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All you need to know about PostgreSQL: 10 hot PostgreSQL commands for developers

In application development, working with databases is important. Postgres, actually PostgreSQL, is an open-source Relational Database Management System(RDBMS). This article covers the 10 hot PostgreSQL commands you need to know to be a good developer!

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL, also known as Postgres, is a reliable and powerful relational database management system (RDBMS). It is highly SQL-compliant and widely recognized for its extensive set of features. Also, it is an open-source database. Therefore, it is completely free to use and is developed and maintained by a global community of contributors.

Key features of Postgres

  • Full support for SQL standards and complex queries
  • Rich data type support, including custom types
  • Concurrency control and locking mechanisms
  • Replication and failover capabilities
  • Extensibility through built-in and third-party extensions
  • ACID compliance for data integrity
  • Cross-platform availability

PostgreSQL Commands in your team

Using PostgreSQL Commands for Data analytics and business intelligence

Many teams involved in data analytics and business intelligence projects often use this. Because of this, it has the unique ability to handle large datasets, perform complex queries, and integrate with various data analysis tools and frameworks. Its support for advanced SQL features such as window functions and common table expressions allows teams to efficiently extract valuable insights from data.

Using PostgreSQL Commands for Geospatial Data Management

Teams working with geospatial data, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping applications, and location-based services, often rely on the PostGIS extension. This extension provides spatial data types and functions allowing for efficient storage, querying, and geospatial data analysis. It is a widely popular choice for handling such data.

Using PostgreSQL Commands for a Content Management Systems (CMS)

Popular CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal have this as their backend database to handle vast amounts of content and user data with ease and efficiency.

 PostgreSQL commands

How using PostgreSQL can enhance team productivity

  • Collaboration through a Centralized Database: Multiple team members can access and work with the same database simultaneously. Its robust concurrency control mechanisms, including Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC) and various locking strategies, ensure data integrity and prevent conflicts in multi-user environments.
  • Extensibility through Third-Party Extensions: Its extensibility is one of its strongest assets. Teams can leverage a vast ecosystem of third-party extensions to add advanced functionality, such as full-text search, spatial data support, and specialized data types, tailoring the database to their specific project requirements.
  • Efficient Data Modeling with Rich Data Types: PostgreSQL’s extensive support for various data types, including custom data types, arrays, JSON, and XML, enables teams to model and store complex data structures efficiently. This flexibility streamlines the development process and minimizes the need for workarounds or external data processing.

In addition, PostgreSQL offers enterprise-level database capabilities and is widely used in various applications, from small projects to large-scale systems, due to its robustness, performance, and adherence to open standards.

10 hot PostgreSQL commands every developer must know

1. The `\c` hot PostgreSQL command: Connect to a Database

   To start working with a specific database, you need to connect to it first. The `\c` command allows you to switch between databases within your Postgres instance.

   \c database_name

   Replace `database_name` with the name of the database you want to connect to.

2. The `\d` PostgreSQL command – List Database Objects

   The `\d` PostgreSQL command is a versatile tool for viewing information about various database objects, such as tables, views, and sequences.

\d              -- List all tables, views, and sequences

\d table_name   -- Describe the structure of a specific table
\d+ table_name  -- Show more detailed information about a table, including indexes and constraints

3. The `SELECT` PostgreSQL command – Retrieve Data

   The `SELECT` PostgreSQL command is also the cornerstone of data retrieval in SQL. It allows you to fetch data from one or more tables based on specific conditions.

SELECT column1, column2 FROM table_name;
   SELECT * FROM table_name WHERE condition;

4. The `INSERT` PostgreSQL command – Add New Data

   The `INSERT` command is used to insert new rows into a table.

INSERT INTO table_name (column1, column2, column3)
   VALUES (value1, value2, value3);

5. The `UPDATE` PostgreSQL command – Modify Existing Data

   Use the `UPDATE` statement to modify existing data in a table.

   UPDATE table_name
   SET column1 = value1, column2 = value2
   WHERE condition;

6. The `DELETE` PostgreSQL command – Remove Data

   The `DELETE` command allows you to remove rows from a table based on a given condition.

   DELETE FROM table_name WHERE condition; 

7. The `CREATE TABLE` PostgreSQL command – Create a New Table

   To create a new table, use the `CREATE TABLE` statement followed by the table name and column definitions.

      CREATE TABLE table_name (

       column1 data_type constraints,

       column2 data_type constraints,

8. The `ALTER TABLE` PostgreSQL command – Modify an Existing Table

   The `ALTER TABLE` command is used to modify the structure of an existing table, such as adding, dropping, or renaming columns.

   ALTER TABLE table_name action; 

   Replace `action` with the specific operation you want to perform, such as `ADD COLUMN`, `DROP COLUMN`, or `RENAME COLUMN`.

9. The `DROP TABLE` PostgreSQL command – Delete a Table

   If you need to remove an entire table from the database, use the `DROP TABLE` statement.

   DROP TABLE table_name; 

10. The `VACUUM` PostgreSQL command – Reclaim Disk Space

In addition, as you delete or update data in your tables, the space previously occupied by the old data becomes available but is not automatically reclaimed. The `VACUUM` command can help reclaim this disk space.

VACUUM table_name; 

Developers who work with databases can benefit from knowing these fundamental PostgreSQL commands. Although there are many commands and features available, mastering these 10 can give you a solid foundation to work with databases. Familiarity with these commands is essential for developers.

Conclusion on PostgreSQL Commands

In conclusion, it’s important to manage your database well, including backing up data, creating indexes, and implementing security measures.

However, PostgreSQL is a feature-rich database management system, and knowing its commands can enhance your productivity as a developer. Equally important is to keep this cheat sheet handy and explore the PostgreSQL documentation for more advanced topics and functionalities.

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