Command line tools? In XXI century? No way! Yes way!

So, you just installed your PostgreSQL, and you have no idea how to use it – there is no icon in the menu of your OS, so how can you use it? Well, with the dreadful command line.

Of course – some people will never get used to textual programs. They need a GUI. That's fine. Not understandable for me, but who am I to judge. But knowing at least a basic things about standard command line tools for PostgreSQL can save you a lot of headache in some cases. Plus – you always have them so these are treated as default programs to use.

Continue reading Command line tools? In XXI century? No way! Yes way!

Waiting for 9.3 – Allow a streaming replication standby to follow a timeline switch.

On 13th of December, Heikki Linnakangas committed patch:

Allow a streaming replication standby to follow a timeline switch.
Before this patch, streaming replication would refuse to start replicating
if the timeline in the primary doesn't exactly match the standby. The
situation where it doesn't match is when you have a master, and two
standbys, and you promote one of the standbys to become new master.
Promoting bumps up the timeline ID, and after that bump, the other standby
would refuse to continue.
There's significantly more timeline related logic in streaming replication
now. First of all, when a standby connects to primary, it will ask the
primary for any timeline history files that are missing from the standby.
The missing files are sent using a new replication command TIMELINE_HISTORY,
and stored in standby's pg_xlog directory. Using the timeline history files,
the standby can follow the latest timeline present in the primary
(recovery_target_timeline='latest'), just as it can follow new timelines
appearing in an archive directory.
START_REPLICATION now takes a TIMELINE parameter, to specify exactly which
timeline to stream WAL from. This allows the standby to request the primary
to send over WAL that precedes the promotion. The replication protocol is
changed slightly (in a backwards-compatible way although there's little hope
of streaming replication working across major versions anyway), to allow
replication to stop when the end of timeline reached, putting the walsender
back into accepting a replication command.
Many thanks to Amit Kapila for testing and reviewing various versions of
this patch.

Continue reading Waiting for 9.3 – Allow a streaming replication standby to follow a timeline switch.

Waiting for 9.3 – Support automatically-updatable views.

On 8th of December, Tom Lane committed patch:

Support automatically-updatable views.
This patch makes "simple" views automatically updatable, without the need
to create either INSTEAD OF triggers or INSTEAD rules.  "Simple" views
are those classified as updatable according to SQL-92 rules.  The rewriter
transforms INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE commands on such views directly into an
equivalent command on the underlying table, which will generally have
noticeably better performance than is possible with either triggers or
user-written rules.  A view that has INSTEAD OF triggers or INSTEAD rules
continues to operate the same as before.
For the moment, security_barrier views are not considered simple.
Also, we do not support WITH CHECK OPTION.  These features may be
added in future.
Dean Rasheed, reviewed by Amit Kapila

Continue reading Waiting for 9.3 – Support automatically-updatable views.

Waiting for 9.3 – Background worker processes

On 6th of December, Alvaro Herrera committed patch:

Background worker processes
Background workers are postmaster subprocesses that run arbitrary
user-specified code.  They can request shared memory access as well as
backend database connections; or they can just use plain libpq frontend
database connections.
Modules listed in shared_preload_libraries can register background
workers in their _PG_init() function; this is early enough that it's not
necessary to provide an extra GUC option, because the necessary extra
resources can be allocated early on.  Modules can install more than one
bgworker, if necessary.
Care is taken that these extra processes do not interfere with other
postmaster tasks: only one such process is started on each ServerLoop
iteration.  This means a large number of them could be waiting to be
started up and postmaster is still able to quickly service external
connection requests.  Also, shutdown sequence should not be impacted by
a worker process that's reasonably well behaved (i.e. promptly responds
to termination signals.)
The current implementation lets worker processes specify their start
time, i.e. at what point in the server startup process they are to be
started: right after postmaster start (in which case they mustn't ask
for shared memory access), when consistent state has been reached
(useful during recovery in a HOT standby server), or when recovery has
terminated (i.e. when normal backends are allowed).
In case of a bgworker crash, actions to take depend on registration
data: if shared memory was requested, then all other connections are
taken down (as well as other bgworkers), just like it were a regular
backend crashing.  The bgworker itself is restarted, too, within a
configurable timeframe (which can be configured to be never).
More features to add to this framework can be imagined without much
effort, and have been discussed, but this seems good enough as a useful
unit already.
An elementary sample module is supplied.
Author: Álvaro Herrera
This patch is loosely based on prior patches submitted by KaiGai Kohei,
and unsubmitted code by Simon Riggs.
Reviewed by: KaiGai Kohei, Markus Wanner, Andres Freund,
Heikki Linnakangas, Simon Riggs, Amit Kapila

Continue reading Waiting for 9.3 – Background worker processes

What is the point of bouncing?

Some of you might be familiar with pgBouncer project. Some are not. Some understand what/how/why it does, others do not.

This blog post is to have a place where I can point people who have question about how it works, why, and when it makes sense to use it (pgBouncer that is).

Continue reading What is the point of bouncing?