PostgreSQL 8.2

PostgreSQL reached version 8.2. Here is the official release:

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group today announces the release of version 8.2 of the PostgreSQL object-relational database management system. This 14th public release adds features, maturity, and performance requested by business users, delivering manageability comparable to leading enterprise database systems. Version 8.2 is expected to drive even more migrations toward PostgreSQL.

“This release touches almost every command and database facility,” said PostgreSQL core team member and EnterpriseDB database architect Bruce Momjian. “It adds expanded, compatible syntax and interfaces which have been requested by our community, making it easier for new DBAs to fully use all of PostgreSQL’s advanced features.”

“Unisys is pleased to note significant enhancements in the scalability and performance of PostgreSQL on large-scale multi-processor systems,” states Ali Shadman, vice president and general manager, Open Source Solutions, Systems and Technology, Unisys. “The newly released 8.2 version continues the maturation of PostgreSQL into a database management system capable of enterprise adoption.”

New tools and features to make database management and development easier include:

Performance improvements: version 8.2 improves performance around 20% overall in high-end OLTP (online transaction processing) system tests. Users can gain even more in data warehousing efficiency. The changes include faster in-memory and on-disk sorting, better multi-processor scaling, better planning of partitioned data queries, faster bulk loads and vastly accelerated outer joins.

Warm Standby Databases: through an extension to our Point in Time Recovery feature (introduced in version 8.0), administrators now can easily create a failover copy of your database cluster.

Online Index Builds: index builds can now occur while applications write to database tables, allowing performance tuning without downtime.

SQL 2003 Features: PostgreSQL, well known for standards compliance, has added syntax for several more features introduced in the ANSI SQL 2003 specification, including: statistical aggregates, multi-row VALUE statments, UPDATE RETURNING and multi-column aggregates.

Advanced database features, being offered in PostgreSQL 8.2 before any other major database system, include:

Generalized Inverted Indexes: support a more scalable and programmable way of indexing semi-structured and full text data.

DTrace: PostgreSQL has also been instrumented for Solaris DTrace and other advanced tracing tools via the Generic Monitoring Framework.

“With data warehouse instances housing billion-row tables and multiple terabytes of data, online index builds and hot-standby capabilities are crucial,” said Theo Schlossnagle, Principal at OmniTI Computer Consulting. “We are also excited that PostgreSQL is now a first- class DTrace citizen. This means our regular system analysis efforts can now incorporate database-specific data leading to much more meaningful results.”

There are dozens of additional features and improvements in 8.2 which will make PostgreSQL DBAs more productive. See the press kit for details. Download PostgreSQL from our download page.

About PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL is the collective work of hundreds of developers, building on twenty-one years of development which started at the University of California, Berkeley. With its long-time support of an enterprise-level feature set including transactions, functions, triggers, and subqueries, PostgreSQL is being used by many of today’s most demanding businesses and government agencies. PostgreSQL is distributed under a BSD license, which allows use and distribution without fees for both commercial and non-commercial applications.

Additional Features in this Release

As well as the major features listed in the press release, there are more than 200 new features and enhancements contributed by dozens of developers for version 8.2. Among them are:

  • Advisory Locks: allow application-level database object control using PostgreSQL’s fast locking engine.
  • Selective pg_dump: permits drawing transactionally-consistent dumps of sets of relations, selecting their inclusion/exclusion using regular expressions.
  • Prepared Statements: has new administrative interfaces and performance improvements for prepared statements.
  • ISN/ISBN: this module, containing data types to support ISN product locators for inventory and retail systems, has been upgraded to support the latest international standards.
  • Cryptography: the pgcrypto module, supporting cryptography inside the database, has been updated with the latest algorithms.
  • SQL Enhancments: introducing new syntax, including UPDATE RETURNING, DROP IF EXISTS, ON COMMIT and new ownership and permissions commands, to make managing database objects on the command line easier.
  • PSQL Batch Selection: supports returning rows to the console in batches instead of all at once.
  • ECPG Refactor: the embedded PostgreSQL C interface has been extensively re-written and new interfaces added.
  • Major TSearch2 Improvements: UTF-8 support, thesaurus, query rewriting support and GIN indexing.
  • PL/Python: now supports named parameters and set returning functions.

PostgreSQL’s extensible architecture has led to a large community of extensions such as additional procedural languages, interfaces to external systems, new index types, and replication and high availability tools that are hosted on the official PostgreSQL community project site. Community projects that have made significant advances in the 8.2 release cycle include:

  • Full Disjunctions: thanks to Google Summer of Code, PostgreSQL is the first database system to have an implementation of this radical new join algorithm.
  • PGPoolII: PGPool, under sponsorship from the Japanese Government, has added new load-balancing and partitioning capabilities
  • PL/Java: one of our two Java procedural languages has reached full production status, allowing full utilization of Java inside the database.

You can read about the dozens more improvements to 8.2 in the Release Notes.

Where to Download



PostgreSQL uses the BSD license, which only requires that the licensed source code maintain its copyright and licensing information. This OSI-certified license is widely appreciated as flexible and business-friendly, since it does not restrict the use of PostgreSQL with commercial and proprietary applications. Together with multi-company support and public ownership of the code, the BSD license makes PostgreSQL very popular with vendors wanting to embed a database in their own products without fear of fees, vendor lock-in, or changes in licensing terms.

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