What is new in PostgreSQL 8.4

PostgresQL 8.4 beta will be out any day and 8.4 official release will hopefully not be too far behind. As we wait patiently for the official release, Robert Treat has summarized nicely all the new features you can expect in 8.4. PostgreSQL 8.4 is what I like to call an earth-shattering release because it has so many big ticket items in there, but also some long-needed usability features in it.

While we all know about the Windowing functions and CTEs and Recursive CTEs, there are a couple of usability features that we always get beat up on, which I am glad to see will be in 8.4. these are

  1. Ability to add new columns to a view with CREATE OR REPLACE without having to drop the view and all the view dependents
  2. Case insensitivity module
  3. Improved Vacuum performance
  4. Common Table Expressions and Recursive Common Table Expressions (CTE), windowing functions - Hubert has an example of this in Waiting for 8.4 - window functions

Now the other niceties and usuability features which are nice but not quite as top of our list as the aforementioned. Note this far from an exhaustive list, but Robert Treat's 8.4 slide presentaton is pretty exhaustive: