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PostgreSQL 8.1 Shows Database Progress

By Jon Jensen
November 14, 2005

At End Point we recommend PostgreSQL for most of our database-backed software development due to its powerful features, reliability, speed, and liberal license. On November 8, 2005, PostgreSQL 8.1 was released, and it offers a number of useful new features, including:

  • Two-phase commit (transactions across distant servers).

  • Numerous new SQL features (regexp_replace function; indexed MIN and MAX aggregates; SQL-standard quoting; non-blocking SELECT FOR UPDATE, better time zone handling; cross-table DELETE and TRUNCATE).

  • More powerful in-database functions with mutable function parameters and improved PL/Perl language support (return_next and spi_fetchrow; use strict; return arrays).

  • Convenient interactive error retry in psql client (coded by End Point's own Greg Sabino Mullane).

  • Integrated encryption (pgcrypto module for PGP, SHA, AES, and DES encryption functions).

  • Improved performance (better multiprocessor support; shared row locking; bitmap scan of indexes; ability to use multi-column indexes on single columns in any order).

  • Easier database administration (autovacuum integration; ROLE replaces USER and GROUP; functions to determine on-disk storage space).

  • Temporary views.

We are consistently pleased with the steady improvements shown by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group and have already begun using this new version in our development.

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