Database driven websites

The needs of online businesses are constantly evolving, requiring more capable technology. Many are discovering the benefits of open-source solutions. These offer flexibility, customization, and cost savings compared to traditional software. This makes open-source options (operating systems, web servers, and even database systems) a smart choice for ECommerce platforms.

PostgreSQL – An open source DB

Of the available open-source databases, PostgreSQL (also known as Postgres) stands out as a robust, object-relational database management system. Its open-source origins and active development community fuel rapid innovation. Major features are often added in months, a pace unmatched by commercial software companies.

The active PostgreSQL community consists of hundreds of dedicated developers and users. This collaborative environment drives testing and improvements, ensuring quick fixes and feature rollouts across diverse platforms. Version 9.6.8 is gaining widespread enterprise adoption, and the upcoming version 10.3 promises even greater capabilities, potentially disrupting the commercial database market.

PostgreSQL’s origins at the University of California at Berkeley have resulted in a remarkably simple and flexible open-source license. This permissive license is a major factor in its appeal to businesses.

MySQL, the competitor

MySQL differs significantly from PostgreSQL and InterBase, catering to different use cases. It’s designed for speed and simplicity, making it ideal for websites with straightforward data requirements and moderate traffic. MySQL integrates seamlessly with web scripting languages like Perl and PHP, further explaining its popularity amongst webmasters. While its feature set was initially more limited, the recent adoption of GNU Public License (GPL) has opened up possibilities for expanded functionality.

History of PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL’s Roots in Ingres

PostgreSQL has a rich history linked to the Ingres project, born at the University of California at Berkeley (1977-1985). Ingres technology eventually powered one of the first successful commercial database systems.

From Postgres to PostgreSQL

UC Berkeley professor Michael Stonebraker continued database research, leading to the Postgres project (1986-1994), a database focused on advanced concepts (often called object-relational). Students Jolly Chen and Andrew Yu brought essential SQL capabilities, renaming the project Postgres95.

Open-Source Evolution

In 1996, the demand for an open-source database with SQL led to the creation of PostgreSQL, honoring its past and new capabilities. Despite initial developer challenges due to the code’s complexity, the project’s potential and welcoming structure eventually attracted skilled contributors.

Community Growth

This sparked a passionate community dedicated to PostgreSQL’s development. You can find the project’s online home at

Whats up there in PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL: Modern, Versatile, and Standards-Compliant

PostgreSQL boasts a powerful feature set and impressive adaptability. As of 2024, the current version is 16.2, demonstrating its continued active development. PostgreSQL supports a wide array of operating systems, including Linux, BSD variants, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Irix, and Windows, showcasing its flexibility. Its strong standards compliance and robust feature set make it ideal for businesses of all sizes, powering websites, intranets, extranets, and eCommerce platforms.

PostgreSQL is highly extensible. Users can create custom functions and operators, encapsulating complex business logic directly within the database for improved performance and maintainability. Its support for various programming languages enhances this flexibility.


Maximum SizeĀ 
Unlimited (very large databases exist)
64 TB (all OS)
Row (7.1 and later)
Field (7.1 and later)
>1 GB
Rows per Table
Columns per Table
Indexes per Table


PostgreSQL in the Real World

Powering Diverse Applications

PostgreSQL’s capabilities extend beyond just web development. Businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises, leverage PostgreSQL in diverse fields like finance, healthcare, logistics, and more. Its reliability and feature set make it adaptable to both traditional and cutting-edge use cases.

The Rise of Open-Source Databases

Businesses increasingly rely on sophisticated database systems to power critical operations like supply chain management, customer interactions, and advanced analytics. The flexibility, adaptability, and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases make them exceptionally attractive to companies seeking greater control over their technology stack.

Drivers of Adoption

The collaborative nature of open-source development fosters rapid innovation and allows businesses to customize solutions to meet their specific needs. This stands in contrast to the constraints and slower development cycles often associated with proprietary database vendors.

Continued Growth

The open-source database market continues to expand rapidly. While predictions about the complete shift away from proprietary models might be debatable, the advantages of open-source databases ensure their growing role in the tech landscape.

* This article is a collection of information from various resources. All Names belong to their respective owners. PostgreSQL is an open source DB tool with GNU.