There are many types of database, but Relational and NoSQL are more common than any other. Relational databases typically use SQL—Structured Query Language—to access data from one or more related tables. PostgresSQL is one of the most common relational database systems.
But why is PostgreSQL so popular, and how does it work? How can it improve your programming project? You’ll find out in this article.
What Is PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is a free, open-source, object-oriented relational database management system (ORDBMS). It uses SQL to create, read, update, and delete data.
As it’s object-oriented, PostgreSQL makes it easy for programmers to create functions that run more complex queries. One of its unique features is that a model object within it can inherit the properties of a parent object without losing any of its attributes.
This means you can assign a new table the properties (columns) of existing ones, and add unique table attributes on top. Hence, it gives you the flexibility to develop interwoven models to simplify your app’s structure and link each unit better.
PostgreSQL can also handle database writes and reads simultaneously using a unique built-in property called multi-version concurrency control (MVCC). And while it supports relational data types, it queries non-relational types efficiently too. That’s something few other RDBMSes do.
Applications of PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL offers many built-in features to simplify complex models. This has given its applications a significant boost in contemporary software development. According to information from Statistics and Data, it’s one of the fastest-growing database engines. Their rankings put it in fourth among the 50 most popular databases in 2021.
PostgreSQL has seen applications in industrial systems, enterprise apps, scientific data computation, mobile apps, and more. Some of the top companies that have adopted it include Apple, Instagram, Skype, and Reddit.
PostgreSQL has a wide range of applications that complement its impressive community support. This indicates, of course, that you’re not alone and won’t be in the dark while pairing it with any tech stack suitable to build your app.
How Is PostgreSQL Better Than Other SQL Databases?
If you’re switching from another SQL database to PostgreSQL, you might not notice any immediate differences. But some notable features make PostgreSQL stand out from other SQL-based databases like MySQL, MariaDB, and SQL Server.
Let’s take a look at some of the features you get from PostgreSQL.
1. ACID Compliance
Unlike MySQL and other databases that depend on third-party libraries, PostgreSQL is fully compliant with the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) protocol. This validates and upholds data integrity regardless of errors or network outages. ACID-compliance makes PostgreSQL a suitable option for enterprise apps, e-commerce, and apps where resilience is a must.
2. Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC)
MVCC is a unique property of PostgreSQL that makes it possible for users to write and read data simultaneously. Maintaining such control with other SQL databases is possible but often difficult without using another technology.
MySQL, for instance, only supports MVCC when paired with InnoDB, Archive, or Falcon. Starting with version 2005, SQL Server now has a snapshot feature. But this comes with many cons, and it falls short of PostgreSQL’s MVCC implementation. So if your app needs quick and simultaneous read/write access, PostgreSQL is a great choice.
3. Custom and Extensible Queries
A database that allows you to get creative with custom queries is worth giving a try. Indeed, this behavior complements PostgreSQL’s object-oriented nature. Even if your model is complex, you can extend database queries with custom functions. This makes it easy to query data in specific ways suitable for your app’s model.
4. Extensive Data Type Support
5. Incredible Community Support and Comprehensive Documentation
PostgreSQL has detailed docs to give you a head start. And even if you get stuck, as it’s one of the most-used databases today, you can get out of trouble with help from its vast community.
6. Compliance With SQL Standards
More than any other SQL database, PostgreSQL complies with standards laid down by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Hence, you can be sure that you’re building your programming project using the best database standards obtainable.
Improve Your Programming Project With PostgreSQL?
The flexible nature of PostgreSQL and its uniquely advanced features can help improve your app’s performance and optimize it for scalability. If you’re not familiar with PostgreSQL, don’t worry; it’s easy to pick up.
Want to know how to set up, install, and use PostgreSQL on Windows? We’ve got you covered.
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