Oleg Bartunov, CEO Postgres Professional and PostgreSQL Major Contributor spoke at PGConf NYC 2021. His talk entitled “Understanding JSONB Performance” got a very warm welcome at the conference covering the PostgreSQL ecosystem.
JSONB is a data type and underlying technology for fast search and retrieval of semistructured data, stored in JSON format. JSONB, mostly developed by the Postgres Professional team, has become one of the most popular data types in PostgreSQL. Thanks to JSONB, PostgreSQL’s adoption rates skyrocketed as it added the document store functionality to the world’s most advanced open source database. Application developers got an opportunity to use JSONB for operations with semistructured data and complex and ever-changing data structures. Previously, developers had to invent workarounds to combine the power of relational DBMS and the flexibility of NoSQL storage. JSONB proved to be a better built-in solution driving the PostgreSQL popularity and taking it to the next level.
In his talk, Oleg Bartunov familiarized the PostgreSQL community with the results of the recent JSONB performance research. Postgres Professional has been leading this research for years to enhance the JSONB functionality. In the PGConf NYC 2021 presentation, Oleg also introduced the roadmap for the JSONB development explaining the future patches to be contributed to PostgreSQL in the coming years. “Let’s not perceive JSON as something not typical of SQL databases, - Oleg Bartunov underlined. - We need to adapt PostgreSQL to this data type making JSON function normally as the ‘first-class citizen’.
The representatives of the international PostgreSQL community were impressed by the Postgres Professional talk. After the presentation, EnterpriseDB’s Simon Riggs, one of the most recognized PostgreSQL Major Contributors, proposed to create a PostgreSQL JSON workgroup (JSON Special Interest Group, JSIG). This group, consisting of several community members, will work together to enhance JSON functionality in Postgres for different use cases.
In addition to this, the group members will develop the JSON-related PostgreSQL extensions and APIs to improve JSON support in the Postgres core. Compliance with the SQL standards is another important goal of the group. Benchmark testing and the creation of relevant workload descriptions will also be on the group’s radar. “We would also like to further extend PostgreSQL extensibility; big attributes can be stored using type-aware (pluggable) TOAST. So storage optimized for a specific data type will become possible to develop, including the one for JSONB. This will enable us to implement many JSONB optimizations as Postgres extensions, distributed under custom licenses," - remarked Oleg Bartunov.