Live from TSSJS – PostgreSQL with Tom

Live blogging from TheServerSide Java Symposium with Tom Kincaid at his vendor presentation “Introduction to PostgreSQL for Development and Deployment”.  Tom spends a lot of time contrasing Postgres with MySQL, and commenting how since Oracle’s aquisition of MySQL, the licensing of MySQL is now much more restrictive. Tom says the licensing of Postgres is basically “Do what you want with the code but don’t bother us”.

1. Why has it not the most adopted open source DB?
Tom talks about some of the limitation of Postgres that prevented it from becoming one of the most adopted DBMS software including:

  • Early versions were Linux only with Windows support coming later
  • Installation was difficult
  • Default configuration was not neccessarily the best, and was designed for widest platform adoption
  • Lacked bundled distribution tools

Tom points out that originally, developers “first 20 mins” of using the product was often frustrating and would turn people off to the software.

2. Today’s Postgres
Postgres has made a number of changes in the last few years to grow Postgres has a more developer-friendly and easier-to-use product.  It also has been extended to work with all major IDEs, object-relational mapping tools such as JDBC, ODBC drivers, and stored procedures based in Java.  They have also spent time improving the GUI tools to compete with other major DBMS providers.  The GUI also shows performance tools and query plans.

Conclusion
The vendor sessions were abridged compared to the normal sessions so there was a lot Tom did not get to.  He did peak my interest in learning more about Postgres, now that it has grown to a more substational platform.  Tom’s belief is that everyone should use Postgres given its power and hands-off licensing, especially compared to the direction MySQL may be going.

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