Postgres vs. MSSQL

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Wed Nov 8 10:49:28 MST 2006

On Wed, 2006-11-08 at 09:58 -0700, Daniel C. wrote:
> Hey all,
> At work here we're looking at whether to adopt Postgres or stay with
> MS SQL.  We've already got MS SQL working and all that, so switching
> would mean throwing out our licenses with MS and porting the DBs (more
> than one) over.  On the other hand, we're looking at growing soon, and
> I'm worried that MS won't scale very well.  (Plus I like Postgres
> better.  But our DBA likes MS SQL better.)

Clearly your company's decision will not be made on technical grounds.

But if you want to base it soley on technical grounds, there is no
contest, according to what I've been told.  Postgres is better hands
down.  I have a friend (famous last words I know) who does large-scale
database programming for a living and tells me MS SQL is based on the
old Sybase engine, which has serious locking issues.  He claims to have
code that can, with just a few concurrent queries, bring MS SQL, Sybase,
and even DB2 to their knees.  (MySQL too, obviously.).  The only
databases that can handle some of their stuff are Oracle and PostgreSQL.
Bear in mind I'm not talking about the the granularity of the lock
(MySQL's locking is much finer now than it used to be) but rather the
techniques used to enforce data integrity.  If I recall correctly,
PostgreSQL and Oracle do not use locks at all to enforce integrity.
Maybe someone more knowledgeable can explain to me why this might be.  

> I'm also going to recommend moving to Django from PHP, which would
> make Postgres the natural option.

Well it's likely that PHP and Django don't use any advanced DB features
like triggers, constraints, or stored procedures, so it really doesn't
matter in the least what db you pick, as long as the load is manageable.

> Anyone have a perspective on this they could share?  Things I need to
> consider?  Potential arguments for both sides of the issue?
> Thanks,
> Dan
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