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PostreSQL Guide Introduction: What is PostgreSQL? Why Use It ?

This article is part of the LinuxScrew Guide for Developers Learning PostgreSQL.

PostgreSQL is a relational database management system. It is similar to other networked SQL database servers like MySQL/MariaDB and Microsoft SQL, but there are some key differences in features and functionality.

PostgreSQL vs Other Database Systems

You can see a comparison of PostgreSQL and other database systems here.

In short, while MySQL is the most popular open source database system, PostgreSQL is more advanced. PostgreSQL is object oriented, can store a larger number of types of data in columns (eg. arrays) and supports more complex queries.

PostgreSQL can search indexed data faster, and is more standards compliant (see the ACID data compatibility standard). PostgreSQL is condidered to be a better choice over other database solutions when dealing with giant data stores (Microsoft even uses it to track Windows update analytics using a database which scales to the petabytes).

Which Software Uses PostgreSQL?

If you are looking to learn how to use PostgreSQL you are no doubt considering which software supports using it as a data store.

PostgreSQL libraries exist for all major programming environments including Python, Javascript/Node.js, PHP and C++.

Some popular platforms which support PostgreSQL include the popular PHP Laravel framework and the Python Django framework, WordPress also supports PostgreSQL through the use of a plugin. Node.js, C++ and many other languages, frameworks, and data platforms support PostgreSQL through the use of the relevant library for their respective programming language.

Why Should I use PostgreSQL Over Other Databases

Because it uses SQL syntax which is mostly similar to the SQL query syntax used by MySQL. If you can write a query for PostgreSQL, you can write it for MySQL.

PostgreSQL is gaining popularity particularly with the data analysis crowd as it supports fields containing arrays and more complex queries that cascade across relationships.

Learning how to use PostgreSQL makes sense in the modern software development world – and the skills you learn are translatable to any other relational database management system.

Ready to learn more about PostgreSQL? Continue on with the LinuxScrew Guide for Developers Learning PostgreSQL.

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I'm Brad, and I'm nearing 20 years of experience with Linux. I've worked in just about every IT role there is before taking the leap into software development. Currently, I'm building desktop and web-based solutions with NodeJS and PHP hosted on Linux infrastructure. Visit my blog or find me on Twitter to see what I'm up to.

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