First alpha for PostgreSQL 9.1 appears
The PostgreSQL developers have released a first alpha of the PostgreSQL 9.1 with several new major features added since version 9.0's development. PostgreSQL 9.0 was recently made available as a release candidate and will be finalised soon.
Among the changes, SQL statements will now allow references to other columns without listing them in the GROUP BY clause, as long as the GROUP BY clause at least refers to primary keys; this should simplify forming more complex SQL statements with many columns referred to. Also added is a "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS" function, useful when writing scripts to bootstrap a database.
A major change, with some potential ramifications, is the switching of
standard_conforming_strings to 'on'; the developers warn this is a significant incompatibility with previous releases "because it may break unwary applications in security critical ways". The new alpha also adds a number of new XML related functions such as xmlexists, xpath_existis and xml_is_well_formed, string functions concat(), left() and right() and moves to a more compact representation of numeric types.
Full details of the changes are available in the release notes. As with all alpha releases, this version is not for production use, and the developers encourage users to report any bugs that they may find in testing. The source code for PostgreSQL 9.1 alpha 1 is available to download from the project's site.
PostgreSQL is an open source Object-Relational DBMS supporting almost all SQL constructs. The PostgreSQL development includes employees of Red Hat, F-Secure and EnterpriseDB. PostgreSQL is released under the PostgreSQL License, a liberal Open Source license, similar to the BSD or MIT licenses.