PostgreSQL developer Robert Haas has begun a series of articles comparing the architecture of PostgreSQL and MySQL. "So, all that having been said, what I'd like to talk about in this post is the way that MySQL and PostgreSQL store tables and indexes on disk. In PostgreSQL, table data and index data are stored in completely separate structures.... Under MySQL's InnoDB, the table data and the primary key index are stored in the same data structure. As I understand it, this is what Oracle calls an index-organized table. Any additional ('secondary') indexes refer to the primary key value of the tuple to which they point, not the physical position, which can change as leaf pages in the primary key index are split."
November 30, 2010
Haas: MySQL vs. PostgreSQL, Part 1: Table Organization
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