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Binary JSON Support Added To PostgreSQL, Competes With MongoDB

Free Software

Published on 24 March 2014 11:15 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
17 Comments

In a sign of PostgreSQL trying to better compete against MongoDB with its "BSON" (binary JSON), PostgreSQL now has support for a binary JSON data type.

Committed to PostgreSQL on Sunday was support for JSONB, a structed format for storing JSON. "The new format accepts exactly the same data as the json type. However, it is stored in a format that does not require reparsing the orgiginal text in order to process it, making it much more suitable for indexing and other operations. Insignificant whitespace is discarded, and the order of object keys is not preserved. Neither are duplicate object keys kept - the later value for a given key is the only one stored."

Oleg Bartunov, one of the developers working on this code, wrote a blog post adding, "I hope all database people understand, what that project mean for PostgreSQL - 99.9% percent of projects don't need MongoDB and could be nicely implemented in relational model. Now, PostgreSQL (AFAIK, the first considerable RDBMS) introduced the real support for semi-structured data, which are common in nowaday world."

Phoronix reader Thom Brown wrote into Phoronix to share the news of this binary JSON data type support being added to the PostgreSQL database server. Thom explained, "the jsonb data type and related index operator classes were committed to PostgreSQL. This effectively puts MongoDB-like functionality into PostgreSQL with speeds that can meet or exceed MongoDB, and much more flexible indexes." Thom also shared some early benchmark figures with us via his Google+ page:
table size
json: 1322MB
jsonb: 1375MB (4% increase)
MongoDB: 1666MB

index size
default: 630MB
JHO: 283MB (55% decrease)
MongoDB: N/A

size of targeted index on a single key
default: 79MB
JHO: 58MB (26% decrease)
MongoDB: 96MB

speed (producing a count based on the search for a particular nested value)
default: 18.759ms
JHO: 1.111ms (94% decrease)
MongoDB: 2ms

Table size is slightly larger with a 4% increase in size, but the index is much smaller and much much faster!
For database developers interested in more information on this work, there's also PDF slides from last year's PostgreSQL European conference concerning this work. This JSONB support will be found in the upcoming PostgreSQL 9.4 release. Earlier this month PostgreSQL also picked up support for logical decoding.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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