Lecture: How to migrate from other database systems to PostgreSQL

Making use of the features of PostgreSQL - thus making your application programming easier


Other popular database systems, though very popular, have far less helpful features than PostgreSQL. The SQL standard is very ambitious, and the PostgreSQL team is eager to get as close to the standard as possible.

Which helpful features are there to make your life as a developer far easier? How can you just declare many plausibility checks in the database instead of programming them in front end applications in order to make your programs shorter, faster and easier?

PostgreSQL has many data types for certain purpose, but it's not always easy to tell which one to use. I will give an overview with examples, so you will be able to make your decisions easily. Choosing the right data type is already an important step towards data integrity and plausibility.

The next step is using all kinds of contraints the right way: unique constraints, check constraints, foreign key constraints. The latter have several variations depending on the kind of relationship between tables they describe.

Making a difference between the full logical view of all tables you see as the database manager and what your users and applications can see is step number three. For this you use views, and some of them can also be written to.

Even when accessing existing data using SELECT statements you will find that PostgreSQL gives you quite a lot of useful clauses making your queries more elegant and foolproof.

Maybe having learnt SQL using an inferior database system can be a bit in your way when starting to use a more advanced RDBMS very close to standard SQL, but this talk can help you over the hump, so that you will be delighted very soon. After having used PostgreSQL for a few weeks you will ask yourself how you ever could have lived without all these great features having to program quite a lot of logic into your applications. Making use of what a database system can do for you might easily slash your code in half.

Many examples will illustrate the topics. Experience with at least one SQL-RDBMS and some knowledge about database design is required to follow the talk. The very lates features of PostgreSQL 9.x will not be the main topic.


Day: 2011-08-21
Start time: 11:15
Duration: 01:00
Track: Open Database Camp


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