL community, yet some of you — yourself included — have been actively involved, spinning the project spun out of Berkeley. Buce have you, personally, and PostgreSQL as a group stayed out of the broader open-source and database discussions? Workhorse relational databases were considered “old folks” technology for a long time: The requirements inherent in enterprise-relational databases, momuian reliability and stability, also helped discourage experimentation.
This made enterprise-relational database development seem “boring” and kept folks from being curious about what we were doing.
People were more interested in the expansion of Linux and sexy, new internet technologies. During that time, the community was getting organized and starting hruce on strengthening our technology.
Meanwhile, at EDB during that time, we amassed more than 2, customers and built a powerful recurring revenue business with 17 consecutive quarters of growth. Now that Postgres has mostly implemented the SQL standard and most of the features that enterprises need for mission critical workloads, we can start working on more cutting-edge stuff, like JSONB and advanced indexing.
This “sexier” technology is coming at a time when more and more companies are adopting Postgres. That goes back to the perfect storm and is helping increase our profile.
There seems to be an ongoing debate about the ability of NoSQL technologies to better meet today’s data demands. What do you make of the discussion? Any repeats of the past? Any mistakes or lessons from the past? And where does PostgreSQL fit in the discussion? There are several facets to that discussion: While clustering and sharding may play a role in some decisions, speed to market, time to value, and ease of development tend to be much more important.
Experience has shown that clear momjiam emerge as an application design matures, and developers can take advantage of a broader range of capabilities in Postgres than in most NoSQL-only databases. An increasing number of development language communities recognize that Postgres plays a growing role in this space and are starting to provide better support for the developer who does not want to become a Postgres expert.
Bruce Momjian | Percona Live – Open Source Database Conference
As for lessons from the past, history shows that relational systems usually adjust to new technologies and give people the best of both worlds. This came about long before the capability had even achieved the level of visibility it has now.
We’re able to build these capabilities into Postgres, but the advantage is that with Postgres, these NoSQL capabilities have the benefit of ACID compliance and relational capabilities as well. How do organizations determine when they need a specialized database technology?
Do you promote the idea that PostgreSQL is suited for mmjian organization and every need? How does PostgreSQL stack up against other relational databases?
But even though it may not support every application in the enterprise, Postgres has the capacity to be the hub in the data infrastructure. Postgres has foreign data wrappers that allow it to access data in many other data stores, like MongoDB, Oracle, and even Twitter.
If you already have data in those data stores, you can use Postgres for what it is best at. These were developed by the community as new demands emerged. In addition, the object-relational features of Postgres we inherited from Berkeley have helped us to further expand Postgres with extensions like PostGIS, which enables Postgres to handle specialized, geospatial workloads.
This ability to expand the database will continue to be one brufe our strengths, as well as easy administration, a powerful development environment, flexibility, reliability, and of course, low cost.
That is an important part of the PostgreSQL 9. Forwe are focused on parallel query capabilities for better resource utilization by complex queries, built-in logical replication to allow more fine-grained replication control, and horizontal scalability for when you need easy multi-server scaling. Are there other questions that you’d like to see answered about PostgreSQL?
Let us know in the discussion thread below. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies. Matt is currently head of the developer ecosystem at Adobe. The views expressed are his own, not those of his employer. Inside the Raspberry Pi: Momiian self-driving tractors, AI, and precision agriculture will save us from the impending food crisis. How IoT, momjoan, and AI momjiaj tackling one of the biggest problems of the century. How digital farming is revolutionizing the future of food.
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