Friday 31 August 2012

PostgreSQL and Dolphin4. Why we don't use version 9 of postgreSQL

Dolphin runs on an open source database called PostgreSQL. Using PostgreSQL allows us to keep the costs of buying Dolphin4 lower than if we had to license and use proprietary database software.

PostgreSQL is used by many large companies, you can see a list of companies and read the case studies on the PostgreSQL website at the below links :

There are different development streams , and versions of PostgreSQL, and currently dolphin integrates with the 8.4.X development stream. 

We mentioned in our previous post that running dolphin with a version 9 database will result in dolphin being slower than it should be. We did not go into too much detail about why this is though. 

This post will briefly cover the main reasons why using postgreSQL verison 9 makes Dolphin slower.

Dolphin has been developed around the strengths of the postgreSQL version 8 database. 

Each screen , and process is coded in very specific ways to maximise the performance capabilities of the database -  which is another reason why having customised changes made for you may impact your overall speed and performance of your system.

The version 9 database works differently in some areas to the version 8 database. If you compare a version 9 database with a version 8 database , at the highest level , it does perform better, and can as a whole be considered faster .

The catch however comes in when using postgresSQL as the Dolphin database.

Some aspects of the Dolphin4 application architecture*  are developed to minimise the inefficient areas and functionality within the version 8 database.

It is because of this specific development that version 9 of postgreSQL runs slower than version 8 when you are using it as the Dolphin database.

Every new postgreSQL version 9 release is tested by us, to see if it can be used , and there are some minor improvements that can be gained between version 9.0 and 9.2 , however,  version 8 still runs significantly faster , and over time , with a larger database size , is significantly more efficient.

It may become possible in the future to use Dolphin with a version 9 database, and if that does happen , our minimum specifications pages will be updated with the relevant version number.

Until then , if anyone wants to use a version 9 database , it must be with the knowledge that we do not support version 9 of postgreSQL for use with the Dolphin4 Application; and that over time , your software performance may degrade as your database become larger. 

* architecture in this sense refers to how the internal workings of the software is designed and coded by the developers

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