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November 8, 2005

PostgreSQL community releases version 8.1

The PostgreSQL development community has released version 8.1 of the open source database introducing new advanced features and performance improvements for what is claimed to be the most advanced open source database management system.

By CBR Staff Writer

Version 8.1 includes a number of improvements that belie its point release status, including the addition of support for database roles, two-phase commit, and IN/OUT parameters to improve support for complex business logic in .NET and J2EE applications.

There are also more than 120 functional enhancements in the new version, according to the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, including improvements in symmetrical multiprocessor performance, table partitioning, and shared row locking.

As previously reported, the new version also includes a number of improvements aimed at enhancing the use of PostgreSQL in large data warehouse environments, including faster execution of larger and more complex queries, improvements in aggregate table creation, more streamlined access to partitioned tables, more efficient memory management, and improvements in data loading.

The open source database management system was originally developed at the University of California at Berkeley Computer Science Department and is licensed on a BSD license that means that PostgreSQL can be used, modified, and distributed by anyone free of charge for any purpose, be it private, commercial, or academic.

While it has never lacked for advanced database features or community support, it has in the past lacked the profile enjoyed by MySQL, the other main open source database. That situation has changed in recent months as an increase in the number of corporate sponsors has raised the profile of PostgreSQL in enterprise environments.

Pervasive Software Inc joined the open source database market in January by announcing Pervasive PostgreSQL, while April saw the launch of Greenplum Inc with Bizgres, a version of PostgreSQL tuned for data warehousing and business intelligence.

Then in May EnterpriseDB Corp, which has layered proprietary technology on top of the PostgreSQL engine and announced its official launch and intention to challenge Oracle Corp in the database market.

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All three joined existing commercial vendor PostgreSQL Inc in supporting the open source database, as well as the likes of Fujitsu Ltd, credativ GmbH, Software Research Associates Inc, Command Prompt Inc, and Red Hat Inc.

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