PostgreSQL: Up and Running
A Practical Guide to the Advanced Open Source Database
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2012
Pages: 168

Thinking of migrating to PostgreSQL? This updated guide helps you quickly understand and use the 9.3 release of this open source database system. You’ll not only learn about its unique enterprise-class features, but also discover that PostgeSQL is more than just a database system—it’s also an impressive application platform.

Using numerous examples, this book shows you how to achieve tasks that are difficult or impossible in other databases. The second edition covers LATERAL queries, augmented JSON support, materialized views, and other key topics. If you’re an existing PostgreSQL user, you’ll pick up gems you may have missed along the way.

  • Learn basic administration tasks, such as role management, database creation, backup, and restore
  • Apply the psql command-line utility and the pgAdmin graphical administration tool
  • Explore PostgreSQL tables, constraints, and indexes
  • Learn powerful SQL constructs not generally found in other databases
  • Use several different languages to write database functions
  • Tune your queries to run as fast as your hardware will allow
  • Query external and variegated data sources with Foreign Data Wrappers
  • Learn how to replicate data, using built-in replication features
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oreillyPostgreSQL: Up and Running
 
4.4

(based on 5 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Concise (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (4)
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      • Developer (5)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    5.0

    A complete, solid work

    By sgbeal

    from Munich, Germany

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly PostgreSQL: Up and Running:

      The past five years or more i've found it difficult to find I.T. books which i can really recommend to colleagues. Not that i have any colleagues who still use postgres, but if i did then i'd recommend this book for them.

       
      4.0

      Comprehensive

      By Datachron

      from South Africa

      About Me Developer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Student

        Comments about oreilly PostgreSQL: Up and Running:

        I find this book very comprehensive. Explanations and examples are clear and concise.
        Thank you.

        (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Offers what the title promises

        By Pete Clark

        from Saint Paul, MN

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly PostgreSQL: Up and Running:

          Quick summary: PostgreSQL Up and Running, by Regina Obe and Len Hsu, tells you everything you need to know if you want to start playing with the database engine that all the cool kids are using. It assumes that you already know something about SQL, but as the title promises, it walks you through how to get a PostgreSQL server installed, set it up, get a login role configured, and start playing. After reading it, you'll know about the cool features that PostgreSQL brings to the party (such as table inheritance, custom types, and extensions), the basics of running a postgres instance, some of the key configuration parameters, areas (like permissions) that have unavoidable complexity, and where to go to learn more.

          More details:

          The PostgreSQL 9.1 reference manual, available for free from http://www.postgresql.org, is extensive, highly detailed, and large - it's nearly 2700 pages. This can be quite intimidating for a new user, as it offers only a 5-page "getting started" section that doesn't provide much handholding if things go wrong.

          "PostgreSQL Up and Running" fills that gap. It's more than a tutorial, but isn't weighted down with the esoterica in the reference manual. The authors have been active in the PostgreSQL community for some time, and have also written a book on the PostGIS spatial database environment built on top of PostgreSQL -- they've got the experience needed to explain the postgres environment with a focus on the useful rather than on the comprehensive.

          The book has 10 chapters, in two broad groups. The first group covers basics, database admin, the psql command-line tool, and the pgAdmin GUI. These chapters cover downloading a postgres distribution, getting it installed and running, the basics of configuring and administering it (including extensions, backup and restore), and a couple different ways of talking to it once it's up. This group of chapters offers many sample queries and command invocations, heavily annotated to explain what each part of the query or invocation is doing.

          The second group covers what you need to know to write programs against the database engine - data types; table, constraints, and indices; appropriate SQL style for PostgreSQL; writing custom functions; performance tuning; and replication and external data. You may not care about all of those topics, but it's useful to know what your options are. In particular, Postgres offers a variety of data types that may be new, such as arrays and rows; some with more options than you might expect, such as date time; and some where the intuition about tradeoffs may be different than you're used to, such as varchar vs text. The book covers thee common use cases and offers some guidance about common areas where you might get tripped up.

          The authors clearly like using PostgreSQL; there are a number of sections in the book that start with a sentence like "PostgreSQL support for is the best of any database we've come across." While this is hard to deny (I don't know what databases they've come across), it's a little distracting. Nevertheless, they usually follow this sort of comment with a clear explanation of how that feature works.

          I got my start with PostgreSQL using the combination of the PostgreSQL reference manual and the authors' PostGIS book. I wish that PostgreSQL: Up and Running" had been available then; it would have saved me some time and confusion. If you're curious about postgresql, this book will give you a guided tour by the experts. Recommended, and I'll be buying a couple copies to give to new people on my development team.

          Full disclosure: O'Reilly offered me a free copy of the ebook in exchange for a review. Turns out, I'd have bought it anyway.

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Not for the beginneer

          By datopdog

          from Johannesburg, RSA

          About Me Developer, Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • Not comprehensive enough

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly PostgreSQL: Up and Running:

          A quick guide to the PostgreSQL Database for users with prior experience with other DBMS. The book sets out to highlight the interesting features in PostgreSQL not present in other DBMS's

          The book goes over Obtaining PostgreSQL, Basic Administration, Client tools, Data types, Constraints and Indexes, PostgreSQL specific SQL, Functions, Performance tuning and Replication.

          The book has a niche in the world of PostgreSQL documentation as it is concise and reference like in comparison to the volumes of documentation in the PostgreSQL manuals.

          The downside is that the authors keep referencing blog posts and other external resources instead of explaining them within the book although this may be problematic for users reading the physical book instead of the ebook.

          Overall it is a good reference book that cuts down on the tons of material in the official PostgreSQL manual, not for beginners though.

          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Good overview + new features in 9.1-9.2

          By spara

          from San Antonio, TX

          About Me Data monkey, Developer, Occasional devops

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • A little too colloquial

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Reasonably experienced

          Comments about oreilly PostgreSQL: Up and Running:

          PostgreSQL: Up and Running is a book for experienced PostgreSQL users and people comfortable around RDBMS such as Oracle or SQLSever. This is definitely not a book for someone starting out with PostgreSQL.

          For me, the book is a practical reference that begins to answer questions but directs the reader for more detailed information from other resources that are hyperlinked in the book. I'm a long time user of PostgreSQL 8.4, so the book provides an overview of features that are/will be available in 9.1 and 9.2. For example, the serial data type auto-increments integers is now available. Previously, you had to create a sequence object and use it when creating the table. I also learned about arrays for the first time which have been around since 8.3. Certainly a very handy datatype to have.

          A nice feature in 9.1 is the ability to load new extensions with the CREATE EXTENSION command. I use PostGIS frequently, and previously you would have to run sql scripts to create a template database and use that to create a spatial database. With CREATE EXTENSION, you can add PostGIS data types, objects, and functions to an existing database.

          The book also covers the standard SQL tables, indexes and views as implemented in PostgreSQL. Writing your own functions and aggregates are touched on and examples are provide. Query performance tuning is covered and typical sql errors, such as overusing subqueries (guilty), are discussed and examples for improving performance are given. Basic replication is also discussed as well options for hosting PostgreSQL.

          PostgreSQL: Up and Running also gives a sneak preview of new features such as Foreign Data Wrappers for working with data from web APIs, plPython for writing functions in Python or in other supported languages, native JSON output, and the list goes on. The book shows that PostgreSQL is flexible and extensible.

          I enjoyed reading the book. It was easy to understand, had good examples, and I learned about new capabilities. The book covers much ground, but goes into sufficient depth to gain an understanding, and it provides additional resources for more in depth treatments of topics. It's a mile wide, deep enough and a good reference for an experienced user.

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