Vacuum on postgres 8.3

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We're cleaning up our production database with delete sql scripts. This is a pg 8.3 database @ the mendix linux environment. After running these scripts some big tables are cleaned up, some 30 to 40 GB. In order to release the allocated space, we need to do a vacuum on the database. Some questions for the technical guys @ this forum: Can we do a vacuum action on the database, while running a mendix app? How can we do a vacuum (I know this isn't a Mendix question. But nice guys like Hans, could answer my question Is there an alternative beside vacuum or backup/release in order to release space?
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I did some research and can answer my own question. Maybe helpful for others:

  • Yes, you can do this. But it's not recommended to do it on a running application, because it will take longer.
  • You can do it in pgadmin in windows, by right clicking maintenance and then vacuum with analyze. Or do it like a query: VACUUM ANALYZE
  • Backup and restore is maybe better than a vacuum analyze, because postgres ensures only real data will be exported to the backup file.
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