6 Key Topics Discussed At September’s PostgreSQL Conference in China

September 25, 2015 Andreas Scherbaum

sfeatured-postgre-chinaPivotal hosted a “small” PostgreSQL Conference in Beijing. At least that is what we initially asked for: “a little Meetup, one or two speakers”.

The local PostgreSQL Community, together with the Pivotal and VMware folks, did an awesome job. They organized a full day conference.

The room, sponsored by VMware, seats over 100 people—it was fully packed. In addition, a live stream of the conference was provided. The stream was initially limited to 1000 people, and reached that capacity very quickly. It was raised to 1500, and then 2000 – that was finally enough to satisfy all visitors.

Speakers from halfway around the world presented about PostGIS, PostgreSQL and derivates:

  • 萧少聪 (Xiao Shaocong) talked how PostgreSQL in China is growing
  • 姚延栋 (Yao Yandong) laid out Pivotal’s strategy for Greenplum Database
  • Andreas Scherbaum showed how addresses and geocoordinates can be resolved, using OpenStreetMap and ArcGIS
  • Kingter Wang presented vPostgres, a PostgreSQL integration into VMware products
  • 常雷 (Chang Lei) talked about HAWQ, the Open Source SQL-on-Hadoop Engine
  • 萧少聪 (Xiao Shaocong) explained, why NOSQL is really Not Only SQL
  • 田生军 (Tian Shengjun) showed latest developments in the PostgreSQL PostGIS extension
  • 刘奎恩 (Liu Kuien) reported about the PostGIS integration in Greenplum Database

In addition to the talks, a podium discussion was held, with Heikki Linnakangas, Lei Chang, Yao Yandong and Andreas Scherbaum. The participants discussed a number questions from the audience:

  • How can the commercialization of PostgreSQL be better promoted in China: The market share of PostgreSQL is big in China, but still behind other commercial vendors like DB2, MySQL or Oracle. Companies like to use PostgreSQL, but there are not many chinese-speaking offerings for service and support, adopted for the unique market in the country. The potential is huge, but this staggers the market expansion of the database.
  • What is the relationship between all the the different communities for PostgreSQL, MySQL, HAWQ, Greenplum Database, Apache Hadoop®, and others: There is a broad exchange between the groups and products coming from Pivotal, and with the wider Hadoop market. PostgreSQL and Hadoop seem to be agnostic to each other, one being a relational database, the other a product aiming to handle all kind of unstructured data.
  • How can the community be improved, to not only use PostgreSQL, but also contribute back new features: with the lack of companies offering support and service in China comes a lack of developers contributing back new features to PostgreSQL. There is no clear answer how the situation can be improved.
  • What is the motivation behind Pivotal going Open Source with all products: At Pivotal, we feel strongly that open source is key to building great systems. We have always been big users of and contributors to open source. Open source software is assessed, used, adapted and thought about completely differently to closed source software. Closed source is the past and open source the future. We fully intend on being leaders in the future of data and software in general.
  • What is the ecosystem around the recently open sourced products, how can the community contribute patches and new features: A number of Pivotal products are submitted to Apache Software Foundation (ASF), and in the incubation phase. This enables anyone to review the code, contribute changes, or take the product and build awesome services on top of it. Other products, like Greenplum Database, are still prepared for the Open Source roll-out.
  • What is the past and future for commercial databases, like MySQL and Oracle, and how is this impacting the market in China: People see a fall in the MySQL usage numbers in the past few years. This is mainly related to complicated Oracle license terms and conditions. Other MySQL-compatible vendors were not able to step in and successfully recover the usage numbers. Oracle is still strong in China, despite attempts of companies to get rid of US-based software and hardware vendors.

Interest in both PostgreSQL and Greenplum Database is very strong in China. Meetups happen regularly, a number of future Meetups is already planned and will be announced on the Let’s Postgres website.

Never miss a good chance for a good picture, therefore time was reserved on the schedule to take a group picture with all participants:


About the Author

Andreas Scherbaum

Andreas Scherbaum is working with PostgreSQL since 1997. He is involved in several PostgreSQL related community projects, member of the Board of Directors of the European PostgreSQL User Group and also wrote a PostgreSQL book (in German). Since 2011 he is working for EMC/Greenplum/Pivotal and tackles very big databases.

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