August 2023 Recap: Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Hello, Azure PostgreSQL Community! We’re delighted to connect with you again as we round up the latest advancements and updates from August 2023. With a laser focus on enhancing your experience on Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server, we've rolled out some exciting features, improvements and customer spotlight. Let's get straight into the highlights that made this month particularly special.


Feature Highlights of the Month

  1. Autovacuum Monitoring.

  2. Flexible DNS Zone Linking.

  3. Server Parameter Enhancements.

  4. Single to Flex Migration Tooling Improvements - Automatic Allow-listing of Extensions


We’re delighted to present the following key enhancements that will redefine your experience:


Autovacuum Monitoring Enhancements



This month, we’re introducing substantial improvements to Autovacuum Monitoring in Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Flexible Server. Autovacuum is crucial for maintaining database health, and the updated Troubleshooting Guide now comes packed with enhanced tools and metrics for a more comprehensive view. One of the new additions is the monitoring metric "Bloat Percent," which allows you to identify the estimated bloat percentage for user tables, providing yet another layer of depth to your database insights. The guide performs a multi-step analysis covering various parameters like dead tuple counts, table vacuumed and analyzed counts, and autovacuum worker execution, among others.

What makes this update noteworthy? For one, it lets you identify critical aspects of database bloat, performance, and efficiency through its step-by-step guide. The focused approach is designed to alert you to databases needing immediate attention based on activity thresholds, ensuring that your autovacuum process is as efficient as possible. While there are limitations, such as a standard cap on the number of databases displayed, the enhanced guide provides a more precise pathway for database optimization, whether you're a PostgreSQL veteran or new to Azure's offerings.


For more information, please refer to the Using Troubleshooting guides for Autovacuum Monitoring.


Flexible DNS Zone Linking




We're thrilled to announce that the setup process for new PostgreSQL Flexible Servers now offers an optional DNS Zone Linking feature. This option provides flexibility for users who utilize various networking models or alternative name resolution methods. Essentially, it streamlines the server setup process and allows users to choose whether or not to link the Private DNS Zone to their virtual network.

For further information, check out blog post Flexible DNS Zone Linking in Azure PostgreSQL.


Server Parameter Visibility Improvements




We're also pleased to announce another improvement that was highly requested by our customers—improved visibility into Server Parameters. Previously, 180 parameters were hidden and inaccessible for inspection. With this month's update, all of these have been transitioned to "Read-Only," granting administrators and developers the ability to view these parameters in portal, CLI or API.

Why is this significant? Having visibility into server parameters is crucial for optimizing performance, security, and the overall functionality of your PostgreSQL databases. This feature lets you better understand system defaults, make informed decisions on custom settings, and troubleshoot more effectively. This update was significantly influenced by customer feedback, highlighting our commitment to customer-centric development.

For more details, please refer Server parameters in Azure Database for PostgreSQL - Flexible Server.


Single to Flex Migration Tooling Improvements - Automatic Allow-listing of Extensions




This month, we've made significant strides in improving the Single to Flex Migration Tool, a cornerstone for those transitioning between our Azure PostgreSQL database offerings. The highlight of this update is the automatic allow-listing of extensions when you move to flexible servers. This feature aims to directly address what has been a stumbling block for many of our users, given that more than half of migration failures last month were due to un-allow-listed extensions. The enhanced tool aims to automate almost every aspect of the migration process, significantly reducing manual effort and thereby providing a much smoother experience for our customers.

The updated tool not only brings improved stability but also extends its capabilities to manage a wider range of workloads. This aligns well with our long-term vision of enabling a single-click migration between different Single Server to Flexible Server. By automating the allow-listing of extensions, we're taking a major step towards minimizing migration-related failures and hurdles. It's part of our ongoing commitment to create a more streamlined, user-friendly environment for all our Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server customers.

For more details, please refer our migration best practices guide.

Customer Spotlight: Swiss Re Modernizes with Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server




Swiss Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers with over 150 years in the industry, has been using Microsoft Azure to accelerate its digital transformation. A key element in this transformation is Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server, which Swiss Re uses as the backbone for its Java-based financial applications.

With the aim to be fully cloud-native, Swiss Re's Group Finance IT team utilized Azure services to not only meet strict security and compliance standards but also to automate and simplify their development process. The team deployed Spring Boot applications in Azure Spring Apps, benefiting from the managed services and minimal overhead that Azure offers. For persistency and data management, the team relies on Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server. The shift to Azure has granted Swiss Re the agility and capability to pivot quickly and fulfill its mission to make the world more resilient. It also opened the door for other teams within Swiss Re to adopt Azure services, achieving an economy of scale that was not previously possible.

As Swiss Re continues its modernization efforts, Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server remains a crucial component, offering stability, security, and the flexibility to adapt to future needs. For an in-depth look into their journey, please check out the Swiss Re – Technical Story.




As we draw a close to August 2023, we're filled with gratitude for our continuously engaged and insightful user community. Your active participation and feedback have been instrumental in shaping our latest updates. The introduction of server parameter visibility, state-of-the-art autovacuum monitoring, and the optional Flexible DNS Zone Linking feature underline our commitment to delivering a highly customizable and efficient database solution.

We are eager to hear about your experiences with these new features, and as always, we highly value your input. Thank you for being a vital part of the Azure Database for PostgreSQL Flexible Server community and stay tuned for more advancements in the coming month!

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