Posted on 2004-09-07
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Give me some insights which can be compared with INGRES ?
Question by:ysagada1012
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:earth man2
earth man2 earned 30 total points
ID: 11996410
They come from the same source tree but are now different beasts.


Accepted Solution

rjkimble earned 40 total points
ID: 11998362
Here's a good recap from


PostgreSQL is the ultimate result of a long evolution starting with the Ingres project at UC Berkeley. The project lead, Michael Stonebraker had left Berkeley to commercialize Ingres in 1982, but eventually returned to academia. After returning to Berkeley in 1985, Stonebraker started a post-Ingres project to address the problems with the relational database model that had become increasing clear during the early 1980s. Primary among these was the relational model's inability to understand "types", combination of simpler data that make up a single unit. Today we typically refer to these as objects.

The resulting project, named Postgres, aimed at introducing the minimum number of features need to add complete types support. These included the ability to define types, but also the ability to fully describe relationships – which up until this time had been widely used but maintained entirely by the user. In Postgres the database "understood" relationships, and could retrieve information in related tables in a natural way using rules.

Starting in 1986 the team released a number of papers describing the basis of the system, and by 1988 had a prototype version up and running. Version 1 was released to a small number of users in June 1989, followed by Version 2 with a re-written rules system in June 1990. 1991's Version 3 re-wrote the rules system again, but also added support for multiple storage managers, and an improved query engine. By 1993 there were a huge number of users and the project was being overwhelmed with requests for support and features. After releasing a Version 4 primarily as a cleanup, the project ended.

Although the Postgres project had officially ended, the BSD license under which Postgres was developed enabled Open Source developers to obtain a copy and develop it further. In 1994, Andrew Yu and Jolly Chen added a SQL language interpreter to replace the earlier QUEL system Ingres had been based on, creating Postgres95. The code was subsequently released to the web to find its own way in the world. Postgres95 was an open source descendant of this original Berkeley code. In 1996 it was decided to change the name to reflect the use of SQL, becoming PostgreSQL, and the version numbering was pushed forward to Version 6, thereby making Postgres95 become Version 5. The software has been maintained by a group of database developers from around the world, coordinated via the Internet.

Although the license allowed for the commercialization of Postgres, unlike Ingres the Postgres code was not developed commercially with the same rapidity as Ingres, which is somewhat surprising considering the advantages the product offered. The main offshoot was created when Michael Stonebraker and Paula Hawthorn, an original Ingres team member who moved from Ingres, formed Illustra Information Technologies to commercialize Postgres.

Illustra's product was first introduced in 1991, where it was used in the Sequoia 2000 project late that year. By 1995 the product had added an ability to write plug-in modules they referred to as DataBlades. Unlike other plug-in technologies, with DataBlades external authors could write code to create new low-level datatypes, and tell the database how to store, index and manage it. For instance, one of the most popular DataBlades was used to create a time-series, a list of one particular variable over time, often with gaps. For instance, the price of a stock over time changes, but there are times, like weekends, where the data does not change and there is no entry. Traditional databases have difficultly handling this sort of task; while they can find a record for a particular date, finding the one that is "active" in one of the gaps is time consuming. With the Time Series DataBlade, this was fast and easy.

DataBlades were increadibly successful and started to generate considerable industry "buzz", eventually leading Informix to purchase the company outright in 1996. Industry insiders claimed that it would not be possible to merge the two products, but in fact this was fairly easy because both were based on the original Ingres code and concepts. Infomix released their Illustra-based Universal Server in 1997, leaving them in an unchallenged position in terms of technical merit.

The page at is a bit more succinct:

Postgres and INGRES are open-source database products brought to us by the database research group at UC Berekely. These links provide the best resources on the Net!

The Wikipedia page is here:

Bruce Momjian's recap can be found here:

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