Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hello PostgreSQL 11 - Get ready to say goodbye to PostgreSQL 9.3

Earlier today (Oct 18, 2018), the PostgreSQL community announced the release of PostgreSQL 11.  Having done multiple software releases earlier, I appreciate the hard work by all contributors to get yet another major release on schedule. It is hard to do a major release every year and the community has been doing it since PostgreSQL 8.4 making this the 10th  release in the last decade. 

Everybody has their favorite feature in PostgreSQL 11 and I have one that is top on my list which is the transactional support in stored procedures2nd Quadrant had first announced that feature end of last year and at that time, it instantly became my favorite as I see it as a giant leap in PostgreSQL as it allows people to essentially write long data routines like ETL broken down in multiple transactions. Of course many users will certainly enjoy the improvements in  table partitioning system, query parallelism, and just-in-time (JIT) compilation for accelerating the execution of expressions in queries. However, the developers will certainly get more freedom with the stored procedure improvements.

With the release of PostgreSQL 11, now there are 6 major releases supported: PostgreSQL 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 10 and, 11. It is definitely a good time to start thinking to upgrade your PostgreSQL 9.3 databases. As per the versioning policy, the final minor release for PostgreSQL 9.3 will be on November 8th, 2018.  PostgreSQL 9.3 will be the last major version which does not support logical replication which was first introduced in PostgreSQL 9.4.  Hence, I expect this is will be the last painful upgrade because PostgreSQL 9.4 onwards you can always leverage logical replication to minimize the downtime while switching to a new version. All is not lost for PostgreSQL 9.3, while the experience is not exactly the same there are still tools available using the older trigger based replication to help or just bite the bullet and upgrade once with a small maintenance window as later versions will give you more options for your next major version upgrade.

If you need tips and tricks for upgrading your PostgreSQL 9.3 instances,  let me know! :-)

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