Each and every computer system in the world needs a database to store/retrieve the information. Without a database, a computer can become useless. The primary reason you use the computer is to store, retrieve and process information and do all these very quickly, thereby saving you time. At the same time the system must be simple, robust, fast, reliable, economical and very easy to use. The most popular database systems are based on the International Standard Organisation (ISO) SQL specifications which are also based on ANSI SQL (American) standards. Current specifications generally used are ANSI SQL 92 and ANSI SQL 89. Upcoming standard is the SQL 1998/99 which is also called SQL-3. Popular database like Oracle, Sybase and Informix systems are based on these standards or are trying to implement these standards.
As given in this document, there are more than 20 varieties of commercial/internet database systems which are being used in the world and many more will be coming in the near future. Without a standard like ANSI/ISO SQL, it would be very difficult for the customer to develop a application once and run on all the database systems. Today's customer wants to develop an application once using ISO SQL, ODBC, JDBC and sell it to be used on all varieties of database systems in the world.
The world's most popular FREE Database which implements some of the ISO SQL, ANSI SQL/98, SQL/92 and ANSI SQL/89 RDBMS is PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL is next generation Object relational database and the future ANSI SQL standards like SQL 1998 (SQL-3) and beyond will increasingly deal with Object databases and Object data types. PostgreSQL is the only free RDBMS in the world which supports Object databases and SQL. This document will tell you how-to install the database and also all the packages related to databases, how to set up the Web database, application database, front end GUIs and interface programs. It is strongly advised that you MUST write your database applications 100 % compliant to standards of ISO/ANSI SQL, ODBC, JDBC so that your application is portable across multiple databases like PostgreSQL, Oracle, Sybase, Informix etc.
You get the highest quality, and lot many features with PostgreSQL as it follows 'Open Systems development model'. Open systems is the one where the complete source code is given to you and the development takes place on the internet by a extremely large network of human brains. Future trend foresees that most of the software development will take place on the so called "Information Super-Highway" which spans the whole globe. In the coming years, internet growth will be explosive which will further fuel rapid adoption of PostgreSQL by customers.
Applying the principles of physics (quantum, classical, thermodynamics), mathematics and statistics to software quality, you get the highest quality of software only in a 'Open Systems' like PostgreSQL by opening the source code to a very vast number of human brains interconnected by the information super-highway. Greater the number of human brains working, the better will be the quality of software. Open Systems model will also prevent re-invention of wheels, eliminates duplication of work and will be very economical, saves time in distribution and follows the modern economic laws of optimizing the national and global resources. As we will be entering the 21st century, there will be a change in the way that you get software for your use. Customers will give first preference for the open systems software like PostgreSQL.
Buying software MAY become a thing of the past. You only need to buy good hardware, it is worth spending money on the hardware and get the software from internet. Important point is that it is the computer hardware which is doing bulk of the work(99 %). Hardware is the real work horse and software is just a minor contributor. That is, work done by the software is insignificant as compared to that of the computer hardware. Computer hardware is so much more complex that only 6 out of 180 countries in the world so far have demonstrated the capability of designing and manufacturing computer chips/hardware. Manufacturing computer chips is a super-high technology and is a very complex process, capital intensive requiring large investments in plant and production machines which deal with 0.25 micron technology, billions of transistors/circuits which are densely packed on a small silicon chip, which to date even many of the developed countries cannot afford to manufacture! Companies like AMD, Intel, Cyrix, Hitachi, IBM and others spent billions of man-years to master the high-technology like Micro-electronics and Nano-electronics. Micro means (one-millionth of centimeter), Nano means (one-billionth of centimeter). Current technology uses micro-electronics of about 0.35 micron using aluminum as conductors, 0.25 micron sizes using copper as conductors of electrons. In near future the technology of 0.10 micron with copper and even nano-electronics will be used to make computer chips.
As you can see, it is hardware that is high technology and important and software is a low technology and is NOT as important. Hence, manufacturing hardware/hard-goods is vital for national economy! Companies like Compaq, Dell, Sun Microsystems, HP, IBM who manufacture computers are major contributors to U.S economy today and in the future!!
On other hand, each and every country in the world develops/makes software. In fact, any person in this world with a small low-cost PC can create a Oracle database server system!! But it would take him about 20 years (Oracle database server is over some 20 man-years). One man-year is one person working full-time for one full year. If 20 people work for a year than it is 20 man-years spent.
Databases like Oracle, Informix, Sybase, IBM DB2 are written in nothing but 100% "C" language and binaries are created by compiling the source and than shipped to customers.
Since a lot of work had been done on PostgreSQL for the past 12 years, it does not make sense to re-create from scratch another database which satisfies ANSI/ISO SQL. It will be a great advantage to take the existing code and add missing features or enhancements to PostgreSQL and start using it immediately.
PostgreSQL is not just a free database but it is a 'Internet Product' and demands due respect and appreciation from one and all. Prediction is that demand for "Made By Internet" products will grow exponentially as it is capable of maintaining a high quality, low cost, extremely large user-base and developer-base. Those nations who do not use the 'Made By Internet' products will be seriously missing "World-wide Internet Revolution" and will be left far behind other countries.