PostgreSQL 9.4 Introduces New Features for Flexibility, Scalability and Performance

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has released PostgreSQL 9.4. According to the group, the latest version of the open source database system adds new features to enhance PostgreSQL's flexibility, scalability and performance for different types of database users, including improvements to JSON support, replication and index performance.

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has always believed in the mantra of “Flexibility, Scalability, and Performance” for its object relational database management system (ORDBMS) and the new release furthers that vision.

With the new JSONB data type for PostgreSQL, users no longer have to choose between relational and non-relational data stores; they can have both at the same time. JSON only allowed storage of data to be in plain text format while JSONB is stored in a binary representation. This gives the user more flexibility to choose from when it comes to data stores. JSONB supports fast lookups and simple expression search queries using Generalized Inverted Indexes (GIN). With JSONB, table data can be easily integrated with document data for a fully integrated database environment.

"JSONB brings PostgreSQL to the JavaScript development community by allowing JSON data to be stored and queried natively. Node.js and other server-side JavaScript frameworks can benefit from the safety and robustness of PostgreSQL, while still storing data in the schema-less format that they prefer," said Matt Soldo, product manager, Heroku Postgres.

Another key improvement to version 9.4 is the replication system. Logical decoding supplies a new API which allows reading, filtering, and manipulating the replication system. The new API is the base for new replication tools, such as bi-directional replication, which supports the creation of multi-master PostgreSQL clusters. Other improvements to the replications also include replication slots and time delayed replicas.

A few of the performance features that version 9.4 improves upon are: making the GIN indexes 50% smaller and 3x faster, faster up to date reporting, faster database cache reload, faster parallel writing to the PostgreSQL transaction log, and support for Linux Huge Pages for servers with large memory.

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