PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system. It has more than 15 years of active development and a proven architecture that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, data integrity, and correctness.
It is fully ACID compliant, has full support for foreign keys, joins, views, triggers, and stored procedures (in multiple languages). It includes most SQL:2008 data types, including INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, INTERVAL, and TIMESTAMP.
# Major enhancements include:
* Built-in replication based on log shipping. This advance consists of two features: Streaming Replication, allowing continuous archive (WAL) files to be streamed over a network connection to a standby server, and Hot Standby, allowing continuous archive standby servers to execute read-only queries. The net effect is to support a single master with multiple read-only slave servers.
* Easier database object permissions management. GRANT/REVOKE IN SCHEMA supports mass permissions changes on existing objects, while ALTER DEFAULT PRIVILEGES allows control of privileges for objects created in the future. Large objects (BLOBs) now support permissions management as well.
* Broadly enhanced stored procedure support. The DO statement supports ad-hoc or "anonymous" code blocks. Functions can now be called using named parameters. PL/pgSQL is now installed by default, and PL/Perl and PL/Python have been enhanced in several ways, including support for Python3.
* Full support for 64-bit Windows.
* More advanced reporting queries, including additional windowing options (PRECEDING and FOLLOWING) and the ability to control the order in which values are fed to aggregate functions.
* New trigger features, including SQL-standard-compliant per-column triggers and conditional trigger execution.
* Deferrable unique constraints. Mass updates to unique keys are now possible without trickery
* Exclusion constraints. These provide a generalized version of unique constraints, allowing enforcement of complex conditions.
* New and enhanced security features, including RADIUS authentication, LDAP authentication improvements, and a new contrib module passwordcheck for testing password strength.
* New high-performance implementation of the LISTEN/NOTIFY feature. Pending events are now stored in a memory-based queue rather than a table. Also, a "payload" string can be sent with each event, rather than transmitting just an event name as before.
* New implementation of VACUUM FULL. This command now rewrites the entire table and indexes, rather than moving individual rows to compact space. It is substantially faster in most cases, and no longer results in index bloat.
* New contrib module pg_upgrade to support in-place upgrades from 8.3 or 8.4 to 9.0.
* Multiple performance enhancements for specific types of queries, including elimination of unnecessary joins. This helps optimize some automatically-generated queries, such as those produced by object-relational mappers (ORMs).
* EXPLAIN enhancements. The output is now available in JSON, XML, or YAML format, and includes buffer utilization and other data not previously available.
* hstore improvements, including new functions and greater data capacity.