What is PostgreSQL? What is it Used For?

PostgreSQL is one of the most advanced relational database systems fully supported and managed by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It handles both SQL (relational) and JSON (non-relational) queries. With a strong presence of over 20 years, it is supported by a large community. It is highly popular for its resilience and integrity, the reasons why it is used as a primary data source or data warehouse for web, mobile, analytics, and geospatial applications.

Its support for advanced data types makes it stand out while it is comparable to other commercial databases like Oracle and MS SQL Server in terms of performance optimization.

What is PostgreSQL?

Feature-rich PostgreSQL:

PostgreSQL is robust in features that make it one of the most advanced databases being used today:

  • Its multi-version concurrency control is an advanced technique used in PostgreSQL for improving the database performance in the multi-user environment.

  • Point-in-time-recovery (PITR) is PostgreSQL’s ability to restore the full backup and then fetch and apply the WAL (Write-Ahead Log) files, the metadata, for a certain time.

  • PostgreSQL helps in accessing the granular controls as it helps in setting up fine-grained access control to users and roles.

  • Tablespaces in PostgreSQL help the administrators in storing the file systems by defining the locations where the files related to the database objects can be stored.

  • PostgreSQL allows for hot backups. The hot backups are the backups made when the normal working operations are taking place. Applications can carry out the regular read and write operation during the backup process, unlike the cold backup which happens when no file is active.

  • PostgreSQL comes with a refined query planner/optimizer which creates an optimal execution plan. It chooses the execution plan after examining the possible execution plans and executes the one that is expected to run the fastest.

  • PostgreSQL supports WAL or write-ahead logging, a feature that ensures data integrity. The concept of WAL is that the changes to the data files, tables, and indexes, should be made only after they are logged and flushed to permanent storage.

  • PostgreSQL is a highly scalable database in terms of the quantity of data and number of users it can accommodate at a particular point in time.

  • PostgreSQL supports international character sets, multi-byte character encodings, and Unicode.

Advantages of PostgreSQL

The following are the main advantages of PostgreSQL:

  • PostgreSQL is capable of running dynamic websites or mobile apps as LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/Middleware(Perl, Ruby, Python, PHP/PostgreSQL) option.

  • PostgreSQL with its WAL feature makes it a highly fault-tolerant database.

  • As PostgreSQL is available as a free, open-source database, one can modify/add changes according to the business needs.

  • As PostgreSQL offers support to geographical objects, it can be leveraged for location-based services.

  • As PostgreSQL offers support to geographical objects, it can be used as a geospatial data store for location-based services.

  • PostgreSQL has a shorter learning curve and one can start working on it quickly.

  • PostgreSQL requires less maintenance even for enterprise use.

Disadvantages of PostgreSQL

The following are the key drawbacks of PostgreSQL:

  • Unlike MySQL or MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL is not owned by a particular organization which is the reason why it is not so popular despite being an advanced and fully-featured RDBMS system.

  • PostgreSQL requires more work than MySQL in terms of speed improvement as the main focus of the former lies with compatibility.

  • Not as many apps that support MySQL support PostgreSQL.
  • As far as the performance goes, PostgreSQL is slower than MySQL.

Advantages of PostgreSQL

What is PostgreSQL used for?

PostgreSQL is used in multiple domains for the advanced uses it offers. Let’s see for what purposes PostgreSQL is commonly used:

Finance Industry:

PostgreSQL is a preferred choice in the financial industry as it is fully ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) compliant making it ideal for OLTP (Online Transaction Processing). Apart from that, it also meets the expectations when it comes to performing database analytics. It can work in tandem with scientific programming languages like R and Matlab.


PostGIS is a powerful spatial database extender for PostgreSQL. It adds support for geographic objects allowing for location-based queries to be run. PostGIS is high on standard and provides the easiest way to handle Geodata using QGIS or GeoServer integration.


Manufacturers are also turning towards PostgreSQL to optimize their supply chain performance using this open-source RDBMS system. It essentially reduces their operating cost as it is free and open-source.

Software Industry:

PostgreSQL offers the best solution when it comes to web applications as numerous requests emerge per second and accommodating these requests becomes an issue. PostgreSQL is highly scalable when it comes to data storage or query management. With its replicating capability, it can scale as many database servers as possible.

PostgreSQL is compatible with all the backend languages and frameworks like PHP, Django, and Node.js, etc.


PostgreSQL is a highly advanced RDBMS that can handle both relational and non-relational querying. It has numerous advantages due to which this database management system is used across various industries. It is scalable in terms of data storage as well as concurrent user management.

advanced RDBMS

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