Version 8.2 of open-source PostgreSQL DB released

Database has improvements for easier use, wider capabilities

A new version of the popular PostgreSQL open-source object-relational enterprise database was released today, featuring more than 200 improvements aimed at making the application easier to use, according to the PostgreSQL Global Development Group.

PostgreSQL 8.2, the 14th public release of the database, includes refinements such as improved logging, a better optimizer and the ability to create indexes even as a user is modifying a database table. It is available for a free download.

Performance improvements include a 20% overall speed increase for high-end online transaction processing, better multiprocessor scaling, better planning of partitioned data queries, faster bulk loads and accelerated outer joins, according to the group.

"What we see with this release ... is that it basically ... takes a lot of features that we've put in the past few releases and makes them feature-complete," said Bruce Momjian, a PostgreSQL core team member and EnterpriseDB database architect. "This release touches almost every command and database facility. It adds expanded, compatible syntax and interfaces which have been requested by our community, making it easier for new DBAs to fully use all of PostgreSQL's advanced features.

"It really improves the usability of the database," he added.

Other improvements include an extension of the "point-in-time recovery" feature that allows administrators to create a fail-over copy of a database cluster, providing warm standby databases for emergency use.

Also included are syntaxes for several more features introduced in the ANSI SQL 2003 specification, among them statistical aggregates, multirow value statements and multicolumn aggregates.

New advanced database features include generalized inverted indexes that support a more scalable and programmable way of indexing semistructured and full text data, and compatibility with Solaris DTrace and other advanced tracing tools via the Generic Monitoring Framework.

The database has wide adoption among large enterprise users, including global Internet domain name registrar Afilias Ltd., electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd., the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and mobile communications vendor Research In Motion Ltd.

PostgreSQL, an open-source project that began 21 years ago at the University of California, Berkeley, is distributed under a BSD license, which allows use and distribution without fees for both commercial and noncommercial applications.

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