Features added in alpha3 include:
* Hot Standby, allowing read-only connections during recovery, provides a built-in master-slave replication solution.
* Exclusion constraints, a generalized version of unique constraints, offer novel ways to guarantee logical data integrity.
* SQL standard conforming ORDER BY within aggregate function calls, removes the need for ugly workarounds to get ordered aggregate function input.
* Access control for large objects was added.
* Regular expression functions support case-insensitive matching and locale-dependent character classification when the server encoding is UTF8.
* PL/pgSQL is installed by default.
* The PL/pgSQL parser has been reworked to behave much more sanely.
* Various improvements were made in PL/Perl and PL/Python.
These new major features mean that we need you to participate in testing them. If you are able to help with organized alpha testing, please see
the Alpha/Beta testing page: http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/HowToBetaTest
Alpha releases are not stable and should never be used in production; they are for testing new features only. There will be one more alpha release, in about 2 months, before an 8.5 beta release. There is no guarantee that any features or APIs present in the alphas will be present, or the same, in the final release.
More detail is available in the Release Notes included with each alpha release: http://developer.postgresql.org/pgdocs/postgres/release-8-5.html
Alpha release information page: http://www.postgresql.org/developer/alpha
Download the alpha release here: http://www.postgresql.org/ftp/source/8.5alpha3/
Alpha releases are made in source code form only. Binary packages for some operating systems will be prepared in the coming days.
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