Key Concepts

What is PostgreSQL Compatibility

PostgreSQL compatibility means that a database should work seamlessly with applications and tools originally developed for use with a PostgreSQL database.

This means that a PostgreSQL-compatible database must support SQL  (Structured Query Language), the standard language for interacting with relational databases. This includes support for the same/similar data types, operators, and functions as PostgreSQL, as well as similar syntax for creating and manipulating tables, indexes, and views.

Many databases claim to be PostgreSQL-compatible, but many do not explain the different levels of PostgreSQL compatibility (and the level of compatibility they have). These levels include:

  1. Wire-protocol compatibility—the database can understand the same sequence and serialization of data as PostgreSQL 
  2. Syntax compatibility—the database can parse the same PostgreSQL syntax allowing  developers to use PostgreSQL’s tools and frameworks
  3. Feature compatibility —the database can support advanced PostgreSQL features, beyond just ANSI SQL 
  4. Runtime compatibility—the database matches PostgreSQL execution semantics at runtime 

What is a PostgreSQL database? 

A PostgreSQL database  is an open-source database with a strong reputation for reliability and flexibility. It is a SQL database, but unlike some other relational databases, PostgreSQL supports non-relational and relational data types, making it one of the most compliant, stable, and mature SQL databases available.

What is Postgres?

Postgres is a nickname for PostgreSQL. Postgres was also the name of the original University of California Berkeley project, formed to build a new relational database management system—a successor to the INGRES database. Postgres was retired in 1994, so team members could better support database research. PostgreSQL emerged from this project. 

Why is PostgreSQL compatibility important?

PostgreSQL is considered the gold standard for operational databases thanks to its proven feature set known and loved by many technologists. It supports a number of  “post-relational” database concepts, including in-database functions. It is highly functional for many use cases and applications.

PostgreSQL is robust, fully extensible, and 100% open source. It is supported by a vibrant community of developers—not to mention an expansive ecosystem of tools and frameworks.