PostgreSQL 9.2 Beta Adds JSON Support

The beta release of PostgreSQL 9.2, available to developers for testing as of yesterday, broadens its data type support to include the highly popular JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) open standard, according to a news item from the PostgreSQL Global Development Group.

It’s an especially well-timed announcement – as developers work to integrate legacy enterprise software with new cloud applications, the ability to deploy hybrid document-relational databases that supports both JSON and the ability to translate other data types into JSON will probably be welcomed. After all, JSON remains the data type of choice for many developers.

Outside of that JSON support, PostgreSQL 9.2 includes developer-focused updates like the inclusion of range types, enabling for calendaring, time-series and analytics functionalities in applications. It also features improvements to statements like ALTER, easing database runtime updates.

The new release is also designed to eat less CPU power, increase data write speeds, perform index-only scans to improve efficiency by avoiding base tables, scale workloads to 64 cores and 300,000-plus queries per second, and enable cascading replication of databases across geographically distributed standby databases. The full release notes can be found here.

Assuming PostgreSQL holds to its stated roadmap and testing proceeds apace, PostgreSQL 9.2 will be generally available this September. But if you want to dive into the source code, it’s available from the project’s FTP site (with compiled binaries for Windows, Mac and Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris here).

What the addition of JSON says to me is that in the age of cloud-focused application design, developers are really looking to use the open methodologies they’re most comfortable with, even as they struggle with older technologies like XML. By enabling developers to mix the two, PostgreSQL boosts its overall appeal.