Navigation:  Introduction to FP2 > FP2 Architecture >

Why Use PostgreSQL?

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

This document answers the question that some Clients ask: "Why use PostgreSQL (as opposed to MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL, etc.) for FP2?" PostgreSQL is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that Ingenious Software prefers as the back-end data management component for the database driven software that we develop. As there are other popular choices available, it's good to clarify why we made that particular choice.

 

It's worth noting right away that the choice of RDBMS is often highly dependent on the parameters and requirements of an individual project. So while we express our preference of PostgreSQL, we in no way mean to imply that PostgreSQL is the right choice for every project.

 

 

Which Databases Did We Consider?

 

We compared PostgreSQL to the other common database Server packages: MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.

 

Choosing PostgreSQL

 

We'll address a couple of key factors that one should look at in choosing an RDBMS for a production-quality application, and why we think PostgreSQL comes out on top for our typical application needs:

 

General Advantages
Features
Cost
Commercial Support
Industry Acceptance / Wide-spread Usage

 

 

1. General Advantages

 

There are several key advantages of using PostgreSQL:

 

PostgreSQL is free, Open Source software
PostgreSQL has excellent commercial and community support options
PostgreSQL has legendary reliability and stability
PostgreSQL is very scalable and extensible
PostgreSQL is cross platform
PostgreSQL is designed for high volume environments
PostgreSQL is easy to administer

 

 

2. Features

 

Here is a more detailed list of features that are offered by these top RDBMS packages:

 

Indexes

Feature        

SQL Server

Oracle

MySQL

PostgreSQL

Open Source

 

 

X

X

Free / No License Costs

 

 

X

X

ACID Compliant

X

X

X

X

ANSI SQL Compliant

X

X

 

X

Referential Integrity

X

X

X

X

Replication

X

X

X

X

Rules

X

X

 

X

Views

X

X

X

X

Triggers

X

X

X

X

Unicode

X

X

 

X

Sequences

 

X

X

X

Inheritance

 

X

 

X

Outer Joins

X

X

X

X

Sub-selects

X

X

X

X

Open API

 

 

X

X

Stored Procedures

X

X

X

X

Native SSL Support

X

X

X

X

Procedural Languages

X

X

 

X

Indexes

X

X

X

X

 

This information is believed to be current as of this writing, but is not guaranteed to be accurate. Sources include: http://www.PostgreSQL.org/about/advantages, http://www.microsoft.com/sql/, http://www.mysql.com/products/mysql/index.html

 

Most all of the above features are key for developing robust, scalable database applications, and PostgreSQL clearly provides excellent value in this regard.

 

 

3. Cost

 

PostgreSQL, is Open Source software, which means it's free, and it's reliability and ease of administration means that valuable IT time isn't spent maintaining the database.  In addition, PostgreSQL can coexist on the same physical machine as other Server software, which helps to keep infrastructure costs down.  The cost and expertise required to maintain an Oracle or MS SQL Server is beyond the grasp of many smaller organizations - this isn't an issue with PostgreSQL, which means we can offer an affordable, usable solution to a wider range of Clients.

 

 

4. Commercial Support

 

There exists an extensive network of companies and individuals providing commercial consulting and support for PostgreSQL. One listing of those entities is available at http://www.postgresql.org/support/professional_support/northamerica/.. This is in contrast to proprietary support contracts needed for systems like SQL Server and Oracle.

 

In addition to the formal support channels, there are a wide variety of mailing lists, support groups, and other online collaborations where one looking for technical support and consultation can turn. Our experience is that any advanced PostgreSQL questions can usually be resolved very quickly at little or no material cost.

 

 

5. Industry Acceptance / Wide-spread Usage

 

With any mission critical application, it's important to ensure that the technologies in use are established within their industry and accepted by others as a trusted name. In addition to PostgreSQL's large network of commercial support (above), it enjoys significant usage by many notable organizations employing it for mission critical or large scale applications. A partial list of those organizations is available at http://www.postgresql.org/about/users/

 

 

Conclusion

 

As noted, PostgreSQL is not the right choice for every project, but we know that its advanced feature set, extremely low deployment cost, and open source community support make it the best choice for Ingenious Software's Emergency Services Record Management System, FP2.