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When I mention PostgreSQL as a database solution, most people have no idea what I am talking about.Â It is not a commonly known database, which is very sad.Â People who are making decisions regarding the database to use in their organization or product normally only know about Oracle, MySQL or MS SQL Server.Â This is a very sad situation as it results in a lot of overkill (like using Oracle for a simple data storage system - MySQL would be much better suited) or misuse of a database (like using MySQL for a system that requires a lot of data manipulation - Oracle/MS SQL/PostgreSQL is better suited as they have strong trigger and procedural language support).Â It also result in many cases in additional high licence fees to the client.
There are many other capable database systems out there that might suit the purpose better and cost less.Â PostgreSQL and Firebird are two of them.Â PostgreSQL is a very good option as it can be used for the straight-forward data storage applications, but also for the complex enterprise systems that require strong and effective data manipulation.
I come from an Oracle background and worked on enterprise systems that require a lot of complex data manipulation inside the database.Â One application was actually 90% database driven.Â 90% of the data processing is done in the database itself.Â This is something that Oracle is very good at, but PostgreSQL would also be very good at it, but at a fraction of the cost.Â In this case the client already had a huge investment in Oracle, so the licensing fees was not a big issue.
About 10 years ago I was looking at a possible project for a client and we required a database with a web interface, so the logical assumption was MySQL (LAMP solution).Â I looked into the licensing of MySQL and it totally confused me.Â Even the people on the MySQL forum could not give me a straight answer as to whether the client would require a license or not.Â So I looked at other database systems and came upon PostgreSQL, which have a very straight forward and clear license (http://www.postgresql.org/about/licence/) stating that it can be used for free for any purpose. I immediately installed PostgreSQL and based my project design on it.
I also used PostgreSQL for all future projects, some of which turned out to be large enterprise systems with a lot of data manipulation that could be done inside the database to ensure data integrity and make the front-end lighter and more maintainable.
But now, people would ask: what about enterprise support.Â They prefer Oracle or MS SQL so that they can have the support.Â Well, EnterpriseDB does exactly that.Â They have their own enterprise tools built on PostgreSQL and their own enterprise level version of PostgreSQL.Â They also contribute back to the PostgreSQL project, enhancing the open source version.
EnterpriseDB posted a news article about their growth in 2012.Â It is great to see how much they have grown and the success they had in the huge fortune 500 companies.Â It seems that people are starting to wake up and are looking at more cost-effective solutions that fits the purpose better.
If you are a software developer or solutions architect, please have a look at PostgreSQL for your next project, especially if the project have the potential to grow to enterprise level.Â With PostgreSQL you can cater for the small client that wants to use your product, but does not require or have the budget for a support license, and cater for the huge corporation that require enterprise level support, high availability, redundancy and stability.
In the 10 years we have been using PostgreSQL we have never had any data corruption, no crashes and no problems.Â The database just runs and does it job.
With PostgreSQL you are not locked in to a platform or a vendor and you have the option to get enterprise level tools and support.
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