Database technologies have significantly evolved over the past few years. Historically, relational databases were most popular; however, other types of databases—like document and key-value databases—are quickly gaining popularity.
The shift from solely relying on large relational databases, like Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, to using specialized databases was a strategic move. This data modernization meant creating more “fit for purpose” database services—which helped IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) strike a balance between faster application development and stable, cost-efficient operations.
In addition to the various database types now available, open source databases have made a name for themselves in regard to meeting developers’ application needs and driving operational efficiency.
So in this strategic optimization and expansion of services, IKEA Retail explored this more flexible, fit for purpose path—which inevitably led them to Postgres.
Expanding Database Offerings
In addition to databases we’ve used for years, we’ve added more databases into our product offering—most recently, Postgres. The end goal is to offer database services for every database type. The introduction of Postgres impacts our current database landscape; therefore, migrating databases to Postgres (community) or EDB Postgres database wherever possible is the directional choice for us.
A great thing about this option was the flexibility our users saw and responded well to. The fact that, with Postgres, we can provide low-cost, lightweight database services without compromising performance and operations was huge. Not all of our applications require complex enterprise edition databases, so offering lightweight low-cost database appreciated by our application owners.
IKEA Retail has used proprietary databases for years and see great value using them. In addition to proprietary databases usage, this transition is to create a service with Postgres that fit certain needs. This enabled versatility for working around the database and meeting cost-effective database needs. Thus, the new database service offering also drove service improvements.
Accelerating People, Teams, and the Enterprise
IKEA Retail is now in the process of moving some retail applications run in our stores worldwide to Postgres. This is something we’re continuing to invest in, as Postgres has allowed us to achieve cost reduction, flexibility in operations, and the ability for developers to make quicker app changes—so the company can deliver more business features faster.
As our ambition is to provide various database categories in service to application developers, Postgres expertise and knowledge among developers makes it easy to integrate into our solution and meet our users’ digital needs.
Building Postgres to Drive Innovation
We use both EDB Postgres Advanced Server and PostgreSQL server, relying on EDB for ongoing support. When getting started with Postgres, EDB helped us understand how to build the offering, how to handle data protection and SLAs, and customization to fit our specific needs. Coupled with high automation, we were about to scale solutions and services faster.
The crux of why we see Postgres in our future is its flexible deployment options. Postgres has allowed us, and our users, to find success in your own way. It supports multiple database models, meaning we can deploy the same version on any platform. Postgres is a nice addition to our database services and we’re happy to explore possibilities where Postgres can support more.
IKEA Retail is excited to be speaking at EDB's upcoming virtual conference, Postgres Vision 2020! Registration is free; join us!
Dinesh Adhikari, Database Infrastructure Manager, leads the technical team that covers product management, life cycle management and service operations for Oracle, Postgres and MS-SQL Databases, WebLogic and Engineered Systems portfolio at IKEA Retail. Dinesh joined IKEA Retail in 1998 and held numerous leader and management positions. He graduated from University of Delhi, India, bachelor’s degree in Commerce and received his masters in Software Engineering and System Management.