PGCon2012 - Final Release

PGCon 2012
The PostgreSQL Conference

Dan Scott
Day Talks - 2 - Friday - 2012-05-18
Room MRT 205
Start time 15:00
Duration 01:00
ID 465
Track Case Studies
Language used for presentation English

Running libraries on PostgreSQL

The Evergreen library system's (ab)use of PostgreSQL

Launched by the Georgia Public Library System in September 2006 to manage and circulate materials through a consortia of over 200 public libraries, Evergreen has since been adopted by over 1,000 public and academic libraries across more than 30 states and provinces. From the beginning, Evergreen's distributed architecture has bet heavily on PostgreSQL features, relying on custom functions, triggers and rules, full-text search, XML support, inheritance, and recently HSTORE to provide reliable high-performance support for the day-to-day operations of libraries.

One of the core developers of the Evergreen library system describes how the project tries to use PostgreSQL to its fullest, some of the lessons we have learned, and some of the challenges we face:

  • Scalability success stories
    • Replication then and now
  • Normalizing metadata to the exacting/arcane rules of librarians
    • TEXT vs. XML vs. MARC(XML|21)
  • Full-text search challenges
    • Searching across multiple languages
    • Relevance, configurability, and performance
  • Schema evolution and testing