What is PostgreSQL [Features & Disadvantages]

In this PostgreSQL, we are going to discuss “What is PostgreSQL”, The use of PostgreSQL has grown among developers, data scientists, and businesses alike. We will cover the features, history, advantages, and disadvantages of PostgreSQL.

Introduction to PostgreSQL

Powerful object-relational database system PostgreSQL is available for free. Its proven design and more than 15 years of active development have given it a solid reputation for dependability, data integrity, and correctness.

PostgreSQL has been actively developed on the core platform for more than 35 years, with its beginnings in the POSTGRES project at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986. The querying languages supported by PostgreSQL are SQL (relational) and JSON (non-relational).

For a large number of web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications, PostgreSQL serves as the primary data store or data warehouse.

In honor of the earlier Ingres database, which was also created at Berkeley, the project was originally called POSTGRES. The POSTGRES project aimed to offer the essential functionalities required for handling various data formats.

what is postgresql

Features of PostgreSQL

There are a lot of features in PostgreSQL that are designed to assist administrators safeguard data integrity and create fault-tolerant systems, developers build applications, and you manage your data regardless of the size of the dataset. PostgreSQL is very extendable in addition to being free and open source.

Without having to recompile your database, you may design your own data types, create new functions, or even write code in different computer languages.

Along with a number of cutting-edge features, PostgreSQL offers support for a significant portion of the SQL standard, including the Foreign keys, Trigger, Views, Transactions, Multiversion concurrency control (MVCC), Streaming, Replication, Hot Standby (as of 9.0), Complex SQL queries, SQL Sub-selects.

To learn more about the previously mentioned features, check PostgreSQL’s official documentation. The user can add features to PostgreSQL in multiple ways. For instance, by including new Index methods, Aggregate functions, Operators, Data types, and Functions.

PostgreSQL History

The POSTGRES package developed at the University of California, Berkeley, is the predecessor of the object-relational database management system presently known as PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL has been developed for more than 20 years and is currently the most sophisticated open-source database accessible.

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and ESL, Inc. all provided funding for the POSTGRES project, which was led by Professor Michael Stonebraker.
  • In 1986, POSTGRES was first put into practice. The definition of the original data model was published as well as the basic system notions. At the time, the rule system’s design was detailed. The storage manager’s architecture and reasoning were described in detail.
  • Since then, there have been several significant releases of POSTGRES. In 1987, the first “demoware” system was put into use, and it was displayed at the ACM-SIGMOD Conference in 1988. In June 1989, Version 1 was made available to a select few outside users.
  • The rule system was revised in response to criticism of the initial rule system, and Version 2 with the revised rule system was released in June 1990.
  • A new rule system, a better query executor, and support for multiple storage managers were all included in version 3, which was released in 1991. Up until Postgres95, most updates concentrated on portability and dependability.
  • Many distinct research and production applications have been implemented using POSTGRES. These comprise an asteroid tracking database, a jet engine performance monitoring tool, a medical information database, and a number of geographic information systems.
  • At numerous colleges, POSTGRES has also been utilized as a teaching resource. The SQL language interpreter for POSTGRES was added in 1994 by Andrew Yu and Jolly Chen.

After being given a new name, Postgres95, an open-source successor of the original POSTGRES Berkeley code, was then made available on the internet.

Code for Postgres95 was reduced in size by 25% and written entirely in ANSI C. Performance and maintainability were greatly enhanced by numerous internal adjustments. On the Wisconsin Benchmark, Postgres95 release 1.0.x performed between 30 and 50 percent faster than POSTGRES.

  • By 1996, it was obvious that “Postgres95” wasn’t going to survive over time. We changed the name to PostgreSQL to represent the connection between the original POSTGRES and the more modern versions with SQL support.
  • At the same time, we changed the version numbering to begin at 6.0, returning the numbers to the order that the Berkeley POSTGRES project had originally started.

PostgreSQL Advantages

  • Flexibility and extensibility: PostgreSQL allows users to build unique data types, operators, and functions. It also offers a high level of flexibility and extensibility. It supports a wide range of data formats, including user-defined kinds, JSON, XML, and arrays.
  • Advanced Features: PostgreSQL has advanced capabilities like full-text search, support for geospatial data, multi-version concurrency control (MVCC), and advanced indexing options. It is appropriate for complicated database administration requirements because it also supports stored procedures, triggers, and views.
  • Scalability: With its capability for parallel query execution, table partitioning, and asynchronous replication, PostgreSQL is able to handle massive amounts of data and high-traffic applications. To meet increasing user needs and data volume growth, it provides a range of scaling options.
  • Reliability and Data Integrity: Data integrity and reliability are ensured by PostgreSQL’s support for the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) attributes. To protect data, it offers transactional integrity, crash recovery, and point-in-time recovery procedures.
  • Community and Ecosystem: PostgreSQL is developed and maintained by a sizable and vibrant open-source community. Additionally, it includes a robust ecosystem of libraries, tools, and extensions, making it simpler to connect with other frameworks and technologies.

PostgreSQL Disadvantages

  • Complexity: Although PostgreSQL’s versatility is a benefit, it can be challenging for novice users or those who are not experienced with relational databases. PostgreSQL setup and configuration can be challenging, especially for people with no prior knowledge.
  • Memory Usage: PostgreSQL can use a lot of memory, particularly when working with big datasets or intricate queries. To achieve effective memory usage, it’s crucial to configure memory settings properly and optimize searches.
  • Performance in Some Scenarios: Although PostgreSQL performs well in most circumstances, it might not be the best option for some use cases that need a high level of write-intensive workloads and extreme scalability. Other databases, such as NoSQL databases, made especially for those situations may perform better under such circumstances.
  • Limited GUI Tools: PostgreSQL provides a relatively small variety of graphical user interface (GUI) tools as compared to some commercial database management systems. There are still a number of third-party programs that provide PostgreSQL GUI interfaces, both for free and for pay.
  • Replication Complexity: While PostgreSQL enables replication, setting up and managing replication installations can be challenging and call for in-depth technical knowledge. It could take more work to set up replication for distributed or high-availability architectures.


In this PostgreSQL tutorial, Open-source PostgreSQL is a robust database management system with scalability and dependability. Customizing data types and functions is possible due to its versatility. PostgreSQL continues to be a top option for businesses looking for a strong and adaptable database system, despite some complexity and memory utilization issues.

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