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6 Differences Between PostgreSQL and SQL Servers

6 Differences between PostgreSQL and SQL Servers

PostgreSQL and SQL servers are the most popular relational database management systems(RDBMSs). An SQL server is a DBMS and an analysis system and is mostly used for various data warehousing solutions and e-commerce businesses. PostgreSQL is an advanced version of SQL. It offers support to the different functions of SQL, including subqueries, transactions, triggers, foreign keys, and various user-defined functions. This post highlights the key differences between these two relational database management systems.

1.    Cross-platform

We are in a digital world, and it’s very important for a platform or language to be cross-platform. With the advancement of the IT industry, it is crucial to be accessible over open source systems such as UNIX and Linux. SQL is a product of Microsoft and is vendor locked and is only accessible over Microsoft systems. For its part, PostgreSQL is accessible over Solaris, Windows, BSD, as well as Linux. For PHP developers, you can use both SQL and PostgreSQL with Laravel to deploy web applications.

2.    CSV support

The PostgreSQL vs. SQL server debate has been ongoing for some time, but PostgreSQL topples the latter on many things. Among areas where PostgreSQL is at the top of its game is CSV support. PostgreSQL offers different commands like ‘copy from’ and ‘copy to’ which help in fast data processing. It also provides crucial error messages. If there is a slight problem, PostgreSQL will show an error message and stop the import immediately. On the other hand, SQL does not support either exporting or importing data.

3.    Replication

SQL server can replicate all sorts of data. This can be a snapshot, mirroring, log shipping, merge, transactional, etc. PostgreSQL replication is in the form of reports, and there are different third-party options to choose from. In addition, all PostgreSQL versions higher than 8.3 have built-in replication features.

4.    Dynamic actions in SQL

PostgreSQL provides dynamic actions in SQL. This implies that by just using select statements, you can perform all operations, retrieve, and easily do all other jobs. This feature is not available on the SQL server. However, you can use the stored procedure and call dynamic actions from select statements. This makes SQL much more limiting than PostgreSQL.

5.    Updateable views

In SQL, views are updated automatically if the tables contain different keys, and the update statement does not include two or more tables. Also, you can update complex views using triggers. In PostgreSQL, views updates are possible but not automatically. To update, you have to write rules against the views. Complex views are easy to update in PostgreSQL as well.

6.    Computed columns

SQL offers computed columns feature. However, views are preferred over computed columns. This is because computed columns can’t hold different roll-ups, and hence they are of little help. The computed columns feature is not available in PostgreSQL. Instead, it provides functional indices that work just like views.


Both PostgreSQL and SQL servers are incredible relational database management systems. They offer much-needed help in managing data efficiently. However, PostgreSQL has more prominent features, which gives it an upper hand over SQL.

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