At Hieda, we’re always keeping an eye on the latest and greatest in open-source database-related software to keep you informed of interesting changes. A few weeks ago, the latest version of PostgreSQL was released with a bunch of significant improvements and new features. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of these improvements together, and see where PostgreSQL 16 makes a difference.
First and foremost, those of you that have been working with PostgreSQL for a while will be pleased to learn that PostgreSQL 16 introduces substantial performance enhancements.
To put these performance upgrades into perspective, consider the following query:
ON users.id = addresses.user_id
ON addresses.id = phones.address_id
WHERE users.name = 'John Doe';
In PostgreSQL 15, this query executed as a single sequential join. However, PostgreSQL 16 enables parallelization, resulting in a remarkable improvement in query execution time. For example, on a dataset of 1 million rows, the query that took 5 seconds in PostgreSQL 15 now takes just 2 seconds: an improvement of no less than 60%.
PostgreSQL 16 takes logical replication to the next level with several enhancements. The standout feature is the ability to replicate data from a standby. This opens up exciting possibilities for multi-region architectures. You can have a primary database in one region and a standby in another, with the standby now capable of sending data to a third system in its region.
Exciting as this is, it’s far from the only replication enhancement. Other improvements include:
Security is a top priority in PostgreSQL 16. It introduces advanced access control options and robust security management. The handling of configuration files, such as pg_hba.conf and pg_ident.conf, has also been refined, enabling regular expression matching for user and database names. Additionally, external configuration files can now be included via directives.
Rounding off the security improvements, PostgreSQL 16 brings support for Kerberos credential delegation. This enables extensions like postgres_fdw and dblink to utilize authenticated credentials for connecting to trusted services.
PostgreSQL 16 definitely doesn't skimp on monitoring features either. The pg_stat_io view offers in-depth insights into I/O activity of your system, while detailed statistics on sequential and index scans on tables enhance performance evaluation. Together, these enhancements make monitoring your PostgreSQL database noticeably easier.
The readability of auto_explain has also been improved by logging values passed into parameterized statements. As a result, the query tracking algorithm utilized by pg_stat_statements and pg_stat_activity has also been refined, leading to more accurate insights.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, the PostgreSQL team decided to ship even more features and improvements with the new version. Among many others, PostgreSQL 16 now offers support for ICU collation rules, enhanced JSON support, improved security for connection parameters, more efficient shared buffer usage, and support for parallel execution of certain administrative tasks. An impressive list to say the least.
PostgreSQL 16 signifies a significant step forward for open-source databases, offering a wide range of important improvements and new features. These enhancements make PostgreSQL more performant, secure, and manageable than ever. If you're using PostgreSQL, upgrading to version 16 is a move we highly recommend.