Another great conference took place last week, PostgreSQL Conference Europe 2011 was in Amsterdam and plenty of us PostgreSQL geeks were too. I attended to lot of talks and did learn some more about our project, its community and its features, but more than that it was a perfect occasion to meet with the community.

Dave Page talked about SQL/MED under the title PostgreSQL at the center of your dataverse and detailed what to expert from a Foreign Data Wrapper in PostgreSQL 9.1, then how to write your own. Wherever you are currently managing your data, you can easily enough make it so that PostgreSQL integrates them by means of fetching them to answer your queries. Which means real time data federating: you don’t copy data around, you remote access them when executing the query.

I might need to come up with new Foreign Data Wrappers in a not too distant future, now that I better grasp how much work it really is to do that, it appears to be a good migration strategy too:

INSERT INTO real.table
       SELECT * FROM foreign.table;

Another discovery is that apparently PLv8 is ready for public consumption. Using it can lead to Heralding the Death of NoSQL, so use it with care.

In the presentation of Synchronous Replication and Durability Tuning we mainly saw that mixing synchronous and asynchronous transactions in your application is the key to real performances across the ocean, as the speed of the light is not infinite. From Baltimore to Amsterdam the latency can not be better than 100ms and that’s not the same as instant nowadays.

Then again, depending on the number of concurrent queries to sync over the ocean link, the experimental setup was able to achieve several thousands of queries per second, which is validating the model we picked for sync rep and its implementation.

If you want to read the slides again at home, or if you could not be there for some reason, then most of the talks are now available online at the PostgreSQL Conference Europe Talks 2011 wiki page.