Structure of This Book

This book's structure is designed to make you more familiar with using and administrating PostgreSQL. It is divided into four parts, each focused on a different aspect of the use and maintenance of a PostgreSQL database. Part 1, Introduction and Installation, is a general overview of what PostgreSQL is, where you can obtain it, and how to install it on your system.

Part 2, Using PostgreSQL, includes general information about relational databases and the SQL language, such as SQL statements, keywords and identifiers, constants, data types, and arrays, as well as basic table information (all covered in Chapter 3, Understanding SQL). After basic topics are covered, Chapter 4, Applying SQL, delves deeper into the use of SQL to perform vital database functions with information on creating and altering tables, inserting rows into tables, copying data, retrieving information with SELECT, and using views, operators, and various functions. Chapter 4 also includes information on the use of the psql and pgaccess database clients. Chapter 7, Advanced Features, details the more advanced features of extending functionality with new data types, operators, and functions, as well as information about the use of indices, inheritance, arrays, constraints, triggers, sequences, and replication.

Part 3, Administrating PostgreSQL, explores topics with which you should be familiar if you are (or plan to be) the administrator of a PostgreSQL database. This part begins with Chapter 8, Authentication and Encryption, which details PostgreSQL's authentication methods and the types of encryption available for use. Chapter 9, details the management of a PostgreSQL database through the use of available programs and scripts, as well as information on database creation, removal, backup, and restoration of a backup are explained. Chapter 10 details how to add and remove user accounts and groups, as well as other aspects of user management.

Part 4, Programming with PostgreSQL, is a foray into the world of the PL/pgSQL procedural language and the JDBC with PostgreSQL. Chapter 11, PL/pgSQL, includes information about the PL/pgSQL language, how to add it into a PostgreSQL database, and how to use its various programmatic features, whereas Chapter 12, JDBC, shows how to use the JDBC (Java) interface to PostgreSQL.