High Performance SQL with PostgreSQL

Location: Meeting Room B2
Average rating: **...
(2.64, 11 ratings)

When E.F. Codd first created the formal concept of relational database management systems, he conceived of everything mathematically as sets, and made RDBMSs essentially equivalent to first-order logic. The first implementations used multi-sets instead, which removed the limits of first-order logic by allowing people to do arithmetic on aggregates.

RDBMSs quickly moved from the set-based view of the world to the more powerful multi-set-based one, but multi-sets also have limitations, or at least in terms of expressiveness and convenience of use. The next two breakthroughs were the introduction of two important new capabilities at the Data Manipulation Language level:

1. A much more flexible way to handle the concept of ordering via Windowing Functions, and

2. Views created on the fly at DML time including recursive
structures via Common Table Expressions.

PostgreSQL 8.4 is the first Open Source database management system to handle lists with Windowing functions and trees and other recursive structures with SQL:2008-compliant Common Table Expressions.

You’ll learn how these work, see intriguing examples, and walk out ready to use them to your advantage.

David Fetter


David Fetter is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has worked in
various commercial enterprises, non-profits and educational
institutions. He has worked extensively with Oracle, PostgreSQL,
MySQL, Perl, PHP, PL/SQL, PL/PgSQL, PL/Perl and (of course!) vim on
transaction processing and business intelligence systems.

In his free time, he brews beer, rides his bicycle, and helps run
several organizations for computer professionals including the San
Francisco Perl Users’ Group and the San Francisco PostgreSQL Users’

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jason Buberel
07/23/2009 4:21pm PDT

David Fetter definitely knows his Postgres, but the presentation fell flat for me. Show how to render a Mandlebrot set using SQL is cool, to be sure, but also completely impractical.

Instead, for each new features, what I would have like to have seen would have gone something like this:

1. Here is a new feature of pg84. 2. Quick description 3. In the old world, if you were asked to produce a report that did X, Y, and Z using pg83, you would have had to jump through all of this horrid hoops, and the performance would have really sucked, etc. 4. Now, here is how you do it in pg84. 5. Look at how much easier that is! 6. Look at how much better it performs.

And instead of Mandlebrot sets and the Traveling Salesman Problem, instead use more real world examples from every day web applications.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • SourceForge.net
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • MySpace.com
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

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