written over 5 years ago
Again in the Good/Bad/Summary format:
PostgreSQL is an incredible open source project. It is extremely full-featured and does everything an RDBMS needs to do. For real business applications, it is solid, stable, and scales quite well. (MySQL my be OK for simple web apps but it lacks a track record of data integrity and performance on real-world loads that PostgreSQL has.)
PostgreSQL has two features which make it stand out as a very powerful database, and possibly the most programmable of them all (regardless of open source vs commercial). First, PostgreSQL has an extensible procedural language sytem so you can write stored procedures in Perl, C#, VB.Net, Java, or Python. The second is a very good extensible type system which is sufficiently to allow one to create full-fledged types using only procedural languages to define them.
Finally, PostgreSQL has become an easier database to use and manage than any other RDBMS that I have tried (even easier than MySQL).
PostgreSQL does not allow any sort of parallel execution of portions of a query, so this limits scalability in certain environments (for example business intelligence and data warehousing). In short the entire query runs in one single-threaded process (other queries can run in other processes concurrently). While this doesn't cause many problems with most workloads, it can be an issue when we are talking about aggregates based on terabytes of data. In these cases, you cannot use the free open source version. This is a minor point but....
Also, another limitation is the lack of an ability to build shared-everything clusters with the software. Again, this is minor in most environments and if you need this,buy DB2 or Oracle....
I gave this project a 5 because it does everything you want an RDBMS to do for nearly every workload. Sure there are a few advanced workloads it doesnt handle well but these are corner cases and in some of these, proprietary versions are available with these features.
Overall, great product. Probably the only FOSS RDBMS I will ever use.
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