Today, the PostgreSQL Global Development Group shared the release of PostgreSQL 16. With this latest update, Postgres sets new standards for database management, data replication, system monitoring, and performance optimization, marking a significant milestone for the community, developers, and EDB as the leading contributor to PostgreSQL code.
With PostgreSQL 16 comes a plethora of new features and enhancements. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.
One of the standout changes in PostgreSQL 16 is the overhaul of privilege administration. Previous versions often required a superuser account for many administrative tasks, which could be impractical in larger organizations with multiple administrators. PostgreSQL 16 addresses this issue by allowing users to grant privileges in roles only if they possess the ADMIN OPTION for those roles. This shift empowers administrators to define more specific roles and assign privileges accordingly, streamlining the management of permissions. This change not only enhances security but also simplifies the overall user management experience.
Logical replication enhancements
Logical replication has been a flexible solution for data replication and distribution since it was first included with PostgreSQL 10 nearly six years ago, enabling various use cases. There have been enhancements to logical replication in every Postgres release since, and Postgres 16 is no different. This release not only includes necessary under-the-hood improvements for performance and reliability but also the enablement of new and more complex architectures.
With Postgres 16, logical replication from physical replication standbys is now supported. Along with helping reduce the load on the primary, which receives all the writes in the cluster, easier geo-distribution architectures are now possible. The primary might have a replica in another region, which can send data to a third system in that region rather than replicating the data twice from one region to another. The new pg_log_standby_snapshot() function makes this possible.
Other logical replication enhancements include initial table synchronization in binary format, replication without a primary key, and improved security by requiring subscription owners to have SET ROLE permissions on all tables in the replication set or be a superuser.
PostgreSQL 16 doesn’t hold back when it comes to performance improvements. Enhanced query execution capabilities allow for parallel execution of FULL and RIGHT JOINs, as well as the string_agg and array_agg aggregate functions. SELECT DISTINCT queries benefit from incremental sorts, resulting in better performance. The concurrent bulk loading of data using COPY has also seen substantial performance enhancements, with reported improvements of up to 300%.
This release also introduces features like caching RANGE and LIST partition lookups, which help with bulk data loading in partitioned tables and better control of shared buffer usage by VACUUM and ANALYZE, ensuring your database runs more efficiently than ever.
Comprehensive monitoring features
Monitoring PostgreSQL databases has never been more detailed or comprehensive. PostgreSQL 16 introduces the pg_stat_io view, allowing for better insight into the I/O activity of your Postgres system. System-wide IO statistics are now only a query away, allowing you to see read, write, and extend (back-end resizing of data files) activity by different back-end types, such as VACUUM and regular client back ends.
PostgreSQL 16 records statistics on the last sequential and index scans on tables, adds speculative lock information to the pg_locks view, and makes several improvements to wait events that make monitoring of PostgreSQL more comprehensive than ever.
What makes PostgreSQL 16 truly exceptional is its potential to impact not just PostgreSQL users, but the entire industry. EDB’s commitment to the community and customers has culminated in a robust, secure, and user-centric database system that promises innovation and productivity across sectors. That’s why EDB builds enterprise-ready capabilities on top of Postgres in EDB Postgres Advanced Server, with features such as Privilege Analysis and new options for Transparent Data Encryption coming out this November.
Additionally, PostgreSQL 16 debuts on EDB BigAnimal next month. This cloud-ready, enterprise-grade database-as-a-service platform is available to organizations worldwide, enabling them to harness the full power of PostgreSQL 16 in their preferred public cloud environments.
Adam Wright is the product manager of core database, extensions, and backup/restore at EDB.
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