You may have seen the IBM announcement at the THINK Conference about a new offering Elite Support for PostgreSQL, which is part of a new family of offerings called Elite Support for Open Source Databases. In the same announcement, IBM also revealed an exciting business partnership with Enterprise DB, a major contributor to PostgreSQL. I would like to discuss this in more detail and attempt to shed some light on what’s happening.

First, let’s talk open source. PostgreSQL is an open source database and proudly claims being “the world’s most advanced open source database.” IBM has been a leader in open source innovations, being a driver or contributor in such open source projects and communities as Apache, Eclipse, Java, Python and many many others. IBM believes in providing community access to and incubating open source projects, which will have a significant impact on the industry and society.

IBM has been a database leader for decades with the Db2 family of offerings delivering extreme performance, flexibility, scalability, reliability and lowering costs. IBM is driving a strategy addressing the broader analytics and data management complexity our clients face. It’s no secret that data volumes and sources are proliferating. These data types are varied – structured, unstructured, social, big data, third party data, open data, and more. And as data usage has expanded to other industry standard formats such as Hadoop, IBM has formed relationships with leaders like Hortonworks. So with the explosion of interest in open source data management, it’s only natural that IBM has formed a partnership with EnterpriseDB, the recognized leader of the leading open source relational database, PostgreSQL.

Unlike data silos of the past where you query and process data environments individually and only get part of the picture. When you can broaden your view across federated environments, you can take advantage of all your data. That’s our focus today and the driver behind the relationship with PostgreSQL.

PostgreSQL is not just relational, it’s object relational. A fundamental characteristic of an object-relational database is support for user-defined objects and their behaviors including data types, functions, operators, domains and indexes. Among other things, complex data structures can be created, stored and retrieved. This makes PostgreSQL extremely flexible and robust.

There’s an extensive list of data types that PostgreSQL supports. Besides the numeric, floating-point, string, boolean and date types you’d expect (and many options within these), PostgreSQL boasts uuid, monetary, enumerated, geometric, binary, network address, bit string, text search, XML, JSON, array, composite and range types, as well as some internal types for object identification and log location.

PostgreSQL is also fully ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability) compliant and can handle a lot of data. Primary keys, restricting and cascading foreign keys, unique constraints, not null constraints, check constraints and other data integrity features ensure only validated data is stored.

PostgreSQL also supports partial and expression indexes, among more standard ones. Common Table Expressions let you create virtual tables inline in your query, logically expressing an order of operations which can be much easier to read and QA than the creation of virtual tables using subqueries elsewhere in the query. Materialized views are another convenient virtual table feature supported by PostgreSQL. Materialized views are like regular views in that they represent the result set of a query which you want to use often, except that the result set is actually stored on disk like a regular table. Materialized views can be indexed. Finally robust queries and function built in operations are supported.

And IBM already offers a PostgreSQL Helm Chart and Build as part of the IBM Cloud Private platform delivered in Q4, 2017.

As data proliferates, a offering that understands the broad context of possible data environments is critical. And IBM recognizes that customers can benefit from back end support as part of their quality assurance and risk mitigation strategies. That’s why IBM is working with EnterpriseDB to deliver a support offering for PostgreSQL. The fact that it can offer support for PostgreSQL on premise and in private cloud environments as well on the cloud with IBM Compose offerings means that the solution is prepared to meet your needs across a variety of deployments. And IBM is already planning to do even more; check out the statement of direction in the IBM announcement to learn more about future direction.

I’m looking forward to coming back to you with further open source database developments and details on the PostgreSQL and EnterpriseDB relationship.

Mike Connor manages the Core Db2 Tools offerings focusing on administration, monitoring, development, modeling and connectivity. Michael is a 17-year IBM veteran with prior stints in WebSphere, Rational and System z brands.

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