What do Apple, Yahoo, Instagram, and Facebook all have in common? Other than being massive corporations, these companies all rely on the same database management system to hold their data: PostgreSQL. For quite some time, PostgreSQL has been regarded as the most advanced and reliable SQL compliant and open-source databases available on the market. Due to its ability to perform difficult and high-volume tasks, it has become the first choice for many companies across the world. But why should you use PostgreSQL for your own projects? Below I’ve mapped out some of the main features of PostgreSQL and what makes it such a powerful database worth exploring. Let’s take a look!

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL can be classified as an object-relational database management system, meaning it’s a database that organized its contents in relations. These types of databases create tables and each table features a collection of rows. Every row on the table has the same set of columns that hold a specified data type, such as texts or numbers. All of your tables are grouped into their own specific databases, so you can have multiple tables in a single database.

Why PostgreSQL?

The beauty of using PostgreSQL is that it’s highly customizable and gives developers a number of tools to protect data integrity. Using PostgreSQL you have the ability to define your own data types, create custom functions, and also write code in multiple programming languages without recompiling your database. All of the primitive data types are supported by PostgreSQL and you’re also able to save documents (XML, JSON, etc), which is super convenient!

PostgreSQL also allows you to customize your database to your organization's specific set of rules. You’re allowed to use Explicit Locking, Advisory Locks, and also keys (Foreign, Primary, etc.). There are also a number of indexing methods available that help with advanced data retrieval including B-tree, Expression, Partial, Multicolumn, and more.

The database system was also designed with security in mind so you can keep your data safe without much of a hassle. In the case of data loss, PostgreSQL features Write-ahead Logging to secure your data and you can also replicate the data you have stored using Master/Slave Native Replication. A number of Authentication methods are also available in PostgreSQL, including SSPI, SCRAM-SHA-256, Certificate, and many more.

How to Get Started

Ready to try it out? It’s super easy to set up PostgreSQL and get up and running in no time.

Below, let's take a look at how to get PostgreSQL installed and ready to go using homebrew. First, you’ll want to run the following commands:

brew install postgresql

Once your machine has finished installing, you can confirm PostgreSQL is running using the following command. You’re terminal show return the version number of PostgreSQL that is currently available. If you receive no value, then it’s likely that PostgreSQL wasn’t installed correctly and you should try reinstalling.

postgres --version

PostgreSQL can also be installed using the official PostgreSQL website, found here. Select the download package that suits your system, install it, and feel free to get started using PostgreSQL on your next project.

Happy coding!

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