The open source PostgreSQL 15 relational database became generally available on Thursday, with a series of enhancements designed to accelerate performance and data management.
PostgreSQL is an open source database development effort with multiple vendors providing support and services, including EDB, Percona, Aiven, Instaclustr, and cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft. The new release is the first major update this year and follows the PostgreSQL 14 release that debuted in September 2021.
Users of the PostgreSQL 15 update get a number of improvements, including new compression capabilities that help with data storage and backup, data sorting enhancement for faster lookups, and new logging and SQL capabilities.
Carl OlofsonAnalyst, IDC
"The release 15 improvements are numerous, and show an active and involved community," said Carl Olofson, analyst at IDC. "With this, PostgreSQL continues to grow in popularity and support in the open source community."
PostgreSQL 15 open source database merges new features
The new SQL MERGE command in PostgreSQL is particularly noteworthy, Olofson said.
The command enables the merging of tables and makes PostgreSQL more compatible with SQL Server-based relational database management systems, including Microsoft SQL Server and the SAP ASE relational database server, and any others that support the Transact-SQL set of programming extensions.
The MERGE capability comes to PostgreSQL via a contribution from database vendor EDB, a major contributor to the open source database. The MERGE command makes it easier to migrate applications from Oracle and SQL Server, said Marc Linster, CTO of EDB.
"The lack of a MERGE statement forced developers to create custom workarounds in the past, and the workarounds did not always perform at the same level," Linster said. "We contributed the MERGE statement to PostgreSQL to make it significantly easier for enterprises to migrate applications from Oracle and SQL Server."
PostgreSQL 15 also integrates row- and column-level filtering for data replication. The new filtering capabilities enable developers to be selective and only replicate data that is needed, Linster said. For example, he noted that a user could replicate only data relating to certain customers with row-level filtering or choose not to replicate all data elements with column-level filtering.
New database logging option lands in PostgreSQL 15
Another key new feature in PostgreSQL is the JSON logging capability.
Before PostgreSQL 15, PostgreSQL offered structured logs using a comma-separated values format, said Jonathan Katz, a core team member and contributor to the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. However, many structured log aggregators prefer to use JSON.
"The new JSON logging format will make it easier for log aggregators and other tools to parse and analyze PostgreSQL log data," Katz said. "This has all sorts of applications, from query performance analysis and alerting and monitoring to intrusion detection."
Looking forward, Katz noted that the PostgreSQL 16 development cycle is already underway, and multiple features are in the works. These include improvements to logical replication, such as the ability to bidirectionally replicate between two PostgreSQL tables, and transparent data encryption support.
What's clear about whatever comes next to PostgreSQL is that the open source database will continue to grow with its community of contributors. More than 400 individuals contributed to the PostgreSQL 15 release on the core database software, Katz said.
"We do continue to see new contributors to PostgreSQL and contributors coming from different companies," he said.