More and more, businesses across industries are turning to open source solutions to power their database management systems—especially Postgres. Given EDB’s long history of working with Postgres, this doesn’t surprise us. For organizations invested in modernization, digital transformation, and innovation, open source and Postgres make perfect sense. Postgres provides flexibility, a robust and dynamic community, and a reputation built over decades. As a result of all these benefits, many technologies make a point to be Postgres compatible
Because of these factors, Postgres has become the database of choice for leading enterprises, including EDB’s own customer base (which itself includes 28% of the Fortune 500). To dig deeper into Postgres’ remarkable popularity, Jan Karremans, EDB’s Global Director of Product Marketing and an Oracle ACE Alumni sat down with two of our customers at Postgres Build 2021. In a conversation entitled Sharing Experiences Along the Postgres Journey he received firsthand accounts of just why these businesses value their Postgres databases so much.
Jan spoke with two EDB customers: Roland Bender, Head of Database Platforms for EMEA at Boehringer Ingelheim—a family-owned pharmaceutical company based in Ingelheim am Rhein; and Martin Schmitter, Senior Database Administrator at RWE—an energy company focused in electricity generation, storage, and energy trading, and headquartered in Essen, Germany.
Here are some highlights!
Remaining compliant with mission-critical performance capabilities
For both organizations, security and compliance were major initial drivers in their use of Postgres. As Roland Bender discussed, a key factor for Boehringer Ingelheim adopting Postgres and EDB was its ability to adhere to the complicated regulations that come with working in the pharmaceutical sphere. “We tested Postgres with all of our processes to make sure it was a good fit, and were very pleased,” Bender states. And that compatibility goes beyond compliance issues.
“Postgres goes very well with the technologies we use on a daily basis. Since adopting it, we use it more and more,” he notes.
Martin Schmitter explains his similar experience, noting that because RWE is traded on the stock market it’s highly regulated. As such when adopting Postgres, the organization was very strategic: “We assessed every item and functionality that we needed…we reached out to the Enterprise Postgres community and we thoroughly discussed these topics (compliance and legal necessities), which made it easier for us to adapt to the new technology. We learned a lot.”
Community innovation drives growth
Both speakers frequently returned to that idea of community, and how its impact won them over on open source in general. Like many, Schmitter’s expertise dates back to Linux, but his passion for open source technologies has only grown since then. “I can’t imagine not using open source,” he explained.
Bender concurred, explaining how he’s been using free open source solutions since he was a child, and how the freedom it provided shaped his attitude: “It’s all about people who wanted to share their knowledge and code, and not be selfish or just make the most money out of it.”
This is a common and compelling refrain. Open source projects like Postgres are so suited to innovation because the people supporting them are constantly pooling insights and experimentation, which naturally leads to evolution. There’s no desire to restrict usage or hoard resources. The very nature of the project is collaborative, creative, and tailored towards growth. “Postgres is driven by community, by volunteers,” Schmitter emphasized repeatedly.
Undeniable agility and cost-efficiency
As the panel began to wrap up, audience members weighed in with their own questions, specifically asking both Schmitter and Bender about the biggest pros they could think of from their history with Postgres. For both speakers, efficiency of both usage and cost were paramount.
“It might be a funny answer, but with Postgres there’s no procurement process, so your projects can get to market more quickly,” Schmitter explained. “This is especially helpful for big companies or governments where the procurement process can be very long and take time away from important projects.”
“Another big factor for us was the financial one,” Bender added. “If you use Postgres you will see a huge decrease in licensing costs.”
But perhaps the most interesting answer was Bender’s final point: “Since we’ve been using Postgres our customers and partners have come to us and asked if we can use the community version in addition to the enterprise version, so they can see even more benefits. And EDB now offers support for both versions, so we’re only going to expand our usage for our customers.”
This is the beauty of Postgres. Not only does it save organizations time and money, but it increases value for their customers and partners, and those individuals take notice.
Postgres: always evolving for you
Ultimately, the prevailing themes of the day were clear: for major organizations in complex industries, Postgres is the ideal database management system (DBMS), helping them navigate the nuances of compliance while empowering them to better serve their customer bases and innovate in their fields. With the backing of a vibrant and diligent community, Postgres’ impact and capabilities are only expanding.
At EDB, we’ve been lucky to see this all firsthand, and to grow our own knowledge of Postgres with the help of testimonials from companies like RWE and Boehringer Ingelheim. The world of Postgres is an exciting place to be, and we’re looking forward to every new story and experience to come out of it.
While we can’t include all of the fantastic information Martin Schmitter and Roland Bender shared over the course of the discussion, we hope you’ll take the time to watch the full video.