The open source PostgreSQL could already behave like its NoSQL peers, making it the database of choice for organizations ranging from NASA to Instagram. Now, with its version 9.2 release, PostgreSQL is gaining long-awaited features like native JSON support, as well as increases to speed and scalability.
JSON Goes Native
The ability to store JSON objects is a feature that NoSQL databases have lorded over many relational databases for years. The addition of this feature to PostgreSQL brings it up to speed with its NoSQL counterparts. Release 9.2 uses custom JSON formatting in order to remain lightweight and unencumbered by external dependencies. LWN.net took a look at the 9.2 beta release in May, and reported:
So there's a lot of room to improve this feature, but currently it's a huge step for PostgreSQL and probably the premier feature of this release.
The addition of "Range Type" support makes it easy to represent linear ranges in a sophisticated way, opening a range (pun intended) of options for applications in the scientific and financial realms. This allows you to simply prevent conflicts or find overlaps, among other possibilities. PostgreSQL is currently the only major relational database with this functionality.
Now Scaling to 64 Cores
With scalability up to 64 cores, the PostgreSQL Global Development Group claims its new release can make up to 350,000 queries per second -- quadruple the numbers of past versions. Even with fewer cores, LWN found improved throughput in May's beta release of 9.2.
Further tune-ups include reduced CPU power consumption, cascading replication, and up to 14,000 data writes per second. Furthermore, PostgreSQL is now capable of index-only access, an optimization allowing the database to return indexed queries by searching only indexed data.