PostgreSQL Versus Commercial DBMS Products in VS .NET

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PostgreSQL Versus Commercial DBMS Products
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Since the availability of free Open Source database packages for Windows platforms, the owners of some popular commercial Windows database packages have changed their worldview In the past, companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle made you pay a premium to purchase their database products Now you can install special versions of the popular Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and even the Oracle database server free of charge However, there are some limitations The free versions of all these packages are limited in how you can use them The versions released for free are obviously not the full-blown versions of the commercial products They are primarily marketed to get you started with the product, with the hope that you will then migrate to the purchased version when you are ready to go live with your database application Artificial limitations are placed on the free versions of the products, so you can t get too far with them Table 1-1 describes some of the hardware limitations of these packages
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Database Product Microsoft SQL Server Express IBM DB2 Universal Database Express-C Oracle Database 10g Express Edition
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CPU Limitation 1 CPU 2 CPUs 1 CPU
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Memory Limitation 1GB RAM 4GB RAM 1GB RAM
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Database Limitation 4GB Unlimited 4GB
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Table 1-1 Free Commercial Database Limitations
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What Is PostgreSQL
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Besides the hardware limitations, some of these packages put limitations on the software features available in the free version For example, Microsoft SQL Server Express does not allow you to import or export data from the database This limitation alone prevents it from being used as a serious production database In contrast, with PostgreSQL you get the complete package for free There are no limitations to how many CPUs, the amount of memory, or the database size you can use You may be thinking that there must be some catch Perhaps the full versions of the Open Source packages can t compete with the free versions of the commercial packages That is not true The PostgreSQL database product has most of the same features as the commercial products Most users and developers won t be able to tell the difference In fact, PostgreSQL has some features that the commercial packages don t include The next section describes these features
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POSTGRESQL FEATURES
If you go to the PostgreSQL web site (wwwpostgresqlorg), you will see a list of all the database features supported by PostgreSQL To the normal computer user, this list can look like a course list for an advanced programming degree This section walks through some of the advanced features PostgreSQL supports, and explains just exactly what each one means for the common database user
Transaction Support
All DBMS packages allow users to enter database commands to query and manipulate data What separates good DBMS packages from bad ones is the way they handle commands The DBMS database engine processes commands as a single unit, called a transaction A transaction represents a single data operation on the database Most simplistic DBMS packages treat each command received, such as adding a new record to a table or modifying an existing record in a table, as a separate transaction Groups of commands create groups of transactions However, some DBMS packages (including PostgreSQL) allow for more complicated transactions to be performed In some instances, it is necessary for an application to perform multiple commands as a result of a single action Remember, in relational databases tables can be related to one another This means that one table can contain data that is related (or tied) to the data in another table In the store example earlier, the Order table relied on data in both the Customer and Product tables While this makes organizing data easier, it makes managing transactions more difficult A single action may require the DBMS to update several data values in several different tables In our store example, if a new customer comes into the store and purchases a laptop computer, the DBMS must modify three tables First, the Customer table must be updated with the information of the new customer Second, the Order table must be
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