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HTTP Frontend? (and a brief thought on materialized views)

From: Dobes Vandermeer <dobesv(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: HTTP Frontend? (and a brief thought on materialized views)
Date: 2012-03-29 14:37:08
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Hi guys,

Something from Josh's recent blog post about summer of code clicked with me
- the HTTP / SQL concept.

It was something I'd been thinking about earlier, how people really like
HTTP APIs and this is one of the drivers behind adoption of  some "NoSQL"
databases out there.

Some things that I think are great about NoSQL that are missing in
PostgreSQL are:

   1. The "reduce" function which could be modeled as a kind of
   materialized view with an index on it.  With materialized views and the
   ability to pull fields from JSON and XML data structures you could easily
   do a "NoSQL" database inside of PostgreSQL by saving the document as a big
   string and then using materialized views to have all kinds of derived data
   from those documents.  Sounds cool on paper, anyway.
   2. HTTP RESTful API.  This is obviously not as useful as a good admin
   tool like pgAdmin or a fast binary protocol like we have now but it's way
   more buzzword compliant and would come in handy sometimes.  With CouchDB I
   was able to allow "public" data in the database to be accessed directly
   from the browser using JSONP and/or a simple HTTP proxy in the server
   instead of doing any of that work within the app server.  So, that saves a
   step somewhere.  With some basic support for stored procedures and serving
   files directly via this HTTP thing you could potentially eliminate the app
   server for public, read-only parts of a site/application.
   3. The perception of extremely low latency and/or high throughput - like
   fetching a row in less than 1ms or whatever.  I don't know the exact
   numbers I just know they have to be insanely low (latency) or impressively
   high (throughput).  We could use PostgreSQL as a query cache to accelerate
   your MySQL!  Something like that :-P.
   4. Rebelliousness against "the man".  In our case SQL can't be "the
   man", but we can find something PostgreSQL isn't and position against that.

Anyway, 1&2 seem inspiring to me and I'd love to help out with both.  3&4
seem more like marketing tasks of some sort...

I think I could probably start hacking up an HTTP API of some sort, I
wasn't able to log into the PostgreSQL Wiki so I created a page with some
notes here:

For materialized views I think that can be a bit of a can of worms,
especially if you want to do incremental updates of some sort because you
have to figure out what rows need to be recalculated when you update a row
in a "source" table, and how best to update them.  But if someone thinks
they know how I can assist in implementation.

Anyway, I hope I can help AND that I posted this in the correct mailing




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Next:From: Andrew DunstanDate: 2012-03-29 15:04:30
Subject: Re: HTTP Frontend? (and a brief thought on materialized views)
Previous:From: Marko KreenDate: 2012-03-29 14:29:37
Subject: Re: Standbys, txid_current_snapshot, wraparound

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