Items in Category: Database

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PG Phriday: The Audacity of NoSQL

July 22nd, 2016 | Published in Database, Tech Talk | 2 Comments

The pure, unadulterated, presumptuous impudence of NoSQL. Engines like MongoDB recklessly discard concepts like ACID in some futile quest to achieve “web scale”, and end up accomplishing neither. RDBMS systems have literally decades of history to draw upon, and have long since conquered the pitfalls NoSQL platforms are just now encountering. There may be something to a couple of them, but by and large, they’re nothing we really need.

At least, that’s something I might have said a couple of weeks ago.

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PG Phriday: A Postgres Perspective on MongoDB

July 15th, 2016 | Published in Database, Tech Talk | 17 Comments

I’ve been almost exclusively a Postgres DBA for a seemingly interminable length of time. While this is good for specializing, nobody wants to be a One-Trick Pony. And aside from the occasional bit of Python to write more advanced tools when Bash isn’t up to the job, it’s All Postgres All The Time. While few things would make me happier, it pays to branch out occasionally.

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PG Phriday: All in a Name

July 8th, 2016 | Published in Database, Tech Talk | 3 Comments

Naming objects in a database can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. What kind of guidelines should we follow for schemas and tables? What about columns or variables? Should the same rules apply to indexes, constraints, and sequences? Functions and triggers are much different than all of those elements, yet still exist within the same namespace. Then we have to contend with Postgres reserved words, many of which are probably only obvious to someone well versed in database lingo.

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PG Phriday: EXCEPTIONal Performance

July 1st, 2016 | Published in Database, Tech Talk | 6 Comments

Like any programming language, the PL/pgSQL Postgres procedural language has plenty of handy control structures. Among those thankfully modern accoutrements is the humble EXCEPTION block. While not the more prevalent try/catch methodology, we can use BEGIN anywhere to start an embedded section for the same effect.

Knowing this is the case, what are the costs of actually using them? Postgres is fairly streamlined, and as such, can take several shortcuts when there are no exception blocks within a chunk of PL/pgSQL. Thus, it’s not uncommon for members of mailing lists to mutter about ‘performance costs’ and suggest that the worst performance hit is felt by even breathing the word ‘exception’ in the presence of a Postgres instance. The implication is that further leverage will be incremental by comparison.

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PG Phriday: Let There Be Jank

June 17th, 2016 | Published in Database, Tech Talk | No Comments

One way the Postgres project is subtly misleading, is that it becomes easy to forget that not all other projects are nearly as well managed. This becomes more relevant when delving into niches that lack sufficient visibility to expose the more obvious deficiencies. As much as we like Postgres, it’s not quite as popular as it could be. This makes some of the side projects infrequently used, and as a direct consequence, they can often resemble jerky automatons cobbled together out of spit and bailing wire.

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