Votes : 25
PostgreSQL prides itself in standards compliance. Its SQL implementation strongly conforms to the ANSI-SQL:2008 standard. It has full support for subqueries (including subselects in the FROM clause), read-committed and serializable transaction isolation levels. And while PostgreSQL has a fully relational system catalog which itself supports multiple schemas per database, its catalog is also accessible through the Information Schema as defined in the SQL standard.
Data integrity features include (compound) primary keys, foreign keys with restricting and cascading updates/deletes, check constraints, unique constraints, and not null constraints.
It also has a host of extensions and advanced features. Among the conveniences are auto-increment columns through sequences, and LIMIT/OFFSET allowing the return of partial result sets. PostgreSQL supports compound, unique, partial, and functional indexes which can use any of its B-tree, R-tree, hash, or GiST storage methods.
GiST (Generalized Search Tree) indexing is an advanced system which brings together a wide array of different sorting and searching algorithms including B-tree, B+-tree, R-tree, partial sum trees, ranked B+-trees and many others. It also provides an interface which allows both the creation of custom data types as well as extensible query methods with which to search them. Thus, GiST offers the flexibility to specify what you store, how you store it, and the ability to define new ways to search through it --- ways that far exceed those offered by standard B-tree, R-tree and other generalized search algorithms.
GiST serves as a foundation for many public projects that use PostgreSQL such as OpenFTS and PostGIS. OpenFTS (Open Source Full Text Search engine) provides online indexing of data and relevance ranking for database searching. PostGIS is a project which adds support for geographic objects in PostgreSQL, allowing it to be used as a spatial database for geographic information systems (GIS), much like ESRI's SDE or Oracle's Spatial extension.