Version 8.3 of the
PostgreSQL DBMS was
announced on February 4, 2008:
"Today the PostgreSQL Global Development Group releases the long-awaited
version 8.3 of the most advanced open source database, which cements our
place as the best performing open source database."
Version 8.3 brings many new
First on the list is the cleaning up of data type conversions.
This improvement may impact backwards compatibility issues with older
applications, but will insure better data integrity in the future.
There are four new capabilities that aim to improve the consistency of
response times, these include Heap Only Tuple for speeding up access to
frequently updated data, asynchronous commits,
spread checkpoint autotuning and a just-in-time background writing strategy.
There have been numerous speed improvements including better recovery time
for the write ahead log, faster small-merge joins, faster LIKE/ILIKE
comparisons, improvements to searches using LIMIT, lazy XID assignment for
improving read-mostly database speed and function costing for faster query
Large database support improvements include synchronized scans for
multiple users, level 2 cache scan protection to prevent CPU thrashing
and reductions in the size of headers for variable size fields.
Windows users will benefit from new Visual C++ support and some code rewrites.
Administration improvements include output of logs to database-loadable
files, SSPI and GSSAPI support for Kerberos authentication, embeddable
GUC settings at function creation time, parallel autovacuum workers,
the pg_standby tool for configuring warm standby servers and a new ability
to specify the position of NULLs at the beginning or end of results.
Development improvements include API improvements to the full text search tool,
plan invalidation for clearing cached plans and automatically dropping
plans when tables are updated, and updatable cursors.
Data type enhancements include full support for the ANSI SQL:2003 XML spec,
support for 128 bit UUIDs, support for arrays of compound types and
support for ENUM columns with a defined ordered list of alternatives.
The ENUM enhancement allows applications to be migrated from the
The PostgreSQL stored procedure language has a simplified syntax for row-returning functions and new support for scrollable cursors, which
allows procedures to perform complex row manipulations.
A number of new accessory tools are being released with PostgreSQL 8.3
including a multi-threaded connection pooler, a distributed, horizontally scaled table interface, an SNMP interface, a SELinux-based security extension,
a new GUI with debugging and step-through execution capabilities, a
new replicated query agent, a multi-master asynchronous replication system,
an integrated clustering tools project and an improved replication system.
For more information on the new features in PostgreSQL 8.3, see the
gives a tabular view of features added versus the version number.
In order to speed the next release up, the PostgreSQL team plans to
implement a new
for version 8.4:
In the 8.4 development cycle we would like to try a new style of
development, designed to keep the patch queue to a limited size and to
provide timely feedback to developers on the work they submit. To do
this we will replace the traditional 'feature freeze' with a series of
'commit fests' throughout the development cycle. The idea of commit
fests was discussed last October in -hackers, and it seemed to meet
with general approval. Whenever a commit fest is in progress, the
focus will shift from development to review, feedback and commit of
patches. Each fest will continue until all patches in the queue have
either been committed to the CVS repository, returned to the author
for additional work, or rejected outright, and until that has
happened, no new patches will be considered.
Version 8.3 represents a major step forward for PostgreSQL,
if the new development style bears fruit, the next major version
will come about more quickly.
to post comments)