September 09, 2013, 12:48 PM — For this year's annual update to PostgreSQL, the developers behind the open source database have added several new ways to communicate with other databases and data storage systems.
PostgeSQL's foreign data wrappers, which have been used since PostgreSQL 9.1 to read data from other systems, can now also be programmed to write data to non-PostgreSQL systems as well.
Such two-way data exchanges could help developers write programs that fuse multiple sources of data, both the structured data that PostgreSQL holds as well as semi-structured data stored on NoSQL systems.
For those who wish to bridge together two copies of the PostgreSQL itself, the development group has also released a federation driver that provides a speedier way to execute PostgreSQL-to-PostgreSQL data transactions.
Although perhaps not as well known as the MySQL open source database, PostgreSQL, also known as Postgres, has found work in many organizations, such as for Microsoft's Skype operations, Yahoo, Reddit, Facebook's Instagram, Sony and BASF. At least one company, EnterpriseDB, offers commercial support for the software.
Developers can now create modules, called background workers, to help automate, stage and execute actions of applications using PostgreSQL. For instance, one worker that has already been created called Mongres reformats queries written for the MongoDB NoSQL data store so they can be understood by PostgreSQL.
Other new developer-friendly features for PostgreSQL 9.3 include automatically updatable views, lateral joins and a parallel copying routine, called pg_dump, to speed backups of large databases.
Improvements have also been made to further improve the reliability of the database. In a new feature called fast failover, PostgreSQL 9.3 can switch operations from the master database to the replica database in less than a second.
The database also can now run data page checksums to ensure data in the database has not been altered, which could provide evidence of failing hard disks.