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Open source PostgreSQL 9.1 beta released

Version 9.1 beta contains all of the features which will be in the final 9.1 release, which is expected two to four months from now, depending on the rate of testing and bug fixing. New features coming in 9.1 include synchronous replication, which allows administrators to create synchronous standby databases as another option for fault tolerance.

Synchronous replication includes "transaction-controlled synchronous commit", which the developers say is a PostgreSQL innovation. Another innovation is “serializable snapshot isolation” for “true serializablity” without blocking. This feature supports complex finanical transactions at a high rate of concurrency.

To improve development of spatial applications, new “K-Nearest-Neighbor” indexing has been added allowing an indexed search of “what’s near”. Also new is integration of third-party extensions through the PostgreSQL Extension Network (PGXN) at: www.pgxn.org.

According to its developers, PostgreSQL has always offered database customisation, but with 9.1 those customisations can be “packaged, managed and upgraded easily”. Support for per-column collations will multilingual databases, where each column can be a separate language, and unlogged tables will do high-speed writes of ephemeral data.

In another win for DBAs, the new writeable common table expressions support allows executing recursive updates and other data changes in one SQL statement instead of a whole script. PostgreSQL 9.1 will also allow different types of data sources, like files and other databases, to be attached to it and used like tables. Security enhanced PostgreSQL now supports full integration of mandatory access control through SELinux systems.

PostgreSQL is online at: PostgreSQL.org.