Evolvement of PostgreSQL: Background

Research papers of “System R” from IBM were initially picked up by two professors, Michael Stonebraker and Eugene Wong, at Berkeley University, California. This resulted in a new database called INteractive Graphics REtrieval System i.e. “Ingres“. The work done by this duo for Ingres becomes the foundation of many relational databases like MS SQL Server, Sybase, etc including PostgreSQL.

PostgreSQL has come into the concept when Stonebraker again started a post-ingress project to address the issues faced by contemporary databases. At a later stage, it began using SQL instead of Ingres influenced query languages. Hence, to reflect the post-ingress & SQL feature, this database is named so “PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL has earned a strong reputation for its proven architecture, reliability, data integrity, robust feature set, extensibility, and the dedication of the open-source community behind the software to consistently deliver performant and innovative solutions.

PostgreSQL comes with many features. It is aimed to help developers build and deploy applications quickly. It also helps administrators to protect data integrity, build fault-tolerant environments and help you manage your data no matter how big or small the data set. In addition to being free and open-source, PostgreSQL is highly extensible. For example, you can define your data types, build your own custom functions, even write code in different programming languages and execute it in PostgreSQL without even recompiling your database!

This database is releasing one major version every year and frequent minor versions which includes security patches at least every three months. Since their major version contains changes in data files and system tables internal formats, they do not maintain backward compatibility. This is the reason, PostgreSQL strongly recommends major version upgrades via various tools provided such as pg_dump and pg_upgrade.

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group supports a major version for 5 years after its initial release. After its fifth anniversary, a major version will have one last minor release containing any fixes and will be considered end-of-life (EOL) and no longer supported.

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