5 Ways PostgreSQL Is the Most Important Database Today
Just last month, the PostgreSQL Global Development Group announced the release of PostgreSQL 13, the latest version of its open-source database. For developers already working with Postgre, it’s a welcome update from one of space’s most reliable technologies. Owned by no one, completely free, and used by potentially millions of developers around the world, Postgre is a reliable database solution that brings power to database computing in a versatile and unique way.
According to PostgreSQL Global Development Group: “PostgreSQL comes with many features aimed to help developers build applications, administrators to protect data integrity and build fault-tolerant environments, and to help you manage your data no matter how big or small the dataset.” It’s a database solution that offers more power to complete complex actions and does so with the security and stability necessary for multi-layered businesses handling massive amounts of data, such as Skype, Instagram, Spotify, IMDB, Reddit, NASA, and more.
According to LearnSQL.com, Postgre is currently the number two most popular database management technology in existence, following only the more famous MySQL in terms of market share: Postgre corners 36.3% of all users, compared to MySQL’s 52% stake in the ground--based on Stack Overflow's 2019 survey of programmers and developers.
Here at Jobsity, we know of its importance and popularity from the demand our clients have for Postgre and Postgre expertise. And why not? It’s the technology trusted to handle IMDB’s 100 million-plus film industry entries, Instagram’s billion users and 50 million posts per day, and Spotify’s 271 million monthly listeners. Without Postgre, you probably wouldn’t be listening to that new Ed Sheeran song, for example. And who would want that? (No one!)
To help us understand why, when, and how PostgreSQL is an ideal database solution, we sat down with one of Jobsity’s top back-end developers, Jonathan, from Medellin, Colombia, to learn more about PostgreSQL and his experience using it.
To start, let’s get basic: if you had to explain PostgreSQL to a 12-year-old, how would you?
Having a database is like having a library. It's a place where you can organize and review all the information you have, and you can have a lot of it. Since this library is so big, you have people working for you, so every time you need information, these people will go and look in this huge library for whatever you’re looking for. PostgreSQL is like hiring the best employees you can find for your library.
That’s quite helpful. So what do these “best employees” do--I mean what does PostgreSQL do--that another database doesn’t?
PostgreSQL is a type of database defined as “Object-Relational,” meaning it supports user-defined objects and their behaviors including data types, functions, operators, domains, and indexes. This makes PostgreSQL extremely flexible and robust. PostgreSQL supports a wide range of data types that other open-source databases implement to some extent, but Postgres supports them all, including Network Addresses data types, multidimensional arrays, geometric data, and Schema-less JSON support. Also, it allows you to create your data types.
OK, break that down for me. When did you start using Postgre? And why?
I started using Postgres when I worked alongside a company designing web-based applications in the logistics industry. Because the management of the data in logistics is quite complicated and involves geolocation, and complex structures, PostgreSQL was the ideal solution for this technology.
So what do you use PostgreSQL for, specifically, and when might you avoid it (and use MySQL instead)?
In general, PostgreSQL is best suited for systems that require the execution of complex queries, or data warehousing and data analysis. MySQL tends to be the best choice when it comes to simpler web-based applications. PostgreSQL might be avoided when you need to go around high-speed and ease of setting up database solutions. I like that Postgre supports all kinds of data types and has geolocation support, in case your application needs it, like those I was building did.
What do you like about working with PostgreSQL and what frustrates you?
First, it is compliant to a high degree, with SQL standards. This increases its interoperability with other applications because it works in known and standardized ways.
Second, PostgreSQL gives users control over the metadata. Referring to the PostgreSQL docs, by first containing more metadata about the database and second, letting users modify that data as if it was simply another database table, it allows users close control over how the database functions.
What are some of your favorite PostgreSQL features, and when have you used these to make your work easier or more powerful (some concrete examples)?
Geolocation. The last project where I used this, was an application which, between other things, had to find all terminals close to a location and verify certain things on given terminals. This implementation was quite straight forward using PostgreSQL extension for Geolocation. It was a life-changer for the project and would have been a headache any other way.
Thanks for joining us, Jonathan!
If PostgreSQL is a tangible solution for industry leaders as diverse as NASA and Reddit, it might be right for many other companies--such as yours! For more information on this database technology, check out the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, or get in touch with us. We have developers like Jonathan standing by, ready to tackle your project today.
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