PostgreSQL is an object-relational database system that has the features of traditional proprietary database systems with next-generation DBMS enhancements. PostgreSQL is free and the complete source code is available.
PostgreSQL development is performed by a team of mostly volunteer developers spread throughout the world and communicating via the Internet. It is a community project and is not controlled by any company. While 2ndQuadrant are very well represented among these volunteer developers, they are by no means a controlling commercial entity, nor is any other company.
Postgres is a widely-used nickname for PostgreSQL. It was the original name of the project at the University of California at Berkeley. For more on this, see PostgreSQL – the story so far. If you find ‚PostgreSQL‘ hard to pronounce, call it ‚Postgres‘ instead.
Who controls PostgreSQL?
If you are looking for a PostgreSQL gatekeeper, central committee, or controlling company, give up — there isn’t one. The project is directed by the community of developers and users, which anyone can join and have their contributions judged purely on merit.
What is the licence of PostgreSQL?
PostgreSQL is distributed under a licence similar to BSD and MIT. It allows users to do anything they want with the code, including reselling binaries without the source code. The only restriction is that you not hold the original developers legally liable for problems with the software (although this is, of course, separate from any agreement that you might make with 2ndQuadrant). There is also the requirement that this copyright appear in all copies of the software. Here is the licence we use in its entirety:
The PostgreSQL Licence
PostgreSQL Database Management System
(formerly known as Postgres, then as Postgres95)
Portions Copyright (c) 1996-2011, PostgreSQL Global Development Group Portions Copyright (c) 1994, The Regents of the University of California
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE AND ITS DOCUMENTATION, EVEN IF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE SOFTWARE PROVIDED HEREUNDER IS ON AN „AS IS“ BASIS, AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HAS NO OBLIGATIONS TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, UPDATES, ENHANCEMENTS, OR MODIFICATIONS.
What platforms does PostgreSQL support?
In general, any modern Unix-compatible platform such as Linux, Mac OS X and FreeBSD can run PostgreSQL, as can Microsoft Windows. PostgreSQL does not rely on the behaviour of any particular architecture, so it can almost be taken for granted that any architecture that is supported by these Operating systems is supported by PostgreSQL.
What drivers are available for PostgreSQL for my preferred programming environment?
The PostgreSQL install includes only the C and embedded C interfaces. While their is a huge number of drivers that target various different programming environments, all other interfaces are independent projects that are separately distributed; This allows them to have their own release schedule and development teams.
Some programming languages like PHP include an interface to PostgreSQL. Interfaces for languages/environments like Python, Perl, .Net, JDBC and many others are available.
Does PostgreSQL have a GUI admin tool?
There are a large number of GUI Tools that are available for PostgreSQL from both proprietary and open source developers. 2ndQuadrant officially support, and indeed employ an active contributor to, the popular open source pgAdminIII desktop application. phpPgAdmin is another popular tool, which is web-based.
(This FAQ is based on the FAQ on the PostgreSQL wiki, which is under the PostgreSQL licence)