PostgreSQL is a very capable open-source object-relational database system. It evolved from the Ingres project at the Berkeley University.

Leader of the Ingres team was Michael Stonebreaker. In 1985 he started a new project, called POSTGRES for post-ingres, which had ability to define types and fully describe relationships. It could fetch data in related tables using rules, a novel concept. First version was released to small number of users in 1989. In 1996, with initial support for POSTQUEL language replaced with SQL, POSTGRES changed name to PostgreSQL to reflect its support for SQL. Since 1997, a group of developers and volunteers around the world maintain the software as The PostgreSQL Global Development Group.

PostgreSQL is extremely feature-rich, comparable to proprietary enterprise databases like Oracle, SQL Server and DB2. PostgreSQL uses multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) to avoid locking and has a rich programming support in form of PL/pgSQL (equivalent to Oracle’s PL/SQL). It can even use external programming languages through extensions (currently supports Perl, Python and Tcl, with more to come). Recently performant JSONB datatype was added, making PostgreSQL a viable competitor to document/store databases such as MongoDB.

Many companies use PostgreSQL as a base for their proprietary enhances database projects.

PostgreSQL is continuously maintained for almost 30 years. It’s a completely free database with top-notch capabilities and reliability. We warmly recommend it as a production database and use it ourselves.

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