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Point-in-time recovery (PITR) in the context of computers is a system whereby a set of data or a particular setting can be restored or recovered from a time in the past. An example of this is Windows XP's feature of being able to restore operating system settings from a past date (before data corruption occurred, for example), or PostgreSQL's feature of being able to view a database table and its data as it was at a particular date in the past. Also, Time Machine for Mac OS X is an example of Point-in-time recovery.
A database with the PITR feature can be restored or recovered to the state that it had at any time since PITR logging was started for that database.
The PostgreSQL database implements Continuous Archiving and Point-In-Time Recovery. In PostgreSQL, Write-ahead logging (WAL) must be enabled for a particular database, in order for PITR to be used on that database; any time after WAL is enabled for a database, that database may be restored to any later time.
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