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Access token

See Token.

Active time

The amount of active compute hours. Neon Free Tier users are provided with 100 hours of active compute hours per month. See Free Tier for more information.

Activity Monitor

A process that monitors a Neon compute for activity. During periods of inactivity, the Activity Monitor gracefully places the Compute into an Idle state to save energy and resources. The Activity Monitor closes idle connections after 5 minutes of complete inactivity. When a connection is made to an idle compute, the Activity Monitor reactivates the compute.


See Neon API.


A unique identifier used to authenticate a user or a calling program to an API. An API key is required to authenticate to the Neon API. For more information, see Using API keys.

Auto-suspend compute

A feature that suspends a compute endpoint after a specified period of inactivity (5 minutes by default) to save on compute resources. This feature is also referred to as "scale to zero". When suspended, a compute endpoint is placed into an Idle state. Otherwise, the compute endpoint is in an Active state. You can monitor the state of an compute endpoint in the Branches widget on the Neon Dashboard.


A feature that allows you to specify a minimum and maximum number of Compute Units (CU) for a compute endpoint. Neon scales compute resources up and down within the specified boundaries to meet workload demand. This feature is not yet available.

Availability Checker

A periodic load generated by the Control Plane to determine if a compute can start and read and write data. The Availability Checker queries a system database without accessing user data.


A mechanism that manages the lag between the Pageserver and compute node or the Pageserver and Write-Ahead Log (WAL) service. If the WAL service runs ahead of the Pageserver, the time to serve page requests increases, which could result in increased query times or timeout errors. The backpressure mechanism manages lag using a stop-and-wait backend throttling strategy.


A copy-on-write clone of a Neon project's primary branch or previously created child branch. A branch can be created from the current or past state of the parent branch. A branch created from the current state of the parent branch includes the databases and roles that existed in the parent branch at the time of branch creation. A branch created from a past state of the parent branch includes the databases and roles that existed in the past state. The data in a branch can be modified independently from its originating data. See Branching. Each branch has a dedicated compute endpoint, which is the compute instance associated with the branch. Connecting to a database in a branch requires connecting via the branch's compute endpoint. For more information, see Connect to a branch.


A Neon feature that allows you to create a copy-on-write clone (a "branch") of your project data. See Branch.


Continuous integration and continuous delivery or continuous deployment.


A service that provides virtualized computing resources (CPU, memory, and storage) for running applications. A Neon compute instance (also referred to as a compute endpoint) runs PostgreSQL. The amount of compute resources available to a Neon project is currently subject to the limits defined by the Technical Preview Free Tier. A Neon compute instance is stateless and is automatically activated or suspended based on user activity.

Compute endpoint

The Neon compute instance associated with a branch. Neon creates a single read-write compute endpoint for the project's primary branch. You can choose whether or not to create a compute endpoint when creating child branches. The compute endpoint hostname is required to connect to a Neon database from a client or application. A compute endpoint hostname can be found in the Connection Details widget on the Neon Dashboard or by selecting the branch on the Branches page in the Neon Console. A compute endpoint hostname starts with an ep- prefix, as in this example: A compute endpoint hostname includes an endpoint_id (ep-polished-water-579720), a region slug (us-east-2), the cloud platform (aws), and Neon domain ( For information about connecting to Neon, see Connect from any application. For more information about compute endpoints, see Manage compute endpoints.

Connection pooling

A method of creating a pool of connections and caching those connections for reuse. Neon supports PgBouncer in transaction mode for connection pooling. For more information, see Connection pooling.

Connection string

A string containing details for connecting to a Neon project branch. The details include a user name (role), compute endpoint hostname, and database name; for example:


The compute endpoint hostname includes an endpoint_id (ep-polished-water-579720), a region slug (us-east-2), the cloud platform (aws), and Neon domain (

The connection string for a Neon is provided on the Dashboard in the Neon Console, under Connection Details. The connection string that is displayed immediately after creating a project also includes the user’s password, temporarily. For security reasons, the password is removed from the connection string after navigating away from the Neon Console or refreshing the browser. If you misplace your password, your only option is to reset it.

For information about connecting to Neon, see Connect from any application.

Compute size

The number of Compute Units (CU) assigned to a Neon compute endpoint. A Neon CU has 1 vCPU and 4 GB of RAM, and a Neon compute endpoint can have anywhere from .25 CUs to 7 CUs. The number of CUs determines the processing capacity of the compute endpoint.

Compute time

A billing metric that measures the amount of computing capacity used within a specified time period. See Compute time.


See Neon Console.

Control Plane

A part of the Neon architecture that manages cloud storage and compute resources.


A technique used to efficiently copy data. Neon uses the copy-on-write technique to efficiently copy data when creating a branch.

Data transfer

A billing metric that measures the amount of data transferred out of Neon (egress). See Data transfer.


A named collection of database objects. A Neon project has a default database named neondb which resides in the default public schema. A Neon project can contain multiple databases. Users cannot manipulate system databases, such as postgres, template0, or template1.

Database branching

See Branching.

Database fleet

A collection of database instances, typically managed as a single entity.

Dedicated resources

Resources including compute and storage dedicated to a single Neon account.

Enterprise plan

A custom volume-based paid plan offered by Neon. See Neon plans.

Free Tier

A Neon service tier for which there are no usage charges. For information about Neon’s Free Tier and associated limits, see Free Tier.


Log Sequence Number. A byte offset to a location in the WAL stream.


A fully managed serverless PostgreSQL. Neon separates storage and compute and offers modern developer features such as branching and bottomless storage. For more information, see What is Neon?.

Neon API

The Neon RESTful Application Programming Interface. Any operation performed in the Neon Console can also be performed using the Neon API.

Neon Console

A browser-based graphical interface for managing Neon projects and resources.

Neon user

The user account that registers and authenticates with Neon using a GitHub or Google account. Once authenticated, a Neon user account can create and manage projects, branches, users, databases, and other project resources.

Non-primary branch

A branch created from a primary branch or another branch in your Neon project.


An 8KB unit of data, which is the smallest unit that PostgreSQL uses for storing relations and indexes on disk. In Neon, a page is also the smallest unit of data that resides on a Pageserver. For information about PostgreSQL page format, see Database Page Layout, in the PostgreSQL Documentation.

A paid Neon service tier. See Neon plans.


A Neon architecture component that reads WAL records from Safekeepers to identify modified pages. The Pageserver accumulates and indexes incoming WAL records in memory and writes them to disk in batches. Each batch is written to an immutable file that is never modified after creation. Using these files, the Pageserver can quickly reconstruct any version of a page dating back to the user-defined retention period.

The Pageserver uploads immutable files to cloud storage, which is the final, highly durable destination for data. Once a file is successfully uploaded to cloud storage, the corresponding WAL records can be removed from the Safekeepers.

Passwordless authentication

The ability to authenticate without providing a password. Neon’s Passwordless auth feature supports passwordless authentication.

Platform Partnership plan

A custom volume-based paid plan offered by Neon that includes support for resale. See Neon plans.

Point-in-time restore

Restoration of data to a state that existed at an earlier time. Neon retains a data history in the form of Write-Ahead-Log (WAL) records, which allows you to restore data to earlier time. A point-in-time restore is performed by creating a branch using the Time or LSN option. See Create a branch for more information. Neon retains 7-day history by default.

PostgreSQL role

Two PostgreSQL roles (database users) are created with each Neon project. The first is named for the registered Neon account and can be used to access the Neon project from a client. This roles’s credentials can be managed and used for password-based psql authentication. The second role is the web-access system role, which is used by the SQL Editor and Neon’s Passwordless auth feature. The web-access role is system managed. It cannot be modified, removed, or used in other authentication scenarios.

Additional PostgreSQL roles can be created in the Neon Console.

In PostgreSQL, a role with the LOGIN attribute is considered the same as a database user. For additional information, refer to Database roles and Role Attributes, in the PostgreSQL documentation.

Pro plan

A usage-based paid plan offered by Neon. See Neon plans.


A collection of branches, databases, roles, and other project resources and settings. A project contains a compute with a PostgreSQL server as well as storage for the project data.

Project sharing

A feature that allows you to share Neon projects with other Neon users. See Share a project for more information.

Project storage

A billing metric that measures the data and history stored in your Neon projects. See Project storage.


A Neon component which functions as a multitenant service that accepts and handles connections from clients that use the PostgreSQL protocol.

Passwordless auth

A Neon feature that allows you to connect to a Neon project with a single psql command. See Query with psql.


The geographic location where Neon project resource are located. Neon supports creating projects in several Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions. For information about regions supported by Neon, see Regions.


Selling the Neon service as part of another service offering. Neon's Platform Partnership plan offers resale of the Neon service as an option. See Neon plans for more information.

Primary branch

Each Neon project is created with a primary branch called main. This is your project's root branch. You can rename a primary branch, but you cannot delete it. Each branch, including the primary branch, has a dedicated compute endpoint. Connecting to a branch requires connecting to the branch's compute endpoint. For more information, see Connect to a branch.


A Neon architecture component responsible for the durability of database changes. PostgreSQL streams WAL records to Safekeepers. A quorum algorithm based on Paxos ensures that when a transaction is committed, it is stored on a majority of Safekeepers and can be recovered if a node is lost. Safekeepers are deployed in different availability zones to ensure high availability and durability.


Scale-to-zero refers to Neon's Auto-suspend compute feature, which places a compute endpoint into an Idle state when it is not being used. Neon suspends a compute after five minutes of inactivity, by default.


A cloud-based development model that enables developing and running applications without having to manage servers.


Server Name Indication. A TLS protocol extension that allows a client or browser to indicate which hostname it wants to connect to at the beginning of a TLS handshake.

SQL Editor

A feature of the Neon Console that enables running queries on a Neon project database. The SQL Editor also enables saving queries, viewing query history, and analyzing or explaining queries.


Where data is recorded and stored. Neon storage consists of Pageserver which stores hot data and a cloud object store such as Amazon S3 that stores cold data for cost optimization and durability.

Technical Preview

A preview of Neon during which users are able to try Neon's Free Tier. For more information, see Technical Preview Free Tier.


An encrypted access token that enables you to authenticate with Neon using the Neon API. An access token is generated when creating a Neon API key. For more information, see Using API keys.


See Neon user and PostgreSQL role.


See Write-Ahead Logging.

WAL slice

Write-ahead logs in a specific LSN range.

WAL stream

The stream of data that is written to the Write-Ahead Log (WAL) during transactional processing.

Write-Ahead Logging (WAL)

A standard mechanism that ensures the durability of your data. Neon relies on WAL to separate storage and compute, and to support features such as branching and point-in-time restore.

Written data

A billing metric that measures the amount of data changes that Neon writes from compute to storage to ensure the durability of your data. See Written data.

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