Imported Content

PostgreSQL Row Storage Fundamentals

I answered a question a few days ago on Stack Overflow about PostgreSQL & SQL Server btree storage fundamentals. After I answered the question, I started thinking more and more about how PostgreSQL stores data on the row. Rather than be content to live in ignorance, I went digging through PostgreSQL’s source code and some hex dumps to find out what was going on inside a row. Getting Started To get started, we’ll create a separate test database that we’ll cunningly calltest.

I’m Presenting at SQL Saturday 67

No, this isn’t a re-run! I’ll be presenting about Refacatoring SQL at SQL Saturday 67 in Chicago this coming Saturday. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I had a blast presenting in Chicago last year and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year. There’s a greatline up of speakers. If you’re in the Chicago area and want to get your learn on, I suggest you swing on by the DeVry Addison campus and check it out.

Why Don’t We Have Federated Databases?

Federated databases are a dream that have not materialized. The SQL/MEDextension to the ANSI/ISO SQL specification is a step in the right direction. In addition, both SQL Server and Oracle have proprietary extensions that make it possible to query external data sources. If all of this technology is available today, why aren’t more people using it? Why Don’t We Have a Federated Database? If federated databases are such a powerful thing, why hasn’t anyone built one?

The Promise and Failure of Federated Data

One of the biggest problems facing businesses today is integrating data from multiple sources. The holy grail of data integration is called a federated database system. Basically, a federated database stores meta data about other databases and makes it easier to integrate them through a single interface. Many relational databases have features that support integrating with other relational databases through SQL Server’s linked servers or Oracle’s database links. One of the problems with these features is that they only allow relational databases to talk to other relational databases.

PostgreSQL Extensions

Dimitri Fontaine has been working on adding extension packaging functionality to PostgreSQL for a while. His hard work has paid off and PostgreSQL 9.1 will have extensions. How will extensions work? At a cursory glance, extensions are similar to libraries or DLLs in the programming world. Extensions are packaged units of code that can be installed using the CREATE EXTENSION command. This command will execute a script file that installs any of the extensions objects, including any C code that needs to be built or loaded.

Writing Tips

Past Articles I’ve written a few times about writing – The Act of Reading and The Act of Writing. I thought that it would be good to put together a grab bag of some of my favorite writing tips and tricks to make life just a little bit easier for people who want to get better at writing. On the Act of Reading In The Act of Reading I talk about how it’s important to actively read as part and parcel of getting better as an author.

Copy, Paste, Cloud

One of my favorite features of EC2 is the ability to create virtual machine templates and re-use them to create fresh copies of a virtual machine. This is great but things rapidly get onerous when you’re trying to duplicate infrastructure. Amazon recently unveiled a new service called AWS CloudFormation. There are currently many Amazon cloud offerings available: S3, Elastic Block Storage, EC2, and Elastic Beanstalk are just a few. AWS CloudFormation is more than just another member of the family: it ties them all together.

Protecting Your Content – Copyright, Licensing, and You

Why Should I Worry About Licensing? You probably just have a blog, or maybe you haven’t even started blogging yet. Maybe you’re just sharing your thoughts on Facebook Notes or Google Pages. However you look at it you’re probably certain that you don’t need to worry about your writing on the web. It is, after all, your content. Think again. In all fairness, Facebook’s terms of use are some of the more consumer friendly terms of service out there.

Database Restores – Where’s my Transaction Log Backup?

Developers! DBAs! Has this ever happened to you? [caption id=“attachment_2222” align=“alignright” width=“200”] Surprise! It’s a database migration error![/caption] You’re chugging along on a Friday night getting ready for your weekend deployment. Your 2 liter of Shasta is ice cold, you have your all Rush mix tape, and you’re wearing tube socks with khakis. Things are looking up. You open up your deployment script. You’re confident because you’ve tested it in the QA environment and everything worked.

Querying Riak – Key Filters and MapReduce

A while back we talked about getting faster writes with Riak. Since then, I’ve been quiet on the Riak front. Let’s take a look at how we can get data out of Riak, especially since I went to great pains to throw all of that data into Riak as fast as my little laptop could manage. Key filtering is a new feature in Riak that makes it much easier to restrict queries to a subset of the data.