PostgreSQL

The Alternative Open-Source Database Can Power Your Projects

PostgreSQL isn’t the open-source database you’re thinking of. In fact, the database that most often comes to mind is MySQL. But any business looking to employ the power of relational databases would be remiss if they didn’t consider this particular platform.

PostgreSQL (often just called Postgres) is a relational database built around the idea of being as SQL-compliant as possible. Along with that, the developers have focused on creating a highly extensible database, so it can be used for numerous applications, connected to nearly any type of API, and work on multiple platforms.

PostgreSQL started as the successor to the Ingres database, which was developed at the University of California, at Berkeley. In 1996 the project officially took on the name PostgreSQL and has been in active development since.

Being a relational database, PostgreSQL can help power any number of applications and services. And like some of the competition (such as MySQL), PostgreSQL can not only be deployed on Linux but also on macOS and Windows.

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PostgreSQL Developers Hiring Guide

  • How to choose the best
  • Interview questions
  • Job Description

What is a Relational Database?

Before we dive too deep into PostgreSQL, let’s first define relational databases. The relational database was created around the relational model of date, which was proposed in 1970 by E.F. Codd. A relational database can be defined as a collection of information that uses organized data with defined relationships. Data structures, which are composed of data tables, indexes, and views, remain separate from the storage structures, thereby allowing database administrators to edit the data storage without impacting the logical data structure.

Tables, which are also known as relations, are made of columns that, in turn, contain one or more data categories. Rows, which are also known as table records, contain a set of data that is defined by a category. Tables can be linked, or related, to one another based on common data. By creating these relations, it’s possible for admins and users to retrieve a new table from the stored data in multiple tables, using a single SQL query.

Features of PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL includes several important features, sure to check the boxes for many database administrators. Some of them include:

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    Open-source
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    Free to use
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    SQL compliant
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    Cross-platform
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    Compatible with numerous programming languages
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    Supports data integrity
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    Compatible with multiple data types
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    Extensible
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    Secure
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    Supports synchronous, asynchronous, and logical replication

Add to that, PostgreSQL makes it easy for administrators to work within the database console and there are even several GUI tools to make the task more efficient. However, most admins will want to forgo the GUI in favor of using the SQL query language, where the real power lies.

What Languages Can Work With PostgreSQL?

Obviously, you’ll need to learn the SQL query language, as that is how you create and manage databases with PostgreSQL. Without knowing SQL, you wouldn’t get very far with any relational database.

Beyond SQL, there are several programming languages that can interact with PostgreSQL. Those languages include:

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    C
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    Delphi
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    Perl
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    Tcl

Where You Can Use PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL can be deployed on multiple platforms. Obviously, you can install it on a server that resides in your on-premise data center. There are also cloud-based hosting providers that support PostgreSQL, such as the big 3 of Amazon AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. But if your cloud host of choice supports Linux as a virtual machine, you can be sure PostgreSQL can be deployed.

One very impressive thing about PostgreSQL is that it is equally as performant when deployed in the cloud as it is on-premise. So no matter how you plan on using PostgreSQL, know that it will perform very well.

Tools You Can Use With PostgreSQL

You’re not just limited to the PostgreSQL psql console when you want to use the SQL Query Language. There are a number of open-source tools you can employ to make PostgreSQL easier and more powerful. Such tools include:

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    phpPgAdmin
    A web-based GUI tool for administering your PostgreSQL databases.
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    pgAdmin
    Another GUI for administering PostgreSQL, which can be run as either web-based or a desktop application.
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    PgFouine
    A PostgreSQL log analyzer.
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    pgDevOps
    A suite of web-based tools that help you create SQL queries and community components, monitor running databases, and identify performance issues.

The Benefits of Using PostgreSQL

There are a number of benefits to using PostgreSQL, such as:

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    It's easier to use than some other relational databases.
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    It requires low maintenance.
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    The source code is freely available, so your developers can change the database according to the needs of your business.
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    It can interact with dynamic web applications and websites.
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    It's highly risk-tolerant.

Companies That Use PostgreSQL

If you’re curious as to what companies use PostgreSQL, the shortlist includes Uber, Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, Instacart, Robinhood, Twitch, and Reddit, among many others.

As to the integrations you can employ with PostgreSQL, that list includes the likes of Datadog, Slick, Amazon DynamoDB, JSON, Sequelize, Metabase, Kong, Amazon Aurora, and Strapi, among others.

Versions of PostgreSQL

Unlike some other relational databases, there is only one version of PostgreSQL, so you don’t have to worry about whether to use a community or enterprise edition. PostgreSQL is PostgreSQL, no matter where you deploy.

Hiring Guide

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    Hiring Guide

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    Interview Questions

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    Job Description

The PostgreSQL system works on client-server architecture and is compliant with all major OS and firmware. In addition, it’s ACID-compliant and has various features like multi-version concurrency and nested transactions.

It uses SSL encryption to protect the data traffic between ports. Row-level security allows admins to set the access setting for different users. LDAP server validates entries and provides role-based control to users. TLS is used for securing data over the network, which comes with complex encryption to secure data.

PostgreSQL provides users with trigger-based, asynchronous, and synchronous replication of data for backup and protection. It also has fault tolerance, physical and log-based partial replication, Point in Time recovery, and online/hot backups.


How relevant is PostgreSQL in today’s market

PostgreSQL is a pretty sophisticated and easy-to-use database. This database was released on 8 July 1996 by PostgreSQL Global Development Group. This stack overflow survey states that PostgreSQL is the second most popular database in the world.

One of the main reasons behind the popularity of PostgreSQL is that it provides a convenient and affordable database set up for medium-scale startups and organizations. However, well-known companies such as Groupon, Apple, and Fujitsu also use PostgreSQL.

It has many different uses. Financial firms also use PostgreSQL for online transaction processing and analytics. Supply chain companies use PostgreSQL for the storage backend. It also protects data from failover, repetitiveness, and manual negligence. 

PostgreSQL is open source, many companies use it for websites that require scalability without additional costs. It can work with different frameworks (Django, Hibernate, PHP, and others) and can also be used in research and scientific exploration.


Issues companies face while hiring a PostgreSQL developer

There can be various challenges that can arise while hiring a PostgreSQL developer. For example, the developer might be proficient in application development, but they may not have experience understanding or handling business requirements. Or they may not have experience in scaling the database or handling memory issues. 

Sometimes, developers don't know how to deal with the challenges of the PostgreSQL database system - they only know application integration. Using PostgreSQL requires extensive expertise and research. Only experienced developers and DB admin should be allowed to handle your database.


How to choose the best PostgreSQL developer?

Hiring a perfect PostgreSQL developer might seem a difficult task, but there are certain steps you can take. You can check the developer's knowledge of the flexible multimodel architecture of PostgreSQL. An ideal PostgreSQL developer should also know about DevOps and agile practices. 

They should have a good knowledge of SQL and should be able to use efficient database coding practices. PostgreSQL developers also may have to work on Geospatial data for GIS or with polyglot persistence databases. They should be knowledgeable about that while being able to maintain integrity and quality of content.    


Conclusion

PostgreSQL is undoubtedly one of the best database systems available in the market. It manages data efficiently and allows for maximum scalability and precision. PostgreSQL has relational (SQL) and non-relational (JSON) querying ability and is cross-platform. 

It can support dynamic websites and is compatible with all major languages and middleware. It protects data integrity and is fault-tolerant which makes it one of the most reliable and architecturally powerful database systems. 

What are the main differences between SQL Server and PostgreSQL?

SQL Server is a simple DBMS, whereas PostgreSQL is an advanced database. SQL Server can copy all sorts of data. PostgreSQL, however, only allows replication only in the report format. 

However, the SQL server doesn’t have options for dynamic actions, triggers or advanced compute columns, whereas PostgreSQL provides these features. Also, PostgreSQL is cross-platform, while SQLserver isn’t. 


What are the various data types in PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL supports numerous data types such as Boolean, characters (char, text, varchar), numeric (int, float), temporal (date, time), array, UUID, and unique data types like geometric data and network address.


What’s multi-version concurrency control in PostgreSQL?

MVCC or multi-version concurrency control is an advanced PostgreSQL feature. It minimizes the useless locking of the database by allowing the transaction to work on the database as it was a few seconds ago. This prevents the transaction from viewing inconsistent data. 

This feature helps data analysts and developers, especially those working as a group. It allows easy, seamless access to the database without the fear of accessing incorrect information. 


What are PostgreSQL functions?

PostgreSQL functions are stored protocols that you can use to perform operations and tasks in a database. Thus, a function is a set of SQL and procedural commands that may have loops, assignments, and flow-of-control. These functions are stored on the database server and are invoked using the SQL interface. Functions can be query language functions, procedural functions, and internal functions. 


What are tokens in PostgreSQL?

Tokens are the fundamental building blocks in PostgreSQL. They can be of different types: constants, keywords, and quoted identifiers, among others. These are separated by whitespaces. Comments aren’t included in tokens, and the commands to invoke different tokens are decided on a case-by-case basis. 

We are looking for a smart and adaptable PostgreSQL developer to join our team. They should be team players who are passionate about software development, database handling, and maintenance. It’s an excellent opportunity for result-oriented developers who want to create excellent APIs, learn skills, and take on different responsibilities.


Responsibilities

  • Create, test, and execute highly-optimized SQL code. 
  • Implement and maintain SQL code through stored procedures, scripts, and triggers. 
  • Research and perform complex tasks and requests in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ensure Reliability, Security, and Performance. 
  • Coordinate with product managers, DBA’s, GIS analysts, and stakeholders to understand business requirements. 
  • Work on documentation and participate in Agile meetings.
  • Follow best industry practices and standards

Skills and Qualifications

  • Working Knowledge of PostgreSQL, SQL, triggers, procedures. 
  • Experience in efficient and readable code without compromising data quality and security. 
  • Proven experience with load testing, partitioning, connecting, and profiling databases.
  • Experience with DOM manipulation and handling complicated SQL statements. 
  • Knowledge of JSON and server management. 
  • Knowledge of database design principles, index management, integrity check.  
  • Problem-solving skills and team spirit. 

Conclusion

At some point, your business is going to depend on a relational database. If you’d prefer to deploy an option that is as easy to learn as it is powerful and reliable, PostgreSQL might be the perfect match for your business or project.

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