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PostgreSQL 16 introduces quite a few improvements to the query planner and makes many SQL queries run faster than they did on previous versions of PostgreSQL.
If you look at the PG16 release notes, you’ll see some of these planner improvements. But with the volume of changes made in each PostgreSQL release, it’s not possible to provide enough detail about each and every change. So maybe you might need a bit more detail to know what the change is about—before you understand if it’s relevant to you.
In this blog post, assuming you’ve already got a handle on the basics of EXPLAIN, you’ll get a deep dive into the 10 improvements made in the PostgreSQL 16 query planner. For each of the improvements to the PG16 planner (the planner is often called an optimizer in other relational databases), you’ll also get comparisons between PG15 and PG16 planner output—plus examples of what changed, in the form of a self-contained test you can try for yourself.Keep reading