Getting the most out of PostgreSQL


gmoskowitz's picture

A few weeks ago, three of us from xTuple went to the PG East conference in Philadelphia to talk with other people who use and maintain Postgres. xTuple has attended 3 years running. It's been a great event for developers and database administrators and we learn a lot by going. The tenor of this particular conference is changing, though.  Each year the presentations have been getting more relevant to companies considering running applications built on top of Postgres, such as xTuple ERP.

For example, Perry Clark gave a nice talk on comparing different versions of databases. This is something we do fairly frequently as part of providing XTN services and when preparing for new releases of xTuple ERP. There was a lot of interest in the topic. If you are an xTuple VAR or an administrator or power user at a company using xTuple ERP, you should consider going to this conference next year, or one of the other Postgres conferences around the world.

As a developer, one of the benefits of going to these conferences is learning about features in upcoming releases of Postgres. The conference was fun, in that we learned new things and found ways to further improve the application we all know and use. It was also frustrating, in that we cannot jump in and start making these changes immediately. Otherwise we would force everyone in the xTuple community to upgrade their database servers.

Just as you don't always upgrade xTuple ERP because your current version is stable and known, you should be careful not to upgrade your database server to the latest version simply because it's newer and better. We should not force you to upgrade just for our convenience. As always, there is a trade-off: better performance and richer features vs. working with a known, stable quantity.

However, be aware that some items on the xTuple feature list will require database functionality that is only available in newer versions of Postgres.  It may be some time before we can start working on them but they exist. Therefore, please keep an eye on the xTuple Compatibility Matrix. As that matrix changes, try to keep your Postgres database servers up to date as much as is consistent with your xTuple release and good administration practices: Don't rush, don't worry about minor point releases, don't upgrade everything at the same, but don't fall too far behind, either. Most of all, don't be surprised if the occasional xTuple ERP release requires a Postgres upgrade.