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As a developer, Database Administrator or Systems Engineer, having a background in databases is paramount in your career development. In that regard, PostgreSQL is one fantastic database that every aspiring person in the mentioned fields should consider taking a deep dive in. Let us clear the thicket about PostgreSQL before we take a yacht into its deeper waters.

PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system that uses and extends the SQL language combined with many features that safely store and scale the most complicated data workloads. Its origins date back to 1986 as part of the POSTGRES project at the University of California at Berkeley and has more than 30 years of active development on the core platform. Source: PostgreSQL Page

Features of PostgreSQL

These are some of the features that PostgreSQL users enjoy:

  • Support for many Data Types such as
    Primitives: Integer, Numeric, String, Boolean
    Structured: Date/Time, Array, Range, UUID
    Document: JSON/JSONB, XML, Key-value (Hstore)
    Geometry: Point, Line, Circle, Polygon
    Customizations: Composite, Custom Types
  • On matters Concurrency and Performance
    Indexing: B-tree, Multicolumn, Expressions, Partial
    Advanced Indexing: GiST, SP-Gist, KNN Gist, GIN, BRIN, Covering indexes, Bloom filters
    Sophisticated query planner / optimizer, index-only scans, multicolumn statistics
    Transactions, Nested Transactions (via savepoints)
    Multi-Version concurrency Control (MVCC)
    Parallelization of read queries and building B-tree indexes
    Table partitioning
    All transaction isolation levels defined in the SQL standard, including Serializable
    Just-in-time (JIT) compilation of expressions
  • Reliability, Disaster Recovery
    Write-ahead Logging (WAL)
    Replication: Asynchronous, Synchronous, Logical
    Point-in-time-recovery (PITR), active standbys
    Tablespaces
  • Security
    Authentication: GSSAPI, SSPI, LDAP, SCRAM-SHA-256, Certificate, and more
    Robust access-control system
    Column and row-level security
    Multi-factor authentication with certificates and an additional method
  • Extensibility
    Stored functions and procedures
    Procedural Languages: PL/PGSQL, Perl, Python (and many more)
    SQL/JSON path expressions
    Foreign data wrappers: connect to other databases or streams with a standard SQL interface
    Customizable storage interface for tables
    Many extensions that provide additional functionality, including PostGIS
  • And much much more

With that not so sufficient acquaintance, we can now comfortably move to the main course meal where we will be serving up the hottest books that will satiate your PostgreSQL database learning appetite.

1. PostgreSQL: Up and Running

Crated by a team of experienced authors, this book holds a lot of information that will help you migrate to PostgreSQL as fast as possible. One of the authors, Regina Obe is a co-principal of Paragon Corporation, a database consulting company based in Boston. She has over 15 years of professional experience in various programming languages and database systems, with special focus on spatial databases. Her co-author, Leo Hsu, is a co-principal of Paragon Corporation, a database consulting company based in Boston. He has over 15 years of professional experience developing and thinking about databases for organizations large and small.

With examples throughout, this book shows you how to achieve tasks that are difficult or impossible in other databases. This third edition covers new features, such as ANSI-SQL constructs found only in proprietary databases until now: foreign data wrapper (FDW) enhancements; new full text functions and operator syntax introduced in version 9.6; XML constructs new in version 10; query parallelization features introduced in 9.6 and enhanced in 10; built-in logical replication introduced in Version 10.e.

If you are a current PostgreSQL user, you will pick up gems you may have missed before. You will get to:

  • 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 use built-in replication to replicate data

For the readers who have prior experience with some other database, they can jump right to the key points of PostgreSQL and get to see the benefits they will accrue. Click on the following link to get a copy of this amazing resource.

PostgreSQL: Up and Running: A Practical Guide to the Advanced Open Source Database

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2. Mastering PostgreSQL 13

Author Hans-Jürgen Schönig has been in the industry for 18 years. This wealth of experience and time spent with PostgreSQL databases is enough to tell you that what is inside this book is a gem.

Starting with an introduction to the new features in PostgreSQL 13, this book will guide you in building efficient and fault-tolerant PostgreSQL apps. You’ll explore advanced PostgreSQL features, such as logical replication, database clusters, performance tuning, advanced indexing, monitoring, and user management, to manage and maintain your database. You’ll then work with the PostgreSQL optimizer, configure PostgreSQL for high speed, and move from Oracle to PostgreSQL. The book also covers transactions, locking, and indexes, and shows you how to improve performance with query optimization. You’ll also focus on how to manage network security and work with backups and replication while exploring useful PostgreSQL extensions that optimize the performance of large databases.

By the end of this PostgreSQL book, you will be able to get the most out of your database by executing advanced administrative tasks.

What you will learn

  • Get well versed with advanced SQL functions in PostgreSQL 13
  • Get to grips with administrative tasks such as log file management and monitoring
  • Work with stored procedures and manage backup and recovery
  • Employ replication and failover techniques to reduce data loss
  • Perform database migration from Oracle to PostgreSQL with ease
  • Replicate PostgreSQL database systems to create backups and scale your database
  • Manage and improve server security to protect your data
  • Troubleshoot your PostgreSQL instance to find solutions to common and not-so-common problems

If you are a PostgreSQL developer, database administrator or professional who want to implement advanced functionalities and master complex administrative tasks with PostgreSQL 13, then it is high time you pick up this text and consume it. Any prior experience with database administration will really help in accelerating your learning. With 18 years experience with PostgreSQL, the author will take you on a solid learning journey and you will come out as a master in PostgreSQL. Get your copy delivered from Amazon via the following link.

Mastering PostgreSQL 13: Build, administer, and maintain database applications efficiently with PostgreSQL 13, 4th Edition

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3. Essential Postgres

Targeting those who are new and would wish to learn PostgreSQL, author Rick Silva, a software developer with decades of database experience wrote this book to be their teacher and companion. This book gets right to the point, and gives you exposure to the most used – and useful – parts of database development using Postgres version 13. Writing SQL statements, creating tables, functions, triggers, views, as well as data integrity are explained.

Spread over 195 pages, this resource is simple and straight to the point. And guess what, if you want to learn the basics of Postgres development, if you are a Junior or Intermediate Developer, Essential Postgres by Rick Silva is your teacher and friend. The link below will lead you to Amazon where you will be able to get your copy delivered:

Essential Postgres: Database Development using PostgreSQL

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4. Learning SQL

Whether you will be using a relational database or not, if you are working in data science, business intelligence, software development or some other facet of data analysis, you will likely need to know SQL. PostgreSQL uses SQL and having a strong background in SQL will boost your PostgreSQL administration remarkably.

Author Alan Beaulieu helps developers get up to speed with SQL fundamentals for writing database applications, performing administrative tasks, and generating reports. You will find new chapters on SQL and big data, analytic functions, and working with very large databases.

Each chapter presents a self-contained lesson on a key SQL concept or technique using numerous illustrations and annotated examples. Exercises let you practice the skills you learn. Knowledge of SQL is a must for interacting with data. With Learning SQL, you’ll quickly discover how to put the power and flexibility of this language to work.

What you will encounter inside:

  • Move quickly through SQL basics and several advanced features
  • Use SQL data statements to generate, manipulate, and retrieve data
  • Create database objects, such as tables, indexes, and constraints with SQL schema statements
  • Learn how datasets interact with queries; understand the importance of subqueries
  • Convert and manipulate data with SQL’s built-in functions and use conditional logic in data statements

For those who would wish to start with SQL before jumping into PostgreSQL, this is the kind of resource that will serve you well. The author has been designing, building, and implementing custom database applications for over 25 years and is the best teacher to get your SQL fixed. Pick on his brain by clicking on the link provided where you will be able to order your copy from Amazon.

Learning SQL: Generate, Manipulate, and Retrieve Data

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5. PostgreSQL 12 High Availability Cookbook

Shaun Thomas, the author understands the importance of taking precautions before disasters happen especially whn it has to do with your precious data. He has been experimenting with PostgreSQL since late 2000 and serves as a database consultant, teacher, blogger, and support engineer with 2ndQuadrant.

In this updated edition, Shaun Thomas ensures that you will learn the important concepts related to node architecture design, as well as techniques such as using repmgr for failover automation. From cluster layout and hardware selection to software stacks and horizontal scalability, this PostgreSQL cookbook will help you build a PostgreSQL cluster that will survive crashes, resist data corruption, and grow smoothly with customer demand.

You will start by understanding how to plan a PostgreSQL database architecture that is resistant to outages and scalable, as it is the scaffolding on which everything rests. With the bedrock established, you will cover the topics that PostgreSQL database administrators need to know to manage a highly available cluster. This includes configuration, troubleshooting, monitoring and alerting, backups through proxies, failover automation, and other considerations that are essential for a healthy PostgreSQL cluster. Later, you’ll learn to use multi-master replication to maximize server availability. Later chapters will guide you through managing major version upgrades without downtime.

What you will learn

  • Understand how to protect data with PostgreSQL replication tools
  • Focus on hardware planning to ensure that your database runs efficiently
  • Reduce database resource contention with connection pooling
  • Monitor and visualize cluster activity with Nagios and the TIG (Telegraf, InfluxDB, Grafana) stack
  • Construct a robust software stack that can detect and avert outages
  • Use multi-master to achieve an enduring PostgreSQL cluster

By the end of this book, you will have learned how to build an efficient and adaptive PostgreSQL 12 database cluster which is tolerant and Highly Available. If you are a Postgres administrator and developers who is looking to build and maintain a highly reliable PostgreSQL cluster, there is no better place to look than all knowledge shared in this resource. You know what to do, head over to Amazon and order this copy now. Click below and you will be guided there.

PostgreSQL 12 High Availability Cookbook: Over 100 recipes to design a highly available server with the advanced features of PostgreSQL 12, 3rd Edition

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6. Mastering PostgreSQL 12

Author Hans-Jürgen Schönig has 18 years experience with PostgreSQL where he as had a chance to intimately understand it and hence the need to share his knowledge to anyone across the globe. He has worked on data mining and forecast models as well as authoring many other books on PostgreSQL.

This third edition of Mastering PostgreSQL helps you build dynamic database solutions for enterprise applications using release 12 of PostgreSQL, which enables database analysts to design both physical and technical aspects of system architecture with ease.

Starting with an introduction to the newly released features in PostgreSQL 12, this book will help you build efficient and fault-tolerant PostgreSQL applications. You will thoroughly examine the advanced features of PostgreSQL, including logical replication, database clusters, performance tuning, monitoring, and user management. You will also work with the PostgreSQL optimizer, configure PostgreSQL for high speed, and understand how to move from Oracle to PostgreSQL. As you progress through the chapters, you will cover transactions, locking, indexes, and how to optimize queries for improved performance. Additionally, you’ll learn how to manage network security and explore backups and replications while understanding useful PostgreSQL extensions to help you in optimizing the performance of large databases.

By the end of this PostgreSQL book, you will be able to get the most out of your database by implementing advanced administrative tasks effortlessly.

What you will learn

  • Understand the advanced SQL functions in PostgreSQL 12
  • Use indexing features in PostgreSQL to fine-tune the performance of queries
  • Work with stored procedures and manage backup and recovery
  • Master replication and failover techniques to reduce data loss
  • Replicate PostgreSQL database systems to create backups and to scale your database
  • Manage and improve the security of your server to protect your data
  • Troubleshoot your PostgreSQL instance for solutions to common and not-so-common problems

As you can guess, this book is well suited for PostgreSQL developers and administrators and database professionals who want to implement advanced functionalities and master complex administrative tasks with PostgreSQL 12. Spread over thirteen chapters, readers will get to deepen their expertise and solve complex problems in their environments. Get your copy delivered from Amazon from the link below.

Mastering PostgreSQL 12: Advanced techniques to build and administer scalable and reliable PostgreSQL database applications, 3rd Edition

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7. PostgreSQL 11 Administration Cookbook

Starting with a summary of the authors, Simon Riggs is the CTO of 2ndQuadrant, having contributed to PostgreSQL as a major developer and committer for 14 years. Co-author Gianni Ciolli is the head of professional services at 2ndQuadrant and has been a PostgreSQL consultant, trainer, and speaker at many PostgreSQL conferences in Europe and abroad over the last 10 years. Co-author Sudheer Kumar Meesala is a lead architect at Endurance International Group and has spent the last few years designing and building scalable and secure web applications within finance and internet industries.

With many features in its arsenal, PostgreSQL 11 allows you to scale up your PostgreSQL infrastructure. This book takes a step-by-step, recipe-based approach to effective PostgreSQL administration.

Firstly, you will understand how to control crash recovery and plan backups by working through new features such as logical replication, native table partitioning, and additional query parallelism. You will also learn how to tackle a variety of problems and pain points that database administrators often face including creating tables, managing views, improving performance, and securing your database. As you make steady progress, the book will draw attention to important topics such as monitoring roles, backup, and recovery of your PostgreSQL 11 database. This will help you to gain insights into roles and produce a summary of log files, which will in turn ensure high availability, concurrency, and replication.

What you will learn

  • Troubleshoot open source PostgreSQL version 11 on various platforms
  • Deploy best practices for planning and designing live databases
  • Select and implement robust backup and recovery techniques in PostgreSQL 11
  • Use pgAdmin or OmniDB to perform database administrator (DBA) tasks
  • Adopt efficient replication and high availability techniques in PostgreSQL
  • Improve the performance of your PostgreSQL solution

By the end of this book, you will have the skills you need to manage your PostgreSQL 11 database efficiently. It is an intermediate-level book ideal for database administrators, data architects, database developers, or anyone with an interest in planning and running live production databases using PostgreSQL 11. Spread over twelve chapters, there is a lot to learn and the concepts can be applied to other Postgres versions as well. Click below to get your copy delivered from Amazon.

PostgreSQL 11 Administration Cookbook: Over 175 recipes for database administrators to manage enterprise databases

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8. Practical SQL

SQL (Structured Query Language) is the standard programming language for defining, organizing, and exploring data in relational databases. Author Anthony DeBarros is an award-winning journalist who’s combined avid interests in data analysis, coding, software product development, and storytelling for much of his career. This book by Anthony focuses on using SQL to find the story your data tells, with the popular open-source database PostgreSQL and the pgAdmin interface as its primary tools.

You will first cover the fundamentals of databases and the SQL language, then build skills by analyzing data from the U.S. Census and other federal and state government agencies. With exercises and real-world examples in each chapter, this book will teach even those who have never programmed before all the tools necessary to build powerful databases and access information quickly and efficiently.

You will learn how to:

  • Create databases and related tables using your own data
  • Define the right data types for your information
  • Aggregate, sort, and filter data to find patterns
  • Use basic math and advanced statistical functions
  • Identify errors in data and clean them up
  • Import and export data using delimited text files
  • Write queries for geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Create advanced queries and automate tasks

The readers will find that Practical SQL delivers clear examples with an easy-to-follow approach to teach you the tools you need to build and manage your own databases. Whether you have programmed before or not, this resource will expose you to SQL and Postgres in the process. Feel free to get your SQL fixed by getting this resource from Amazon below.

Practical SQL: A Beginner's Guide to Storytelling with Data

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9. Mastering PostgreSQL 11

This second edition of Mastering PostgreSQL 11 helps you build dynamic database solutions for enterprise applications using the latest release of PostgreSQL, which enables database analysts to design both the physical and technical aspects of the system architecture with ease.

This book begins with an introduction to the newly released features in PostgreSQL 11 to help you build efficient and fault-tolerant PostgreSQL applications. You’ll examine all of the advanced aspects of PostgreSQL in detail, including logical replication, database clusters, performance tuning, monitoring, and user management. You will also work with the PostgreSQL optimizer, configuring PostgreSQL for high speed, and see how to move from Oracle to PostgreSQL. As you progress through the chapters, you will cover transactions, locking, indexes, and optimizing queries to improve performance. Additionally, you’ll learn to manage network security and explore backups and replications, while understanding the useful extensions of PostgreSQL so that you can optimize the speed and performance of large databases.

What you will learn

  • Get to grips with advanced PostgreSQL 11 features and SQL functions
  • Make use of the indexing features in PostgreSQL and fine-tune the performance of your queries
  • Work with stored procedures and manage backup and recovery
  • Master replication and failover techniques
  • Troubleshoot your PostgreSQL instance for solutions to common and not-so-common problems
  • Perform database migration from MySQL and Oracle to PostgreSQL with ease

By the end of this book, you will be able to use your database to its utmost capacity by implementing advanced administrative tasks with ease. As you can guess, this book is well suited for PostgreSQL developers and administrators and database professionals who want to implement advanced functionalities and master complex administrative tasks with PostgreSQL 11. Spread over thirteen chapters, readers will get to deepen their expertise and solve complex problems in their environments. Grab your copy from Amazon via the link provided below.

Mastering PostgreSQL 11: Expert techniques to build scalable, reliable, and fault-tolerant database applications, 2nd Edition

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Concluding Remarks

Postgres is Open Source, easy to install and amazing to learn. Thanks to its high performance, reliability, and robustness, PostgreSQL has become the most advanced database in tech. It has the capability of helping you build dynamic database solutions for enterprise applications that are highly available, robust and reliable. As a developer, database administrator or data analyst, having the skills needed to administer, configure and use PostgreSQL is a huge bonus. Begin today.

Other interesting books can be found under the following articles:

SQL from scratch: how to get started learning databases?

Install PostgreSQL 13 on Fedora

Enable SSL Encryption and SCRAM-SHA-256 Password Authentication in PostgreSQL

How To Install PostgreSQL 13 on Ubuntu

Install RavenDB NoSQL database on Ubuntu

Best Oracle Database Certification Books

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