PostgreSQL vs. Oracle Database - Why Open Source Prevails

August 01, 2023

In the world of databases, the choice between proprietary and open source software can significantly impact a company's productivity, innovation, and financial bottom line. PostgreSQL and Oracle are two of the most popular database management systems, but for those who have a strong preference for open source software, PostgreSQL emerges as the clear winner. In this blog post, we'll explore the advantages of PostgreSQL over Oracle and why it should be the database of choice for businesses seeking a cost-effective and flexible solution.

2023 08 01

1. The Power of Open Source

PostgreSQL, an open source relational database management system, embodies the spirit of collaboration and community-driven development. Being open source means that it is freely available to use, modify, and distribute, empowering developers to customize the software to their specific needs. This approach fosters a vibrant ecosystem of contributors, allowing PostgreSQL to continuously evolve and improve over time.

On the other hand, Oracle's database is proprietary, which means it is owned and controlled by Oracle Corporation. This lack of openness restricts developers from accessing the source code and inhibits them from making tailored adjustments or contributions. As a result, organizations relying on Oracle must solely depend on the vendor for updates and improvements.

2. Cost-Efficiency

One of the primary reasons to choose PostgreSQL over Oracle is the stark contrast in cost. Oracle's licensing fees can be exorbitant, running into tens of thousands of pounds per year. This substantial financial burden can severely impact a company's budget and hamper its ability to invest in other critical areas of the business.

In contrast, PostgreSQL's open source nature eliminates licensing costs, allowing organizations to allocate their resources more efficiently. The money saved from licensing fees can be redirected towards improving infrastructure, hiring top talent, or enhancing other parts of the technology stack.

3. Competitiveness and Flexibility

For businesses seeking to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market, agility and flexibility are paramount. PostgreSQL's open source framework allows for rapid adaptation to changing requirements and enables seamless integration with other open source tools and technologies. The large and active PostgreSQL community ensures that users have access to a vast array of extensions and plugins, empowering them to tailor the database to meet specific needs.

Conversely, Oracle's proprietary nature can make it harder and more expensive for engineers to develop and create internal environments. The rigid licensing structure might hinder quick deployment of new solutions and make it challenging to scale the database according to the organization's growing needs.

4. Talent Pool and Support

With PostgreSQL being open source, it enjoys a vast and diverse talent pool of developers and administrators worldwide. The availability of skilled professionals ensures easier recruitment and hiring, as well as better support for maintaining and optimizing the database.

Oracle, being proprietary, limits the talent pool to those who have access to specific training and certifications. This scarcity can lead to higher recruitment costs and longer onboarding times.


While both PostgreSQL and Oracle have their merits, the choice between them largely depends on an organization's values, budget, and long-term goals. For businesses with a strong preference for open source software, PostgreSQL undoubtedly emerges as the preferred option. Its community-driven development, cost-efficiency, flexibility, and vast talent pool make it a powerful and sustainable choice for companies seeking a competitive edge in today's rapidly evolving technology landscape.

By embracing PostgreSQL, organizations can not only leverage the advantages of open source software but also demonstrate a commitment to collaboration and innovation that fosters a brighter and more inclusive future for the entire tech community.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn