Choosing the right Database that meets your company’s needs is still a difficult task. Evaluating several factors against each other, listing use cases, and choosing which one is better in what factor. The PostgreSQL vs DB2 decision is a difficult task as both the Databases are popular and widely used in every industry. 

A few experts prefer PostgreSQL over DB2 while the other says DB2 performs better than PostgreSQL. But at last, all that matters is if it’s obeying your company budget and needs. PostgreSQL is an open-source database that comes with many features. IBM DB2 is a feature-rich Database with the support of many IBM products.

One should analyze all the perspectives while making PostgreSQL vs DB2. In this article, you will get introduced to PostgreSQL and IBM DB2 along with their features. You will go through a few differences between PostgreSQL vs DB2 that will help you get a clear understanding of which is best for you.

What is PostgreSQL?

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PostgreSQL, pronounced “Post-GRES,” is an open-source Object-Relational Database known for its flexibility, technical support, scalability, and dependability. It is a relational database, i.e., the data points stored in different tables can be related to one another and queried together via joins. 

PostgreSQL is an incredibly dedicated database that has been developed by the open-source community for over 20 years. Many popular companies have created PostgreSQL-based products and solutions such as Apple, Fujitsu, Red Hat, Cisco, and Juniper Network.

PostgreSQL not only uses the SQL language but also adds many features to it, allowing you to store and expand very complex data workloads. PostgreSQL supports both SQL and JSON for relational and non-relational queries. PostgreSQL is very popular in use cases for its Robustness and Feature-Rich Query Layer, which traditionally requires a strict table structure. 

Key Features of PostgreSQL

Some of the main features of PostgreSQL are listed below:

  • Concurrency: PostgreSQL supports Multi-Version concurrency Control and Parallelization of reading queries and building B-tree indexes to deliver high performance.
  • Extensive Support: PostgreSQL supports many procedural languages such as PL/PGSQL, Perl, Python, etc, and can store functions and procedures for further use.
  • Security: PostgreSQL comes with a robust access-control system with multi-factor authentication. The different authentication modes it support are GSSAPI, SSPI, LDAP, SCRAM-SHA-256, Certificate, etc.

To learn more about PostgreSQL, click here.

What is IBM DB2?

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IBM DB2 is a family of data management products, including Relational Databases developed by IBM. It’s a fully managed relational data store with high performance and running the enterprise-class Db2 Database engine. DB2 leveraged AI-powered capabilities to help you manage structured as well as unstructured data on on-premises and Cloud Databases. 

IBM DB2 is specifically designed to store, retrieve and analyze data with extended support of object-oriented features and non-relational structures with XML. It serves various operating systems used by organizations of all sizes. With the help of IBM DB2, companies can seamlessly perform both transactional and analytical operations.

Key Features of IBM DB2

Some of the main features of IBM DB2 are listed below:

  • IBM BLU Acceleration: IBM DB2 comes with an in-memory technology for processing columnar data. It also has an optimized process of accessing the RAM and additional features like Actionable Compression, CPU Acceleration, and Data Skipping.
  • Storage Optimization: Power consumption in DB2 is significantly reduced by employing data compression and data skipping techniques.
  • Enhanced Performance: IBM DB2 can automatically manage and schedule the execution of workloads with the help of AI techniques to deliver high performance.
  • Scalability: IBM DB2 can scale up to 128 machines in multi-cloud and hybrid environment setups for reducing storage costs.

To know more about IBM DB2, click here.

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Key Differences Between PostgreSQL vs DB2

Now that you have a brief knowledge of PostgreSQL and IBM DB2. In this section, you will read about a few critical differences between PostgreSQL vs DB2 that will make you better understand both. The following differences between PostgreSQL vs DB2 are listed below. 

PostgreSQL vs DB2: Platforms

The number of platforms a Database supports increases the flexibility and usability for developers and administrators. It is essential to note that any platform you want to use is supported by PostgreSQL vs DB2. PostgreSQL is an open-source database that is available with a plethora of operating systems. It includes all distributions of Linux, macOS 10.6 and above, Windows, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, UnixWare, etc. 

IBM DB2 is available for Linux, UNIX, and Windows. Additionally, it supports z/OS mainframe, VSE and VM, IBM Cloud, and Amazon Web Services. Moreover, it powers IBM InfoSphere Warehouse which includes BI features such as ETL, data mining, OLAP acceleration, and in-line analytics. So it seems that DB2 offers support mostly IBM services and other major platforms whereas PostgreSQL provides more platforms than DB2.

PostgreSQL vs DB2: Programming Languages Supported

Programming languages support allows developers to design applications with Database services. Though, it’s good to be open to many programming languages for flexibility but more important that PostgreSQL vs DB2 support at least all major programming languages. 

PostgreSQL supports languages including C++, Java, Julia, Python, Node.js, Go, and Rust. Whereas IBM DB2 supports API connectivity using Rexx, PL/I, COBOL, RPG, Fortran, C++, C, Delphi, .NET CLI, Java, Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and many other programming languages. Also, DB2 supports integrations with popular IDEs such as Eclipse and Visual Studio. IBM DB2 supports slightly more programming languages for development and usability.

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PostgreSQL vs DB2: Data Indexing

Indexes are primarily used to improve Database performance by speeding up SQL queries when dealing with large tables of data. PostgreSQL vs DB2 offers these indexing options.

PostgreSQL index types include:

  • Hash indexes and B-Tree indexes.
  • Partial indexes that only organize information from part of the table.
  • Expression indexes create an index resulting from expression functions instead of column values.

IBM DB2 index types include:

  • CREATE INDEX for showing you how to create a new index.
  • DROP INDEX for describing how to delete an index from the database.
  • UNIQUE index ensures the uniqueness of values stored in one or more columns.
  • The expression-based index allows you to create index expressions instead of just columns.

PostgreSQL vs DB2: Performance

One single factor cannot decide which is better between PostgreSQL vs DB2. Having more number features doesn’t mean having better performance over the other Database. Several tests have been done to find benchmarks of PostgreSQL vs DB2. Still, it all depends on how the Database is being utilized. 

According to G2, PostgreSQL performs better than DB2 but the result is contradicted by Trust Radius, which shows that IBM DB2 has better scores in performance than PostgreSQL. 

IBM DB2 comes with performance monitoring and tuning tools designed by IBM. The Index Advisor, SQL Plan Cache, and other ACS tools allow DB2 to tune the performance and even change configuration depending on the time of the day and workload. 

PostgreSQL gradually improved its performance after launching version 8.1. A benchmark test between PostgreSQL 8.0 and 8.4 shows that the newer version is 10 times faster on read-only workloads and at least 7.5 times faster on both read and write workloads.

PostgreSQL vs DB2: Pricing

PostgreSQL is an open-source Database available to all for free of cost. At the same time, IBM DB2 offers its services in 3 different editions. The Community edition is free to use with 4 cores and 16 GB RAM support.

The Standard edition comes with 16 cores and 128 GB RAM support and the Advanced edition comes with unrestricted cores and RAM. Standard and Community editions offer virtual processor core and their prices are available individually by contacting them. With this PostgreSQL is a vale for money deal as it is free to use. 


In this article, you learned about PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, and their features. Also, you went through the key differences between PostgreSQL vs DB2 that will help you better understand which is best as per your business requirements. The PostgreSQL vs DB2 decision is difficult to make since there are points in favor of both in a lot of the cases. There are several areas where these two perform remarkably well hence increasing the difficulty of the decision. 

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Aditya Jadon
Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Aditya has a keen interest in data science and is passionate about data, software architecture, and writing technical content. He has experience writing around 100 articles on data science.

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