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PDXPUG Day 2014

What is this?

This is a day of presentations relating to Postgres, an open source relational database management system.

PDXPUG is the Portland PostgreSQL Users' Group.

Date: Saturday, September 6, 2014

Time: 9:30am through 5:30pm

Place: Portland State University, Room EB 102, 1930 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201. The venue is reachable by street car, bus or light rail, see Tri-Met for schedule and fare information.

Registration: Space is limited, please RSVP! There is no registration fee, but donations to PGUS are appreciated.

Food: We'll provide light snacks & beverages. Breakfast and lunch is on your own. There's a wonderful cart pod right across the street; bring $10-15 for lunch.


(subject to change)

5 hour long presentations with a series of lightning talks will be scheduled.

9:30am Introductions Joshua Drake video
10:00am HSTORE, XML, JSON, JSONB OH MY! David Wheeler video
11:00am Snapshotted Data Versioning Eric Hanson video
12:00pm Lunch
1:30pm Data Near Here (Reprise): Implementing A Data Search Engine in PostgreSQL Veronika Megler video
2:30pm PORTAL Kristin Tufte
3:30pm 15 Minutes Break
3:45pm AWS Face Off: Heroku vs. EC2 vs. RDS Josh Berkus video
4:45pm Lightning Talks About PDXPUG video
Begat video
Closing video

Talk Descriptions


There has been a lot of work on the representation of unstructured data in PostgreSQL, culminating in the addition of the JSONB type in the forthcoming 9.4 release. JSONB complements the existing HSTORE, XML, and JSON types, not to mention arrays. With so many options, which do you use? As usual it depends on your use case.

In this presentation, we'll review the unstructured data types in PostgreSQL, and look at their advantages and disadvantages for:

  • Document storage
  • Configuration management
  • A “schemaless database”
  • Object serialization
  • Entity/Attribute/Value models
  • Path queries

Snapshotted Data Versioning (Eric Hanson)

Aquameta is an application development platform where everything is data. It’s in early stages of development. This talk proposes a snapshotted data versioning system, and how it could be used for many purposes including data versioning similar to modern source code versioning.

Data Near Here (Reprise): Implementing A Data Search Engine in PostgreSQL (Veronika Megler)

We’ve heard a lot about Big Data. Scientists are creating data archives that are terabytes, petabytes and even brontobytes in size. But now they’ve collected all this data, how do they find what they’re looking for? Current techniques quickly fail.

“Data Near Here” (DNH) is a search engine, built on PostgreSQL, that uses Internet search-like techniques to solve (parts of) this problem. This presentation describes the app, which is now in production over an observational archive; it also describes some of the techniques used and challenges encountered during its development.

Veronika recently completed her PhD in Computer Science at Portland State University. The research supporting DNH is described in her dissertation. Her core expertise is in adoption of emerging technologies. Her career has taken her into almost every corner of the computer industry, including operations, application development, systems programming, systems management disciplines, project management, and IT management consulting. Fun facts: She’s famous for something she did as an undergrad – writing a cult computer game, in Assembler. Her first computer was an electronics magazine project c.1980 that she built with a soldering iron, using individually-bought capacitors and resistors. (Really).

PORTAL (Kristin Tufte)

The Portland Oregon Regional Transportation Archive Listing (PORTAL) is the official transportation data archive for the Portland metropolitan region. PORTAL is being developed at Portland State University (PSU) by students and faculty in the Intelligent Transportation Systems Laboratory in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Transportation, Metro, the City of Portland, TriMet and other regional partners. PORTAL contains almost one terabyte of transportation-related data for the Portland metropolitan region. The data includes freeway speed and volume data as well as incident, weather, transit and freight-related data. In addition to the data archive, PORTAL has a web site that provides dynamic, user-customizable graphs and reports for analyzing transportation including plots of congestion, bottlenecks, speed maps and incident analysis.

AWS Face-Off: Heroku vs. EC2 vs. RDS (Josh Berkus)

Thinking of running PostgreSQL on Amazon? Maybe you already are?

There are currently three main options for running PostgreSQL on Amazon: roll-your-own, Heroku, and Postgres RDS. Based on experience supporting customers on all three options, Josh Berkus will talk about the pros and cons of each to help you make your own decision. He'll also give you some criteria to help decide whether you want to be on AWS at all.

Lightning Talks

Anyone can give a 5 minute presentation! You can decide on the day of the presentation. Just let Mark (markwkm -at- postgresql.org) or Gabrielle know and we will be sure to fit you in.

  • PDXPUG by Chelnik - Information on the Portland PostgreSQL Users Group

Special Thanks

We couldn't have done it without help from Portland State University Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Datalab, the PSU Data and Information Management Laboratory:

Psu mcecs 4cp.jpg


Refreshments provided by

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