Why does the Data Dashboard show commit activity on an unused Heroku Postgres instance?

Issue

The Data Dashboard for Heroku Postgres instances shows commit activity, under the I/O section, even when the database is not being used.

Resolution

This is expected behaviour. Postgres treats each executed SQL statement as being implicitly wrapped in a transaction, so SELECT 1; is treated as BEGIN; SELECT 1; COMMIT;. As a result, each time a statement is executed successfully xact_commit is incremented in pg_stat_database, which is what we use to determine the commit activity. As our monitoring tooling executes queries to check the health of your database, there will be a baseline level of commits being recorded.

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