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postgres_SQL

postgres_SQL

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Sections

  • Chapter 1. SQL
  • 1.1. The Relational Data Model
  • Example 1-1. The Suppliers and Parts Database
  • 1.2. Relational Data Model Formalities
  • 1.2.1. Domains vs. Data Types
  • 1.3. Operations in the Relational Data Model
  • 1.3.1. Relational Algebra
  • Example 1-3. A Query Using Relational Algebra
  • 1.3.2. Relational Calculus
  • 1.3.3. Tuple Relational Calculus
  • 1.3.4. Relational Algebra vs. Relational Calculus
  • 1.4. The SQL Language
  • 1.4.1. Select
  • Example 1-4. Simple Query with Qualification
  • 1.4.1.8. Union, Intersect, Except
  • Example 1-10. Union, Intersect, Except
  • 1.4.2. Data Definition
  • 1.4.3. Data Manipulation
  • 1.4.4. System Catalogs
  • 1.4.5. Embedded SQL
  • Chapter 2. Architecture
  • 2.1. Postgres Architectural Concepts
  • Chapter 3. Getting Started
  • 3.1. Setting Up Your Environment
  • 3.2. Starting the Interactive Monitor (psql)
  • 3.3. Managing a Database
  • 3.3.1. Creating a Database
  • 3.3.2. Accessing a Database
  • 3.3.3. Destroying a Database
  • Chapter 4. The Query Language
  • 4.1. Interactive Monitor
  • 4.2. Concepts
  • 4.3. Creating a New Table
  • 4.4. Populating a Table with Rows
  • 4.5. Querying a Table
  • 4.6. Redirecting SELECT Queries
  • 4.7. Joins Between Tables
  • 4.8. Updates
  • 4.9. Deletions
  • 4.10. Using Aggregate Functions
  • Chapter 5. Advanced Postgres SQL Features
  • 5.1. Inheritance
  • 5.2. Non-Atomic Values
  • 5.2.1. Arrays
  • 5.3. More Advanced Features
  • Bibliography
  • SQL Reference Books
  • PostgreSQL-Specific Documentation
  • Proceedings and Articles

PostgreSQL 7.

1 Tutorial

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group

PostgreSQL 7.1 Tutorial by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group Copyright © 1996-2001 by PostgreSQL Global Development Group Legal Notice
PostgreSQL is Copyright © 1996-2001 by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group and is distributed under the terms of the license of the University of California below. Postgres95 is Copyright © 1994-5 by the Regents of the University of California. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTY FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE AND ITS DOCUMENTATION, EVEN IF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE SOFTWARE PROVIDED HEREUNDER IS ON AN "AS-IS" BASIS, AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA HAS NO OBLIGATIONS TO PROVIDE MAINTAINANCE, SUPPORT, UPDATES, ENHANCEMENTS, OR MODIFICATIONS.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v List of Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii 1. What is PostgreSQL? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii 2. A Short History of Postgres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii 2.1. The Berkeley Postgres Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii 2.2. Postgres95 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii 2.3. PostgreSQL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix 3. Documentation Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix 4. Terminology and Notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi 5. Bug Reporting Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi 5.1. Identifying Bugs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii 5.2. What to report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii 5.3. Where to report bugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv 6. Y2K Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv Chapter 1. SQL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.1. The Relational Data Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2. Relational Data Model Formalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2.1. Domains vs. Data Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.3. Operations in the Relational Data Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.3.1. Relational Algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.3.2. Relational Calculus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.3.3. Tuple Relational Calculus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.3.4. Relational Algebra vs. Relational Calculus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1.4. The SQL Language. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1.4.1. Select . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.4.2. Data Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 1.4.3. Data Manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 1.4.4. System Catalogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 1.4.5. Embedded SQL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Chapter 2. Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.1. Postgres Architectural Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Chapter 3. Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 3.1. Setting Up Your Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 3.2. Starting the Interactive Monitor (psql). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 3.3. Managing a Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 3.3.1. Creating a Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 3.3.2. Accessing a Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 3.3.3. Destroying a Database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Chapter 4. The Query Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 4.1. Interactive Monitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 4.2. Concepts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 4.3. Creating a New Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 4.4. Populating a Table with Rows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 4.5. Querying a Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 4.6. Redirecting SELECT Queries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 4.7. Joins Between Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

iii

4.8. Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.9. Deletions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.10. Using Aggregate Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 5. Advanced Postgres SQL Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1. Inheritance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2. Non-Atomic Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2.1. Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3. More Advanced Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SQL Reference Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PostgreSQL-Specific Documentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proceedings and Articles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34 34 34 36 36 37 38 39 40 40 40 41

iv

List of Figures
2-1. How a connection is established .......................................................................................................24

v

.13 1-7.................................................................................................16 1-10........................................................................................................... Subselect in FROM ................................................. A Query Using Relational Algebra ...................................... The Suppliers and Parts Database ...............6 1-4..................................................................... Having .............. Create Index ............................................................................................8 1-5.......... Union................................................................................................................... Except ..............................................................................................13 1-6..................................................................................2 1-3..............List of Examples 1-1.... Intersect.. Subselect .........19 vi ........................................................................................... Table Creation ................15 1-9......................................18 1-12............................................................................................................................................15 1-8........................17 1-11........................................................................................... Aggregates........................................................ Simple Query with Qualification ..................................................................................... Aggregates.......................

PostgreSQL is an open-source descendant of this original Berkeley code. character strings. containing attributes of a specific type. and dates. PostgreSQL is the most advanced open-source database vii . as mentioned. Note that this is distinct from those referred to as object-oriented. was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In fact. In current commercial systems. possible types include floating point numbers. money.Preface Preface 1.2 (http://s2k-ftp. the Army Research Office (ARO). Version 4.EDU:8000/postgres/postgres. A Short History of Postgres The object-relational database management system now known as PostgreSQL (and briefly called Postgres95) is derived from the Postgres package written at the University of California at Berkeley. Postgres offers substantial additional power by incorporating the following additional concepts in such a way that users can easily extend the system: inheritance data types functions Other features provide additional power and flexibility: constraints triggers rules transaction integrity These features put Postgres into the category of databases referred to as object-relational.CS. POSTGRES pioneered many of the object-relational concepts now becoming available in some commercial databases. developed at the University of California at Berkeley Computer Science Department. integers. The relational model successfully replaced previous models in part because of its Spartan simplicity . It is commonly recognized that this model is inadequate for future data processing applications. It provides SQL92/SQL99 language support and other modern features. The POSTGRES project. Inc. it is firmly in the relational database world. What is PostgreSQL? PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) based on POSTGRES. and ESL. With over a decade of development behind it. led by Professor Michael Stonebraker.Berkeley. However.html). So. the National Science Foundation (NSF). Traditional relational database management systems (RDBMS) support a data model consisting of a collection of named relations. although Postgres has some object-oriented features. 2. this simplicity often makes the implementation of certain applications very difficult. which in general are not as well suited to supporting the traditional relational database languages. some commercial databases have recently incorporated features pioneered by Postgres.

2. but they could be imitated in Postgres95 with user-defined SQL functions. Postgres became the primary data manager for the Sequoia 2000 (http://www. Many internal changes improved performance and maintainability. Finally. a medical information database. The libpq interface remained available for C programs. The Berkeley Postgres Project Implementation of the Postgres DBMS began in 1986. Andrew Yu and Jolly Chen added a SQL language interpreter to Postgres. Caching and Views in Database Systems) and Version 2 was released in June 1990 with the new rule system.edu/0/Parts_Collabs/S2K/s2k_home. offering multi-version concurrency control. We released Version 1.informix. and Python). Aggregates were re-implemented. Perl.illustra.0. Postgres95 v1. the rule system was redesigned (On Rules.com/) (since merged into Informix (http://www. and several geographic information systems. Procedures. the project officially ended with Version 4. In an effort to reduce this support burden. supporting almost all SQL constructs (including subselects. and a rewritten rewrite rule system.2. Support for the GROUP BY query clause was also added. Illustra Information Technologies (http://www. and user-defined types and functions). described in The Implementation of Postgres. Postgres95 code was completely ANSI C and trimmed in size by 25%.html) scientific computing project in late 1992. The first "demoware" system became operational in 1987 and was shown at the 1988 ACM-SIGMOD Conference.2. The size of the external user community nearly doubled during 1993. 2. The design of the rule system at that time was described in The Design of the Postgres Rules System. to a few external users in June 1989. Subqueries were not supported until PostgreSQL (see below). an asteroid tracking database. C++. In response to a critique of the first rule system (A Commentary on the Postgres Rules System). a jet engine performance monitoring package. The rationale and architecture of the storage manager were detailed in The Postgres Storage System. releases until Postgres95 (see below) focused on portability and reliability. viii . It became increasingly obvious that maintenance of the prototype code and support was taking up large amounts of time that should have been devoted to database research. these were the major enhancements: The query language Postquel was replaced with SQL (implemented in the server).x ran about 30-50% faster on the Wisconsin Benchmark compared to Postgres v4.sdsc. These include: a financial data analysis system. Postgres has undergone several major releases since then. Postgres has been used to implement many different research and production applications. Postgres has also been used as an educational tool at several universities.com/)) picked up the code and commercialized it.Preface available anywhere. Version 3 appeared in 1991 and added support for multiple storage managers. 2. transactions. The initial concepts for the system were presented in The Design of Postgres and the definition of the initial data model appeared in The Postgres Data Model. and having a wide range of language bindings available (including C.1. Postgres95 was subsequently released to the Web to find its own way in the world as an open-source descendant of the original Postgres Berkeley code. Postgres95 In 1994. Java. Apart from bug fixes. For the most part. an improved query executor. Tcl.

GNU make (instead of BSD make) was used for the build. 3. quoted identifiers. it became clear that the name "Postgres95" would not stand the test of time. Important backend features. and binary and hexadecimal integer input. A sample shell. At the same time. A short tutorial introducing regular SQL features as well as those of Postgres95 was distributed with the source code. and triggers.0. PostgreSQL. defaults. a new program (psql) was provided for interactive SQL queries using GNU readline. Rules were still available as rewrite rules. The Inversion large objects were the only mechanism for storing large objects. The large object interface was overhauled. we set the version numbering to start at 6. Built-in types have been improved. Does not cover advanced features.0 was released. supported Tcl-based clients. type casting. We chose a new name. constraints. although work continues in all areas. including subselects. the emphasis has shifted to augmenting features and capabilities. including new wide-range date/time types and additional geometric type support. and backend start-up time has decreased 80% since version 6.Preface In addition to the monitor program. Postgres95 could be compiled with an unpatched gcc (data alignment of doubles was fixed). Additional SQL92-compliant language features have been added. The emphasis during development of Postgres95 was on identifying and understanding existing problems in the backend code. including primary keys. putting the numbers back into the sequence originally begun by the Postgres Project. which allows readers to continue reading consistent data during writer activity and enables hot backups from pg_dump while the database stays available for queries. PostgreSQL By 1996. A new front-end library. libpgtcl. provided new Tcl commands to interface tcl programs with the Postgres95 backend. literal string type coercion. ix . to reflect the relationship between the original Postgres and the more recent versions with SQL capability. Documentation Resources This manual set is organized into several parts: Tutorial An introduction for new users. have been implemented. Overall backend code speed has been increased by approximately 20-40%. With PostgreSQL.3. 2. (The Inversion file system was removed. Also. Major enhancements in PostgreSQL include: Table-level locking has been replaced with multi-version concurrency control.) The instance-level rule system was removed. pgtclsh.

consult the User’s Lounge (http://www. If you x . you will rely on others for help. it depends on the user community for ongoing support. Consider contributing your knowledge back. Web Site The PostgreSQL web site (http://www. including data types and functions. Administrator’s Guide Installation and server management information Reference Manual Reference pages for SQL command syntax and client and server programs Developer’s Guide Information for Postgres developers.postgresql. In addition to this manual set. and application design issues.org) carries details on the latest release. This is intended for those who are contributing to the Postgres project. upcoming features.postgresql.Preface User’s Guide Documents the SQL query language environment. there are other resources to help you with Postgres installation and use: man pages The Reference Manual’s pages in the traditional Unix man format. As such. library interfaces.org/mhonarc/pgsql-general/)) mailing list is a good place to have user questions answered. application development information should appear in the Programmer’s Guide.org/users-lounge/) section of the PostgreSQL web site for details.postgresql.org> (archive (http://www. Programmer’s Guide Advanced information for application programmers. READMEs README files are available for some contributed packages. Other mailing lists are available. Topics include type and function extensibility. and other information to make your work or play with PostgreSQL more productive. Yourself! PostgreSQL is an open source effort. either through the documentation or through the mailing lists. As you begin to use PostgreSQL. FAQs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) lists document both general issues and some platform-specific issues. Mailing Lists The <pgsql-general@postgresql.

or wants to use.org >. No one is required to follow them but it tends to be to everyone’s advantage. details can be derived in the Administrator’s Guide. SQL commands may be preceeded with => or will have no leading prompt. critical. Or we might decide that the bug cannot be fixed before some major rewrite we might be planning is done. any part of the PostgreSQL system. In a command synopsis. Commands executed from a Unix shell may be preceeded with a dollar sign ($ ). 4. Commands executed from particular user accounts such as root or postgres are specially flagged and explained. If you need help immediately. A user could be anyone who is using. write it up and contribute it. If the bug is obvious. The <pgsql-docs@postgresql. and that is a good way to start.org/mhonarc/pgsql-docs/)) mailing list is the place to get going. brackets ("[" and "]") indicate an optional phrase or keyword. We cannot promise to fix every bug right away. Examples will show commands executed from various accounts and programs. The following suggestions are intended to assist you in forming bug reports that can be handled in an effective fashion. /usr/local/pgsql/ is generally used as the root directory of the installation and /usr/local/pgsql/data as the directory with the database files. Note: The notation for flagging commands is not universally consistant throughout the documentation set. Your bug reports play an important part in making PostgreSQL more reliable because even the utmost care cannot guarantee that every part of PostgreSQL will work on every platform under every circumstance. An administrator is generally a person who is in charge of installing and running the server.Preface learn something which is not in the documentation. Anything in braces ("{" and "}") and containing vertical bars ("|") indicates that you must choose one. Bug Reporting Guidelines When you find a bug in PostgreSQL we want to hear about it. Terminology and Notation The terms Postgres and PostgreSQL will be used interchangeably to refer to the software that accompanies this documentation. These terms should not be interpreted too narrowly. Please report problems to the documentation mailing list <pgsql-docs@postgresql. If you add features to the code.org> (archive (http://www. Or perhaps it is simply too hard and there are more important things on the agenda. contribute it. or affects a lot of users. xi . Even those without a lot of experience can provide corrections and minor changes in the documentation. consider obtaining a commercial support contract. These directories may vary on your site. chances are good that someone will look into it. 5. It could also happen that we tell you to update to a newer version to see if the bug happens there. depending on the context.postgresql. this documentation set does not have fixed presumptions about system administration procedures.

check on the TODO list and in the FAQ to see if your bug is already known. please report that too.) A program produces the wrong output for any given input.) An easy start at this file is to use pg_dump to dump out the table declarations and data needed to set the scene. and if we are supposed to make up our own data we would probably miss the problem. Failing to comply to SQL is not a bug unless compliance for the specific feature is explicitly claimed. If you cannot decode the information on the TODO list. the following circumstances: A program terminates with a fatal signal or an operating system error message that would point to a problem in the program. Reporting the bare facts is relatively straightforward (you can probably copy and paste them from the screen) but all too often important details are left out because someone thought it does not matter or the report would be understood anyway. that is a bug. A program refuses to accept valid input (as defined in the documentation). not only the backend server. Here program refers to any executable.1.psqlrc start-up file. We do not have the time to reverse-engineer your database schema. A program accepts invalid input without a notice or error message.Preface 5.2. If it turns out that the program does something different from what the documentation says. This should be self-contained. (Be sure to not have anything in your ~/. The best format for a test case for query-language related problems is a file that can be run through the psql frontend that shows the problem. report your problem. build. PostgreSQL fails to compile. Do not speculate what you think went wrong. 5. If it is not clear from the documentation whether you can do something or not. If you are not familiar with the implementation you would probably guess wrong and not help us a bit. then add the problem query. if the output should depend on the data in the tables. please read and re-read the documentation to verify that you can really do whatever it is you are trying. That might include. What to report The most important thing to remember about bug reporting is to state all the facts and only facts. Keep in mind that your idea of invalid input might be our idea of an extension or compatibility with traditional practice. or install according to the instructions on supported platforms. The least we can do is make the TODO list clearer. If we are going to fix the bug we still have to see it happen for ourselves first. since you have to fix that yourself. or which part of the program has a fault. You are encouraged to xii . Identifying Bugs Before you report a bug. it is a bug in the documentation. it is not enough to send in a bare select statement without the preceding create table and insert statements. educated explanations are a great supplement to but no substitute for facts. what "it seemed to do". Read the documentation or ask on one of the mailing lists for help in tuning your applications. (A counterexample might be a disk full message. Being slow or resource-hogging is not necessarily a bug. Before you continue. The following items should be contained in every bug report: The exact sequence of steps from program start-up necessary to reproduce the problem. but is not limited to. And even if you are.

If you have installation problems then information about compilers. If you do not keep your server output. If there is an error message. but do not assume everyone knows what exactly "Debian" contains or that everyone runs on Pentiums. memory information. Most executable programs also support a --version option.". C library.) Any command line options and other start-up options. but this is not absolutely necessary. processor. If your version is older than 7. also look at the log output of the database server. We should not have to spend the time to decode the exact semantics behind your commands. Again. including any subversion the package may have. Especially refrain from merely saying that "This is not what SQL says/Oracle does. mention that. Anything you did at all differently from the installation instructions. make. if possible. the error message provided by the client might not contain all the information available. If the function or the options do not exist then your version is probably old enough.1 we will almost certainly tell you to upgrade. such as PHP. You can also look into the README file in the source directory or at the name of your distribution file or package name. say which. If you are using a pre-packaged distribution that starts the database server at boot time. On the other hand." Digging out the correct behavior from SQL is not a fun undertaking. is also necessary. You can run the command SELECT version(). that is why we make new releases. Please do not say that it didn’t work or crashed . We will probably not set up a web server to reproduce your problem. then please try to isolate the offending queries. If you run a pre-packaged version. etc. If you just write "This command gives me that output. There are tons of bug fixes in each new release. In that case. if your input files are huge. to find out the version of the server you are connected to. even if you do not understand it.Preface minimize the size of your example. say so. show it. Note: In case of fatal errors. including concerned environment variables or configuration files that you changed from the default. including its date and time. The output you got. If the bug is reproduceable. do not guess that the problem happens for "large files" or "mid-size databases". xiii . Platform information. That is a fact of life. In any case remember to provide the exact input files. we might run it ourselves. If the program terminates with an operating system error. In most cases it is sufficient to report the vendor and version. say so. The output you expected is very important to state. The easiest thing is to copy the output from the terminal. The PostgreSQL version. etc. If nothing at all happens. If your application uses some other client interface." or "This is not what I expected. we will find it either way. since this information is too inexact to be of use. be exact. and think it looks okay and is exactly what we expected. such as RPMs. If you are talking about a CVS snapshot. scan the output. Even if the result of your test case is a program crash or otherwise obvious it might not happen on our platform. it is fair to ask first whether somebody is interested in looking into it. this would be a good time to start doing so. you should try to find out how that is done. It is better to report everything the first time than us having to squeeze the facts out of you. (If your problem is a program crash you can obviously omit this item. nor do we all know how all the other relational databases out there behave. Do not be afraid if your bug report becomes rather lengthy. at least postmaster --version and psql --version should work. This includes the kernel name and version.

is not aware of any problems in the Postgres code base related to time transitions around Jan 1. This will probably not help solving it. Updated 2000-03-31. do not waste your time guessing why the bug exists. You are invited to find a descriptive subject for your email message. If you have a problem with the documentation. you can subscribe and set your subscription option to nomail. once again. For more information send mail to <majordomo@postgresql. When writing a bug report.caltech. Where to report bugs In general. The PostgreSQL Global Development Group provides the PostgreSQL software code tree as a public service. so we (and you) can work on porting PostgreSQL to your platform. We might choose to take up a discussion about your bug report on it. 2000 (Y2K). do not just say "Postgres crashes".org>. We will find that out soon enough. mention that.org>.org > with the single word help in the body of the message. 1996.org>.org>. send mail to <pgsql-ports@postgresql. 5. and sections in your problem report.3. However. chapter. If you simply want to send mail but do not want to receive list traffic.Preface Do not spend all your time to figure out which changes in the input make the problem go away. More importantly. The software package as such is called "PostgreSQL". if the bug needs more review. These mailing lists are for answering user questions and their subscribers normally do not wish to receive bug reports. Note: Due to the unfortunate amount of spam going around. Also. please do not send reports to the developers’ mailing list <pgsql-hackers@postgresql. without warranty and without liability for its behavior or performance. they are unlikely to fix them. Also.) When you are specifically talking about the backend server.edu >) on 1998-10-22. sometimes "Postgres" for short. you will still have time to find and share your work around. you need to be subscribed to a list to be allowed to post on it. If it turns out that the bug cannot be fixed right away. send bug reports to the bug report mailing list at <pgsql-bugs@postgresql. Y2K Statement Author: Written by Thomas Lockhart (<lockhart@alumni. Mention the document. at the time of writing: The author of this statement. This list is for discussing the development of PostgreSQL and it would be nice if we could keep the bug reports separate.org>. Do not send bug reports to any of the user mailing lists. (Sometimes the abbreviation "Pgsql" is used but don’t do that. a volunteer on the Postgres support team since November. xiv . perhaps parts of the error message. That is. please choose non-confusing terminology. If your bug is a 6.org> or <pgsql-general@postgresql. such as <pgsql-sql@postgresql. send email to the documentation mailing list <pgsql-docs@postgresql. portability problem on a non-supported platform. all of the above email addresses are closed mailing lists. The interactive frontend is called "psql" and is for all intends and purposes completely separate from the backend.

xv .perl.html) and The Perl Institute (http://language.org/software/year2000. e. not 2000. To the best of the author’s knowledge. "70-01-01" is interpreted as 1970-01-01. For two-digit years.g.gnu. particularly as it relates to open source. no fee software. We might have expected to hear about problems if they existed.html) for further discussion of Y2K issues. given the installed base and the active participation of users on the support mailing lists.Preface The author of this statement is not aware of any reports of Y2K problems uncovered in regression testing or in other field use of recent or current versions of Postgres.com/news/y2k. whereas "69-01-01" is interpreted as 2069-01-01. Refer to The Gnu Project (http://www. the significant transition year is 1970. the assumptions Postgres makes about dates specified with a two-digit year are documented in the current User’s Guide in the chapter on data types. Any Y2K problems in the underlying OS related to obtaining "the current time" may propagate into apparent Y2K problems in Postgres.

That means it is based on the relational data model first published by E. This original standard version of SQL is often referred to.in late 1992. 1. This is a very complex task and therefore the completion of the new standard can not be expected before 1999.Chapter 1. 1 .). This proposal was ratified in 1986 and consisted essentially of the IBM dialect of SQL. DB2 (IBM). all computable queries (e. DG/SQL (Data General Corp.g. 1998). System R was installed in a number of user sites. In 1989 the original standard was extended and this new standard is often."International Standard ISO/IEC 9075:1992. The ISO and ANSI committees have been working for many years on the definition of a greatly expanded version of the original standard. and SYBASE (Sybase Inc. This stuff is supposed to be fun! This material originally appeared as a part of Stefan Simkovics’ Master’s Thesis (Simkovics. both internal IBM sites and also some selected customer sites. SQL This chapter introduces the mathematical concepts behind relational databases. In 1974 Donald Chamberlin and others defined the language SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language) at IBM Research. recursive queries) will be possible. It is not required reading. The Relational Data Model As mentioned before. referred to as "SQL/89". a related standard called Database Language Embedded SQL (ESQL) was developed. Database Language SQL" . Codd in 1970.F. Also in 1989.). SQL is also an official standard now. A new prototype called System R was developed by IBM in 1977. 1997. SQL is a relational language. In 1982 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) chartered its Database Committee X3H2 to develop a proposal for a standard relational language.1.). The name "SQL" is an abbreviation for Structured Query Language. informally.e. referred to informally as SQL2 or SQL/92. again informally. System R implemented a large subset of SEQUEL/2 (now SQL) and a number of changes were made to SQL during the project. SQL has become the most popular relational query language. In 1976-77 a revised version of SEQUEL called SEQUEL/2 was defined and the name was changed to SQL subsequently. A detailed description of SQL/92 is given in Date and Darwen. so if you bog down or want to get straight to some simple examples feel free to jump ahead to the next chapter and come back when you have more time and patience. i. We will give a formal description of the relational model later (in Relational Data Model Formalities) but first we want to have a look at it from a more intuitive point of view. This version became a ratified standard . Thanks to the success and acceptance of System R at those user sites IBM started to develop commercial products that implemented the SQL language based on the System R technology. Over the next years IBM and also a number of other vendors announced SQL products such as SQL/DS (IBM). as "SQL/86". This language was first implemented in an IBM prototype called SEQUEL-XRM in 1974-75. It is planned to make SQL a Turing-complete language. SQL/92 is the version normally meant when people refer to "the SQL standard". In 1987 this ANSI standard was also accepted as an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ORACLE (Oracle Corp. At the time of writing this document a new standard informally referred to as SQL3 is under development.

such that v1 ∈ D1. Also the set of character strings of length 20 and the real numbers are examples of domains. SELLS stores information about which part (PNO) is sold by which supplier (SNO). . Formally a domain is simply a set of values. This set-theoretic relation gives the model its name (do not confuse it with the relationship from the Entity-Relationship model). 1. D2. Relational Data Model Formalities The mathematical concept underlying the relational model is the set-theoretic relation which is a subset of the Cartesian product of a list of domains. SQL operates on tables like the ones just defined but before that we will study the theory of the relational model. 2 . PART is a table storing the number (PNO) the name (PNAME) and the price (PRICE) of a part. For example the set of integers is a domain. A table consists of rows and columns where each row represents a record and each column represents an attribute of the records contained in the table. The Suppliers and Parts Database SUPPLIER: SNO | SNAME | CITY ----+---------+-------1 | Smith | London 2 | Jones | Paris 3 | Adams | Vienna 4 | Blake | Rome SELLS: SNO | PNO -----+----1 | 1 1 | 2 2 | 4 3 | 1 3 | 3 4 | 2 4 | 3 4 | 4 PART: PNO | PNAME | PRICE ----+---------+--------1 | Screw | 10 2 | Nut | 8 3 | Bolt | 15 4 | Cam | 25 The tables PART and SUPPLIER may be regarded as entities and SELLS may be regarded as a relationship between a particular part and a particular supplier..Chapter 1. vk. As we will see later. written D1 × D2 × .... . The Suppliers and Parts Database shows an example of a database consisting of three tables: SUPPLIER is a table storing the number (SNO). The Cartesian product of domains D1. SQL A relational database is a database that is perceived by its users as a collection of tables (and nothing else but tables).. the name (SNAME) and the city (CITY) of a supplier. .. v2. vk ∈ Dk. It serves in a sense to connect the other two tables together.2. v2 ∈ D2... × Dk is the set of all k-tuples v1. Dk. Example 1-1.

remember The Suppliers and Parts Database where every tuple is represented by a row and every column corresponds to one component of a tuple.(0.1} {(0. when we and D2={a.(0. Operations in the Relational Data Model In the previous section (Relational Data Model Formalities) we defined the mathematical notion of the relational model.a). .b). Recall that a domain is. the type of SNO will be INTEGER. where queries are expressed by applying specialized operators to the relations. A relation scheme R is a finite set of attributes A1. In terms of database systems we often talk of data types instead of domains. Data Types We often talked about domains in the last section.c). The relation consists of tuples (and can therefore be viewed as a table). D1={0. whereas SNO will store integers. 1. A2. Domains vs. × Dk is said to have arity k and is therefore a set of k-tuples. There is a domain Di.. × Dk. A2. We define this by assigning a data type to each attribute. The Relational Calculus which is a logical notation. Ak.3. not so the relation scheme. We often write a relation scheme as R(A1. For example. where the values of the attributes are taken from.(0. Now we know how the data can be stored using a relational data model but we do not know what to do with all these tables to retrieve something from the database yet.c} then D1 × D2 is A Relation is any subset of the Cartesian product of one or more domains: R ⊆ D1 × D2 × . Ak). The domain of SNAME is the set of all character strings of length <= 20.1. The type of SNAME will be VARCHAR(20) (this is the SQL type for character strings of length <= 20). where queries are expressed by formulating some logical restrictions that the tuples in the answer must satisfy. For example {(0.(1. With the assignment of a data type we also have selected a domain for an attribute. For example somebody could ask for the names of all suppliers that sell the part ’Screw’.b. the set of integers or the real numbers). 1.(1. it is in fact a subset of D1 × D2 mentioned above.. Giving names (called attributes) to the columns leads to the definition of a relation scheme.a)} is a relation.. . Additionally we have to decide which kind of data is going to be stored as attribute values. Therefore two rather different kinds of notations for expressing operations on relations have been defined: The Relational Algebra which is an algebraic notation..a). just a set of values (e.. formally. When we define a table we have to make a decision about which attributes to include..(1.(1. 1 <= i <= k.c)}. A relation can be viewed as a table (as we already did. the domain of SNO is the set of all integer numbers.b).a).g. Note: A relation scheme is just a kind of template whereas a relation is an instance of a relation scheme. SQL have k=2. For example the values of SNAME from the table SUPPLIER will be character strings....b).2. 3 . The members of a relation are called tuples. Each relation of some Cartesian product D1 × D2 × .Chapter 1. for each attribute Ai.

What are we doing here? We first calculate the Cartesian product R × S.A.D. F.D and E. INTERSECT (∩): builds the set-theoretic intersection of two tables.R.B and C and let S be a table with the attributes C.C = S. We again require that R and S have the same arity. JOIN (∏): connects two tables by their common attributes. Relational Algebra The Relational Algebra was introduced by E. Let R and S again be two tables with the same arity. Let the following two tables be given: R: A|B|C ---+---+--1|2|3 4|5|6 7|8|9 S: C|D|E ---+---+--3|a|b 6|c|d 4 . the attribute C. R × S is the set of all k1 + k2-tuples whose first k1 components form a tuple in R and whose last k2 components form a tuple in S. An Inner Join Let’s have a look at the tables that are produced by evaluating the steps necessary for a join. where t(X) denotes the value of attribute X of tuple t.B.S. It consists of a set of operations on relations: SELECT (ó): extracts tuples from a relation that satisfy a given restriction. UNION (∪): builds the set-theoretic union of two tables.C=S. Let R be a table with the attributes A.C. Given the tables R and S (both must have the same arity). Let R be a table with arity k1 and let S be a table with arity k2. Let R be a relation that contains an attribute X. PROJECT (ð): extracts specified attributes (columns) from a relation. R ∏ S = ðR. PRODUCT (×): builds the Cartesian product of two relations.S. DIFFERENCE (− or ?): builds the set difference of two tables. óA=a(R) = {t ∈ R ? t(A) = a} where t denotes a tuple of R and t(A) denotes the value of attribute A of tuple t.1.C(R × S)). Codd in 1972. Given the tables R and S.3. Then we select those tuples whose values for the common attribute C are equal (óR. Now we have a table that contains the attribute C two times and we correct this by projecting out the duplicate column.Chapter 1. the union R ∪ S is the set of tuples that are in R or S or both. R ∩ S is the set of tuples that are in R and in S. SQL 1.C). Let R be a table that contains an attribute A.E(óR. ðX(R) = {t(X) ? t ∈ R}.R. Example 1-2.S is the set of tuples in R but not in S. There is one attribute common to both relations. R .

SQL First we calculate the Cartesian product R × S and get: R x S: A | B | R.S.C | D | E ---+---+-----+-----+---+--1 | 2 | 3 | 3 | a | b 1 | 2 | 3 | 6 | c | d 4 | 5 | 6 | 3 | a | b 4 | 5 | 6 | 6 | c | d 7 | 8 | 9 | 3 | a | b 7 | 8 | 9 | 6 | c | d After the selection óR. B.C=S.D)=ts} where tr(x.C we project it out by the following operation: ðR.E(óR. Note that the tuple t only consists of the components A and B of relation R.D.B)=t∧tr(C.R.Chapter 1.C.C | D | E ---+---+-----+-----+---+--1 | 2 | 3 | 3 | a | b 4 | 5 | 6 | 6 | c | d To remove the duplicate column S.R. C.S.C | S. Then we define the division as: R ÷ S = {t ? ∀ ts ∈ S ∃ tr ∈ R such that tr(A. and D and let S be a table with the attributes C and D.A.C=S. Given the following tables R: A | B | C | D ---+---+---+--a | b | c | d a | b | e | f b | c | e | f e | d | c | d e | d | e | f a | b | d | e S: C | D ---+--c | d e | f 5 .C | S.y) denotes a tuple of table R that consists only of the components x and y.B.C(R × S) we get: A | B | R.C(R × S)) and get: A | B | C | D | E ---+---+---+---+--1 | 2 | 3 | a | b 4 | 5 | 6 | c | d DIVIDE (÷): Let R be a table with the attributes A.

Example 1-3.3. A Query Using Relational Algebra Recall that we formulated all those relational operators to be able to retrieve data from the database.3. 1994].PNAME=’Screw’(SUPPLIER ∏ SELLS ∏ PART)) We call such an operation a query. 1. 1988] or [Date. There are two variants of the relational calculus: The Domain Relational Calculus (DRC). 1988. Tuple Relational Calculus 6 . where variables stand for tuples. Relational Calculus The relational calculus is based on the first order logic. The Tuple Relational Calculus (TRC).Chapter 1.3. For a detailed discussion on DRC (and also TRC) see Date. This question can be answered using relational algebra by the following operation: ðSUPPLIER. 1994 or Ullman. Let’s return to our example from the previous section (Operations in the Relational Data Model) where someone wanted to know the names of all suppliers that sell the part Screw. We want to discuss the tuple relational calculus only because it is the one underlying the most relational languages. SQL R ÷ S is derived as A | B ---+--a | b e | d For a more detailed description and definition of the relational algebra refer to [Ullman. where variables stand for components (attributes) of the tuples.SNAME(óPART. If we evaluate the above query against the our example tables (The Suppliers and Parts Database) we will obtain the following result: SNAME ------Smith Adams 1.2.

i.4. The resulting relation consists of all tuples t(A) that satisfy F(t). e.4.e. SQL is based on the tuple relational calculus. 1988.Chapter 1. It is sometimes said that languages based on the relational calculus are "higher level" or "more declarative" than languages based on relational algebra because the algebra (partially) specifies the order of operations while the calculus leaves it to a compiler or interpreter to determine the most efficient order of evaluation. 7 .3. SQL The queries used in TRC are of the following form: x(A) ? F(x) where x is a tuple variable A is a set of attributes and F is a formula. There are. If we want to answer the question from example A Query Using Relational Algebra using TRC we formulate the following query: {x(SNAME) ? x ∈ SUPPLIER ∧ ∃ y ∈ SELLS ∃ z ∈ PART (y(SNO)=x(SNO) ∧ z(PNO)=y(PNO) ∧ z(PNAME)=’Screw’)} Evaluating the query against the tables from The Suppliers and Parts Database again leads to the same result as in A Query Using Relational Algebra. Relational Algebra vs. For a more detailed discussion on that refer to Date. all queries that can be formulated using relational algebra can also be formulated using the relational calculus and vice versa. 1. 1. however. F. Here is a list of some additional features provided by SQL that are not part of relational algebra or calculus: Commands for insertion. capabilities beyond the scope of relational algebra or calculus. Relational Calculus The relational algebra and the relational calculus have the same expressive power. This was first proved by E. A < B + 3. Codd in 1972. This proof is based on an algorithm ("Codd’s reduction algorithm") by which an arbitrary expression of the relational calculus can be reduced to a semantically equivalent expression of relational algebra. deletion or modification of data. The SQL Language As is the case with most modern relational languages. relational algebra) can also be formulated using SQL. Arithmetic capability: In SQL it is possible to involve arithmetic operations as well as comparisons. 1994 and Ullman.g. As a result every query that can be formulated using the tuple relational calculus (or equivalently.

1. } start ]] Now we will illustrate the complex syntax of the SELECT statement with various examples. .. sum. . Simple Query with Qualification To retrieve all tuples from table PART where the attribute PRICE is greater than 10 we formulate the following query: SELECT * FROM PART WHERE PRICE > 10.] ) ] ] * | expression [ AS output_name ] [.. 1..] ] [ HAVING condition [.Chapter 1.] ] ] [ LIMIT { count | ALL } [ { OFFSET | . Simple Selects Here are some simple examples using a SELECT statement: Example 1-4.] [ INTO [ TEMPORARY | TEMP ] [ TABLE ] new_table ] [ FROM from_item [. . The syntax is: SELECT [ ALL | DISTINCT [ ON ( expression [. .. ... The tables used for the examples are defined in The Suppliers and Parts Database.. . Assignment and Print Commands: It is possible to print a relation constructed by a query and to assign a computed relation to a relation name...1. can be applied to columns of a relation to obtain a single quantity. etc.4. 1.. .. and get the table: PNO | PNAME | PRICE -----+---------+-------3 | Bolt | 15 4 | Cam | 25 8 .] ] [ { UNION | INTERSECT | EXCEPT [ ALL ] } select ] [ ORDER BY expression [ ASC | DESC | USING operator ] [.1.. Aggregate Functions: Operations such as average.4. SQL Note that + or other arithmetic operators appear neither in relational algebra nor in relational calculus. Select The most often used command in SQL is the SELECT statement.] ] [ FOR UPDATE [ OF class_name [.] ] [ WHERE condition ] [ GROUP BY expression [. max. used to retrieve data...

SQL Using "*" in the SELECT statement will deliver all attributes from the table.Chapter 1. For example if we want to know how much it would cost if we take two pieces of a part we could use the following query: SELECT PNAME. This new title is often referred to as alias. PRICE FROM PART WHERE PRICE > 10. In this case the result is: PNAME | PRICE --------+-------Bolt | 15 Cam | 25 Note that the SQL SELECT corresponds to the "projection" in relational algebra not to the "selection" (see Relational Algebra for more details). This technique can be used for every element of the target list to assign a new title to the resulting column. The alias cannot be used throughout the rest of the query. will lead to the result: PNAME | PRICE --------+-------Bolt | 15 Arithmetic operations may be used in the target list and in the WHERE clause. 9 . AND. and NOT: SELECT PNAME. and we get: PNAME | DOUBLE --------+--------Screw | 20 Nut | 16 Bolt | 30 Note that the word DOUBLE after the keyword AS is the new title of the second column. PRICE * 2 AS DOUBLE FROM PART WHERE PRICE * 2 < 50. If we want to retrieve only the attributes PNAME and PRICE from table PART we use the statement: SELECT PNAME. PRICE FROM PART WHERE PNAME = ’Bolt’ AND (PRICE = 0 OR PRICE <= 15). The qualifications in the WHERE clause can also be logically connected using the keywords OR.

1. pname from supplier JOIN sells USING (sno) JOIN part USING (pno). To join the three tables SUPPLIER. PART P.SNAME.PNO = SE.PNO.2. Another way to perform joins is to use the SQL JOIN syntax as follows: select sname.PNAME.SNO = SE.SNAME and P. Joins The following example shows how joins are realized in SQL. and get the following table as a result: SNAME | PNAME -------+------Smith | Screw Smith | Nut Jones | Cam Adams | Screw Adams | Bolt Blake | Nut Blake | Bolt Blake | Cam In the FROM clause we introduced an alias name for every relation because there are common named attributes (SNO and PNO) among the relations. Now only those tuples satisfying the conditions given in the WHERE clause are selected (i. giving again: sname | pname -------+------Smith | Screw Adams | Screw Smith | Nut Blake | Nut Adams | Bolt 10 . Finally we project out all columns but S. P.SNO AND P. PART and SELLS over their common attributes we formulate the following statement: SELECT S. SELLS SE WHERE S. The join is calculated in the same way as shown in An Inner Join. First the Cartesian product SUPPLIER × PART × SELLS is derived.Chapter 1.4. the common named attributes have to be equal). Now we can distinguish between the common named attributes by simply prefixing the attribute name with the alias name followed by a dot.e. SQL 1.PNAME FROM SUPPLIER S.

A CROSS JOIN is equivalent to an INNER JOIN ON TRUE. is a table reference list item that occurs in a FROM clause and before any WHERE.Chapter 1. or HAVING clause. CROSS JOINs (unqualified joins) and qualified JOINs. Qualified JOINs { T1 } [ NATURAL ] [ INNER | { LEFT | RIGHT | FULL } [ OUTER ] ] JOIN { T2 } { ON search condition | USING ( join column list ) } A qualified JOIN must specify its join condition by providing one (and only one) of NATURAL. NATURAL is shorthand for a USING clause that lists all the common column names of the two tables. or NATURAL) and the way in which it is applied (INNER or OUTER join). For each row R1 of T1. [ INNER ] JOIN For each row R1 of T1. each row R2 of T2 is joined with R1 to yield a joined table row JR consisting of all fields in R1 and R2. Qualified joins can be further subdivided based on the way in which the join condition is specified (ON. The ON clause takes a search condition. and returns a joined table containing all N*M possible joined rows. A side-effect of both USING and NATURAL is that only one copy of each joined column is emitted into the result table (compare the relational-algebra definition of JOIN. which is the same as in a WHERE clause. and joins the tables on equality of those columns. which the joined tables must have in common. Join Types CROSS JOIN { T1 } CROSS JOIN { T2 } A cross join takes two tables T1 and T2 having N and M rows respectively. SQL JOINs come in two main types. including table names or other JOIN clauses. 11 . JOINed tables are logically like any other table listed in the FROM clause. created using JOIN syntax. The USING clause takes a comma-separated list of column names. shown earlier). SQL Blake | Bolt Jones | Cam Blake | Cam (8 rows) A joined table. may be included in the FROM clause if separated by commas. or USING. ON. Other table references. GROUP BY. the joined table has a row for each row in T2 that satisfies the join condition with R1. USING.

then a separate calculation is done over the rows of each group. an INNER JOIN is performed. and an aggregate result is delivered per group (see next section). SQL Tip: The words INNER and OUTER are optional for all JOINs. LEFT. an INNER JOIN is performed. an additional joined row is returned with null fields in the columns from T1. and the aggregate operator is calculated over this set of input values. and FULL imply an OUTER JOIN. an additional joined row is returned with null fields in the columns from T1. Tip: The joined table unconditionally has a row for each row in T1. an INNER JOIN is performed. RIGHT. for each row in T1 that does not satisfy the join condition with any row in T2. Tip: The joined table unconditionally has a row for every row of T1 and a row for every row of T2. Then. LEFT [ OUTER ] JOIN First.4.1. an aggregate delivers a single result for a whole SELECT statement. AVG.Chapter 1. COUNT. 1. SUM. Normally. RIGHT [ OUTER ] JOIN First. Parenthesis can be used around JOIN clauses to control the order of JOINs which are otherwise processed left to right.3. Tip: The joined table unconditionally has a row for each row in T2. JOINs of all types can be chained together or nested where either or both of T1 and T2 may be JOINed tables. INNER is the default.g. for each row in T2 that does not satisfy the join condition with any row in T1. Then. But if grouping is specified in the query. Also. Aggregate Operators SQL provides aggregate operators (e. for each row in T1 that does not satisfy the join condition with any row in T2. MIN. for each row in T2 that does not satisfy the join condition with any row in T1. an additional joined row is returned with null fields in the columns from T2. an additional joined row is returned with null fields in the columns from T2. FULL [ OUTER ] JOIN First. 12 . Then. The expression is evaluated at each row that satisfies the WHERE clause. MAX) that take an expression as argument.

COUNT(SE.i. such that two tuples are in the same group if and only if they agree on all the attributes A1. 13 . If we have GROUP BY A1. and get: COUNT ------4 1. Aggregation by Groups SQL allows one to partition the tuples of a table into groups.SNO.5 If we want to know how many parts are defined in table PART we use the statement: SELECT COUNT(PNO) FROM PART. Ak we partition the relation into groups.e.SNO. Aggregates If we want to know the average cost of all parts in table PART we use the following query: SELECT AVG(PRICE) AS AVG_PRICE FROM PART. Thus the aggregate operator is evaluated separately for every group. Then the aggregate operators described above can be applied to the groups --. Aggregates If we want to know how many parts are sold by every supplier we formulate the query: SELECT S.1. S. the value of the aggregate operator is no longer calculated over all the values of the specified column but over all values of a group. Ak. Example 1-6. The result is: AVG_PRICE ----------14.Chapter 1.4. SQL Example 1-5. S.SNO GROUP BY S.SNAME.SNAME.4. ?.PNO) FROM SUPPLIER S. SELLS SE WHERE S. ?. The partitioning of the tuples into groups is done by using the keywords GROUP BY followed by a list of attributes that define the groups.SNO = SE.

14 . Note that for a query using GROUP BY and aggregate operators to make sense the target list can only refer directly to the attributes being grouped by.SNO | S. Otherwise there would not be a unique value to associate with the other attributes. Other attributes may only be used inside the argument of an aggregate function. First the join of the tables SUPPLIER and SELLS is derived: S.SNO and S.PNO -------+---------+-------1 | Smith | 1 | 2 -------------------------2 | Jones | 4 -------------------------3 | Adams | 1 | 3 -------------------------4 | Blake | 2 | 3 | 4 In our example we got four groups and now we can apply the aggregate operator COUNT to every group leading to the final result of the query given above.SNO | S.SNAME | SE. SQL and get: SNO | SNAME | COUNT -----+-------+------1 | Smith | 2 2 | Jones | 1 3 | Adams | 2 4 | Blake | 3 Now let’s have a look of what is happening here.Chapter 1.SNAME: S.SNAME | SE.PNO -------+---------+-------1 | Smith | 1 1 | Smith | 2 2 | Jones | 4 3 | Adams | 1 3 | Adams | 3 4 | Blake | 2 4 | Blake | 3 4 | Blake | 4 Next we partition the tuples into groups by putting all tuples together that agree on both attributes S.

g. You can get a result of this kind by using a temporary table or a sub-SELECT in the FROM clause to do the first level of aggregation. Subqueries In the WHERE and HAVING clauses the use of subqueries (subselects) is allowed in every place where a value is expected.SNAME.5. 1. Having The HAVING clause works much like the WHERE clause and is used to consider only those groups satisfying the qualification given in the HAVING clause. there’s no point in writing a HAVING condition that doesn’t involve an aggregate function! If your condition doesn’t involve aggregates. and thereby avoid the computation of aggregates for groups that you’re just going to throw away anyway.Chapter 1. Essentially. Example 1-8.SNO GROUP BY S. S. SQL Also observe that it makes no sense to ask for an aggregate of an aggregate.4. WHERE filters out unwanted input rows before grouping and aggregation are done.SNAME HAVING COUNT(SE. On the other hand.. The usage of subqueries extends the expressive power of SQL. Subselect If we want to know all parts having a greater price than the part named ’Screw’ we use the query: SELECT * FROM PART WHERE PRICE > (SELECT PRICE FROM PART WHERE PNAME=’Screw’).SNO.4. e.SNO = SE.PNO) FROM SUPPLIER S. and get: SNO | SNAME | COUNT -----+-------+------1 | Smith | 2 3 | Adams | 2 4 | Blake | 3 1. you might as well write it in WHERE.6. COUNT(SE.1. In this case the value must be derived by evaluating the subquery first. AVG(MAX(sno)). WHERE cannot refer to the results of aggregate functions. whereas HAVING filters out unwanted group rows post-GROUP. because a SELECT only does one pass of grouping and aggregation.1. S.PNO) > 1.SNO. Example 1-7. Having If we want only those suppliers selling more than one part we use the query: SELECT S. SELLS SE WHERE S. Therefore. 15 .

Here the subquery must be evaluated afresh for each tuple from the outer query. It also lets us get more than one round of grouping/aggregation without resorting to a temporary table.and the one in the WHERE clause which begins a nested query .Chapter 1. For every tuple of the outer SELECT the inner SELECT has to be evaluated.SNO from the outer SELECT within the WHERE clause of the inner SELECT. since it does not depend on the state of the outer query. we can’t write MAX(AVG(PRICE)).) If we want to know all suppliers that do not sell any part (e. i.7.e. Subselect in FROM If we want to know the highest average part price among all our suppliers. Example 1-9. The first one at the beginning of the query .PNO GROUP BY S. This is a useful feature because a subquery of this kind can output multiple columns and rows. Subqueries in FROM A somewhat different way of using subqueries is to put them in the FROM clause.SNO = SE.PRICE) AS avgprice FROM SUPPLIER S. The subquery returns one row per supplier (because of its GROUP BY) and then we aggregate over those rows in the outer query. SQL The result is: PNO | PNAME | PRICE -----+---------+-------3 | Bolt | 15 4 | Cam | 25 When we look at the above query we can see the keyword SELECT two times.1.SNO) subtable.avgprice) FROM (SELECT AVG(P. whereas a subquery used in an expression must deliver just a single result. in this example the inner query need only be evaluated once.we will refer to it as outer SELECT . (Actually.we will refer to it as inner SELECT.SNO = S. SELLS SE WHERE S.g. but we can write: SELECT MAX(subtable. PART P.PNO = SE. 1.4.SNO). 16 . the value for S. In our example the result will be empty because every supplier sells at least one part. After every evaluation we know the price of the tuple named ’Screw’ and we can check if the price of the actual tuple is greater. to be able to remove these suppliers from the database) we use: SELECT * FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM SELLS SE WHERE SE.SNO is always taken from the current tuple of the outer SELECT. Note that we use S.SNO AND P.

S. Union. S. gives the result: SNO | SNAME | CITY -----+-------+-------2 | Jones | Paris 3 | Adams | Vienna Here is an example for INTERSECT: SELECT S.SNAME.SNAME. S. Finally an example for EXCEPT: SELECT S.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S. S. S.SNO.SNAME.SNO > 1 EXCEPT SELECT S.SNO < 3. S.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S.SNAME.Chapter 1.SNAME. S.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S. S. intersection and set theoretic difference of the tuples derived by two subqueries. Intersect. gives the result: SNO | SNAME | CITY -----+-------+-------2 | Jones | Paris The only tuple returned by both parts of the query is the one having SNO=2. Union.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S.1. S. S. SQL 1.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S.SNAME = ’Jones’ UNION SELECT S.SNO.SNO > 3. Except The following query is an example for UNION: SELECT S.4.SNO > 1 INTERSECT SELECT S. S. Except These operations calculate the union.SNO.CITY FROM SUPPLIER S WHERE S. Example 1-10.SNO. Intersect. S.SNO.SNAME = ’Adams’.8.SNO.SNAME. 17 .

name_of_attr_2 type_of_attr_2 [. PNO INTEGER). CREATE TABLE PART (PNO INTEGER. CREATE TABLE SELLS (SNO INTEGER. CITY VARCHAR(20)). 1. SQL gives the result: SNO | SNAME | CITY -----+-------+-------2 | Jones | Paris 3 | Adams | Vienna 1..2. PRICE DECIMAL(4 . The syntax of the CREATE TABLE command is: CREATE TABLE table_name (name_of_attr_1 type_of_attr_1 [.4. Example 1-11. 2)). SNAME VARCHAR(20).]]).2. Data Definition There is a set of commands used for data definition included in the SQL language. PNAME VARCHAR(20). . 18 . Table Creation To create the tables defined in The Suppliers and Parts Database the following SQL statements are used: CREATE TABLE SUPPLIER (SNO INTEGER.. Create Table The most fundamental command for data definition is the one that creates a new relation (a new table).Chapter 1.1.4.

4. Create Index Indices are used to speed up access to a relation. distinguishable stored data. i. the rules about how to access physically stored base tables in order to 19 .3. If q is omitted it is assumed to be 0.e. VARCHAR(n): varying length character string of maximum length n. SQL 1. when we talk of a base table there is really a physically stored counterpart of each row of the table somewhere in the physical storage. Instead. the system stores the definition of the view (i. SMALLINT: signed halfword binary integer (15 bits precision). i. Example 1-12. The created index is maintained automatically. whenever a new tuple is inserted into the relation SUPPLIER the index I is adapted. By contrast. 1. with q digits to the right of the decimal point.e. DECIMAL (p[. To create an index in SQL the CREATE INDEX command is used. FLOAT: signed doubleword floating point number.2. Create View A view may be regarded as a virtual table.4. Views do not have their own. a table that does not physically exist in the database but looks to the user as if it does. Note that the only changes a user can perceive when an index is present are increased speed for SELECT and decreases in speed of updates. 1.e. physically separate.2.2. Create Index To create an index named I on attribute SNAME of relation SUPPLIER we use the following statement: CREATE INDEX I ON SUPPLIER (SNAME).q]): signed packed decimal number of up to p digits.Chapter 1. CHAR(n): fixed length character string of length n.4. The syntax is: CREATE INDEX index_name ON table_name ( name_of_attribute ). Data Types in SQL The following is a list of some data types that are supported by SQL: INTEGER: signed fullword binary integer (31 bits precision).2. If a relation R has an index on attribute A then we can retrieve all tuples t having t(A) = a in time roughly proportional to the number of such tuples t rather than in time proportional to the size of R.4.

PART P. SELLS and PART first. Drop View To destroy a table (including all tuples stored in that table) the DROP TABLE command is used: DROP TABLE table_name. For a discussion on different techniques to implement views refer to SIM98. P.SNO AND P.Chapter 1. Drop Index. 20 . 1. Let the following view definition be given (we use the tables from The Suppliers and Parts Database again): CREATE VIEW London_Suppliers AS SELECT S.CITY = ’London’. Drop Table.PNAME FROM SUPPLIER S. After that the additional qualifications (given in the query against the view) can be applied to obtain the resulting table. SQL materialize the view) somewhere in the system catalogs (see System Catalogs). In SQL the CREATE VIEW command is used to define a view.2.SNAME. Note that select_stmt is not executed when the view is created.PNO = SE.SNO = SE. It does so by executing the query given in the view definition against those base tables.5.PNO AND S. The syntax is: CREATE VIEW view_name AS select_stmt where select_stmt is a valid select statement as defined in Select. Now we can use this virtual relation London_Suppliers as if it were another base table: SELECT * FROM London_Suppliers WHERE PNAME = ’Screw’. which will return the following table: SNAME | PNAME -------+------Smith | Screw To calculate this result the database system has to do a hidden access to the base tables SUPPLIER. It is just stored in the system catalogs and is executed whenever a query against the view is made. SELLS SE WHERE S.4.

1. The DROP INDEX command is used to destroy an index: DROP INDEX index_name. 21 .. Data Manipulation 1. Finally to destroy a given view use the command DROP VIEW: DROP VIEW view_name. SNAME.]]) VALUES (val_attr_1 [.3.. CITY) VALUES (1. .4.]]). ’London’).. 1). SQL To destroy the SUPPLIER table use the following statement: DROP TABLE SUPPLIER. name_of_attr_2 [. To insert the first tuple into the relation SUPPLIER (from The Suppliers and Parts Database) we use the following statement: INSERT INTO SUPPLIER (SNO. ’Smith’.. 1. The syntax is: INSERT INTO table_name (name_of_attr_1 [. To insert the first tuple into the relation SELLS we use: INSERT INTO SELLS (SNO. val_attr_2 [.3.Chapter 1.. PNO) VALUES (1. Insert Into Once a table is created (see Create Table). it can be filled with tuples using the command INSERT INTO.4.

are defined in the database. 1.. 1998 for a more detailed description). 1. . For example there is one catalog used for the definition of views.3.3. SQL 1. views indexes etc..4. The syntax is: DELETE FROM table_name WHERE condition.Chapter 1. This catalog stores the query from the view definition. 22 .4.2. Whenever a query against a view is made. Delete To delete a tuple from a particular table use the command DELETE FROM. The new value of attribute PRICE of the tuple whose name is ’Screw’ is now 15. name_of_attr_k = value_k]] WHERE condition. For more information about system catalogs refer to Date. To change the value of attribute PRICE of the part ’Screw’ in the relation PART we use: UPDATE PART SET PRICE = 15 WHERE PNAME = ’Screw’.3. the system first gets the view definition query out of the catalog and materializes the view before proceeding with the user query (see Simkovics.4. To delete the supplier called ’Smith’ of the table SUPPLIER the following statement is used: DELETE FROM SUPPLIER WHERE SNAME = ’Smith’. 1994. These system catalogs can be queried as if they were normal relations. Update To change one or more attribute values of tuples in a relation the UPDATE command is used. The syntax is: UPDATE table_name SET name_of_attr_1 = value_1 [. [.4. System Catalogs In every SQL database system system catalogs are used to keep track of which tables.

5. To be able to perform such queries we need a host language with a greater expressive power than SQL. 1997. A program using embedded SQL in a host language consists of statements of the host language and of embedded SQL (ESQL) statements. We simply want to access a database from some application that is written in the host language (e. Every ESQL statement begins with the keywords EXEC SQL. After that we can use the FETCH command to retrieve a tuple and set the cursor to the next tuple. C). a ticket reservation system with a graphical user interface is written in C and the information about which tickets are still left is stored in a database that can be accessed using embedded SQL). For a detailed discussion on embedded SQL refer to Date and Darwen. recursive queries). SQL 1. Most host languages are not designed to operate on sets so we need a mechanism to access every single tuple of the set of tuples returned by a SELECT statement.e.Chapter 1. 1988. This mechanism can be provided by declaring a cursor. Date. When we look at the examples throughout Select we realize that the result of the queries is very often a set of tuples. or Ullman. 1994.g. The ESQL statements are transformed to statements of the host language by a precompiler (which usually inserts calls to library routines that perform the various SQL commands).g. Embedded SQL In this section we will sketch how SQL can be embedded into a host language (e. There are two main reasons why we want to use SQL from a host language: There are queries that cannot be formulated using pure SQL (i.4. 23 .

Architecture 2. The library sends user requests over the network to the postmaster (Figure 2-1).g. while the frontend application may run anywhere. you should understand the basic Postgres system architecture. Postgres uses a simple "process per-user" client/server model.. You should also be aware that the postmaster and postgres servers run with the user-id of the Postgres "superuser. the frontend application is still a single-threaded process. From that point on. The libpq library allows a single frontend to make multiple connections to backend processes.g. the postmaster is always running. all files relating to a database should belong to this Postgres superuser. You should keep this in mind.1. Such a collection of databases is called a cluster (of databases). Furthermore. A Postgres session consists of the following cooperating Unix processes (programs): A supervisory daemon process (postmaster). Understanding how the parts of Postgres interact will make the next chapter somewhat clearer. the Postgres superuser should definitely not be the Unix superuser ("root")! In any case. In database jargon. Postgres Architectural Concepts Before we begin. How a connection is established User App POSTMASTER LIBPQ SERVER client host server host and connects the frontend process to the new server.. the psql program). and the one or more backend database servers (the postgres process itself). Hence. One implication of this architecture is that the postmaster and the backend always run on the same machine (the database server).Chapter 2. Frontend applications that wish to access a given database within a cluster make calls to the library. whereas frontend and backend processes come and go. the user’s frontend application (e. a user named "postgres"). However. the frontend process and the backend server communicate without intervention by the postmaster. Multithreaded frontend/backend connections are not currently supported in libpq. 24 . waiting for requests. A single postmaster manages a given collection of databases on a single host." Note that the Postgres superuser does not have to be a special user (e. which in turn starts a new backend server process Figure 2-1. because the files that can be accessed on a client machine may not be accessible (or may only be accessed using a different filename) on the database server machine.

then refer to the Administrator’s Guide for instructions on installation. Therefore. ksh.1. we will assume that Postgres has been installed in the directory /usr/local/pgsql. if the database server machine is a remote machine. you may have some more work to do. we will assume that you have added the Postgres bin directory to your path. Setting Up Your Environment This section discusses how to set up your own environment so that you can use frontend applications. If you use a variant of the Berkeley C shell. a person can install and use Postgres without any special accounts or privileges. Postgres SQL. If you use a variant of the Bourne shell. From now on. All Postgres commands are installed in the directory /usr/local/pgsql/bin. As a user. In addition. For example. we will make frequent reference to setting a shell variable or setting an environment variable throughout this document. you only need access to the client portions of the installation (an example of a client application is the interactive monitor psql). We assume Postgres has already been successfully installed and started. or bash.profile file in your home directory. and some must be done by the site database administrator. If you are installing Postgres yourself. you will need to set the PGHOST 25 . created the database directories and started the postmaster process. 3. such as csh or tcsh. This person does not have to be the Unix superuser ("root") or the computer system administrator. you should add this directory to your shell command path. refer to the Administrator’s Guide and the installation notes for how to install Postgres. If your site administrator has not set things up in the default way. Throughout this manual. such as sh. Therefore. Some of the steps required to use Postgres can be performed by any Postgres user. Examples that begin with the character "*" are commands in the Postgres query language. you should consult the Unix manual pages that describe your shell before going any further. then you would add % PATH=/usr/local/pgsql/bin:$PATH % export PATH to the . This site administrator is the person who installed the software. For simplicity. Postgres is a client/server application.Chapter 3. any examples that begin with the character "%" are commands that should be typed at the Unix shell prompt. and return to this guide when the installation is complete. Getting Started How to begin work with Postgres for a new user. wherever you see the directory /usr/local/pgsql you should substitute the name of the directory where Postgres is actually installed.login file in your home directory. you would add % set path = ( /usr/local/pgsql/bin path ) in the . If you did not fully understand the last paragraph on modifying your search path.

Starting the Interactive Monitor (psql) Assuming that your site administrator has properly started the postmaster process and authorized you to use the database.Chapter 3. Here.2. 3.connect() failed: Connection refused Is the postmaster running (with -i) at ’localhost’ and accepting connections on TCP/IP port 5432? it is usually because the postmaster is not running. The environment variable PGPORT may also have to be set. If you get the following error message: FATAL 1:Feb 17 23:19:55:process userid (2360) != database owner (268) it means that the site administrator started the postmaster as the wrong user. Tell him to restart it as the Postgres superuser. 26 . 3. Getting Started environment variable to the name of the database server machine. you should immediately consult your site administrator to make sure that your environment is properly set up. we describe the basic commands for managing a database. since you will want to confirm that you are choosing an allowed connection option. this is all you should have to do in terms of preparation. The site administrator will have chosen to allow TCP/IP network connections or will have restricted database access to local (same-machine) socket connections only. The bottom line is this: if you try to start an application program and it complains that it cannot connect to the postmaster. These choices become significant if you encounter problems in connecting to a database. you (as a user) may begin to start up applications. Managing a Database Now that Postgres is up and running we can create some databases to experiment with. In most cases. As previously mentioned.5432’? or % psql -h localhost template1 psql: PQconnectPoll() -.3.connect() failed: No such file or directory Is the postmaster running locally and accepting connections on Unix socket ’/tmp/. Two different styles of connections are supported.s. or you are attempting to connect to the wrong server host. you should add /usr/local/pgsql/bin to your shell search path. If you get the following error message from a Postgres command (such as psql or createdb): % psql template1 psql: connectDBStart() -.PGSQL.

You can do this with the following command: % createdb mydb If you do not have the privileges required to create a database. then the site administrator needs to grant you permission to create databases. then you can skip the sections on creating and destroying databases. It can be activated for the mydb database by typing the command: % psql mydb 27 . You might want to start up psql. Using an existing native frontend tool like pgaccess or ApplixWare (via ODBC) to create and manipulate a database. is one such application written in tk/tcl and can be used as an example. If your database administrator has set up your account without database creation privileges.1. If this is the case. Using a language like perl or tcl which has a supported interface for Postgres. Getting Started Most Postgres applications assume that the database name. Creating a Database Let’s say you want to create a database named mydb. Some of these languages also have convenient and powerful GUI toolkits which can help you construct custom applications. Not every user has authorization to become a database administrator. Accessing a Database Once you have constructed a database. you can access it by: Running the Postgres terminal monitor programs (e. pgaccess. Database names must have an alphabetic first character and are limited to 32 characters in length. is the same as the name on your computer account. 3.2. 3.g.3. This allows you to submit SQL commands from C and get answers and status messages back to your program. Postgres allows you to create any number of databases at a given site and you automatically become the database administrator of the database you just created. Consult your site administrator if this occurs. edit. mentioned above. This interface is discussed further in The PostgreSQL Programmer’s Guide. to try out the examples in this manual. psql) which allows you to interactively enter. if not specified. you will see the following: % createdb mydb NOTICE:user "your username" is not allowed to create/destroy databases createdb: database creation failed on mydb. Writing a C program using the LIBPQ subroutine library.3. then she should have told you what the name of your database is. If Postgres refuses to create databases for you. and execute SQL commands.Chapter 3.

spaces. you can pass the contents of the workspace to the Postgres server by typing: mydb=> \g This tells the server to process the query.) White space (i. To read queries from a file. the "\g" is not necessary. Everything after the dashes up to the end of the line is ignored. type \h at the monitor prompt. (For more escape codes. type mydb=> \q and psql will quit and return you to your command shell. Destroying a Database If you are the database administrator for the database mydb. psql will automatically process semicolon terminated queries.. If you terminate your query with a semicolon. tabs and newlines) may be used freely in SQL queries. Getting Started You will be greeted with the following message: Welcome to the POSTGRESQL interactive sql monitor: Please read the file COPYRIGHT for copyright terms of POSTGRESQL type \? for help on slash commands type \q to quit type \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query You are currently connected to the database: template1 mydb=> This prompt indicates that the terminal monitor is listening to you and that you can type SQL queries into a workspace maintained by the terminal monitor. type: mydb=> \i fileName To get out of psql and return to Unix. you can destroy it using the following Unix command: 28 . "\" For example. Multiple-line comments. are denoted by "/* . instead of entering them interactively.3.e. 3. say myFile. Single-line comments are denoted by "--". */". and comments within a line. The psql program responds to escape codes that begin with the backslash character.. you can get help on the syntax of various Postgres SQL commands by typing: mydb=> \h Once you have finished entering your queries into the workspace..3.Chapter 3.

29 . Getting Started % dropdb mydb This action physically removes all of the Unix files associated with the database and cannot be undone. so this should only be done with a great deal of forethought.Chapter 3.

As previously discussed. but in this manual we will use the customary SQL terminology. The Query Language The Postgres query language is a variant of the SQL standard. Queries in this section are in the file basics.. Refer to the README file in that directory for how to use them. do the following: $ cd . including Melton and Simon. we assume that you have created the mydb database as described in the previous subsection and have started psql. functions and production rules. tables have been called classes in Postgres. To start the tutorial. You should be aware that some language features are extensions to the standard. inheritance. This section provides an overview of how to use Postgres SQL to perform simple operations. and columns are attributes. 4. 4. This makes sense if you consider the object-relational aspects of the database system.sql The \i command read in queries from the specified files./src/tutorial $ psql -s mydb Welcome to the POSTGRESQL interactive sql monitor: Please read the file COPYRIGHT for copyright terms of POSTGRESQL type \? for help on slash commands type \q to quit type \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query You are currently connected to the database: postgres mydb=> \i basics. Concepts The fundamental notion in Postgres is that of a table. Numerous books have been written on SQL92. and each column is of a specific type. 30 . Interactive Monitor In the examples that follow. It has many extensions to SQL such as an extensible type system. Historially. Furthermore. The -s option puts you in single step mode which pauses before sending a query to the backend.. Each row has the same set of named columns. and a collection of databases managed by a single postmaster process constitutes a database cluster.2. Consult these commands for more details. each row has a permanent object identifier (OID) that is unique throughout the database cluster.Chapter 4. These are features carried over from the original Postgres query language. This manual is only intended to give you an idea of our flavor of SQL and is in no way a complete tutorial on SQL. Examples in this manual can also be found in source distribution in the directory src/tutorial/. which is a named collection of rows. for a listing. PostQuel. 1993 and Date and Darwen. 1997. type \? at the psql prompt. tables are grouped into databases. rows are object instances.1.sql. psql has a variety of \d commands for showing system information.

type names are not syntactical keywords. The statement is divided into a target list (the part that lists the columns to be returned) and a qualification (the part that specifies any restrictions).4.25. along with all column names and their types: CREATE TABLE weather ( city varchar(80). The Query Language 4. since the backend server reads the file directly. varchar(N). date.txt’ USING DELIMITERS ’|’. 4. So far. However. date date ). float. As we will see later. not the client. For example. 4. prcp real.precipitation Note that both keywords and identifiers are case-insensitive. Consequently.3. You can also use COPY to load large amounts of data from flat (ASCII) files. ’1994-11-27’). A SQL SELECT statement is used to do this. Postgres SQL supports the usual SQL types int. Creating a New Table You can create a new table by specifying the table name.5. 31 . where the path name for the source file must be available to the backend server machine.low temperature -. An example would be: COPY weather FROM ’/home/user/weather. except where required to support special cases in the SQL92 standard. Postgres can be customized with an arbitrary number of user-defined data types. Querying a Table The weather table can be queried with normal relational selection and projection queries. smallint.high temperature -. to retrieve all the rows of weather.Chapter 4. temp_lo int. char(N). 0. temp_hi int. type: SELECT * FROM weather. identifiers can preserve case by surrounding them with double-quotes as allowed by SQL92. the Postgres CREATE command looks exactly like the command used to create a table in a traditional relational system. 50. as well as other types of general utility and a rich set of geometric types. This is usually faster because the data is read (or written) as a single atomic transaction directly to or from the target table. we will presently see that tables have properties that are extensions of the relational model. time. and timestamp. Populating a Table with Rows The INSERT statement is used to populate a table with rows: INSERT INTO weather VALUES (’San Francisco’. -. real. 46.

6.25 | 1994-11-27 | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ As a final note. (temp_hi+temp_lo)/2 AS temp_avg. For example. you can specify that the results of a select can be returned in a sorted order or with duplicate rows removed. 32 .Chapter 4. date FROM weather. Redirecting SELECT Queries Any SELECT query can be redirected to a new table SELECT * INTO TABLE temp FROM weather.25 | 1994-11-27 | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |San Francisco | 43 | 57 | 0 | 1994-11-29 | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |Hayward | 37 | 54 | | 1994-11-29 | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ You may specify any arbitrary expressions in the target list. OR and NOT) are allowed in the qualification of any query. SELECT DISTINCT city FROM weather ORDER BY city. For example. results in: +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |city | temp_lo | temp_hi | prcp | date | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |San Francisco | 46 | 50 | 0. you can do: SELECT city.0. 4. SELECT * FROM weather WHERE city = ’San Francisco’ AND prcp > 0. The Query Language and the output should be: +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |city | temp_lo | temp_hi | prcp | date | +--------------+---------+---------+------+------------+ |San Francisco | 46 | 50 | 0. Arbitrary Boolean operators (AND.

say we wish to find all the records that are in the temperature range of other records. Note: This is only a conceptual model. As an example. perform any operations on the resulting table that we can perform on other tables. or access the same table in such a way that multiple rows of the table are being processed at the same time. A query that accesses multiple rows of the same or different tables at one time is called a join query. Joins Between Tables Thus far. W2. To remove such duplicates. +--------------+-----+------+---------------+-----+------+ |city | low | high | city | low | high | +--------------+-----+------+---------------+-----+------+ |San Francisco | 43 | 57 | San Francisco | 46 | 50 | +--------------+-----+------+---------------+-----+------+ |San Francisco | 37 | 54 | San Francisco | 46 | 50 | +--------------+-----+------+---------------+-----+------+ Note: The semantics of such a join are that the qualification is a truth expression defined for the Cartesian product of the tables indicated in the query.7.city.temp_lo AND W1. you must use the SELECT DISTINCT statement. we need to compare the temp_lo and temp_hi columns of each WEATHER row to the temp_lo and temp_hi columns of all other WEATHER columns. The actual join may be performed in a more efficient manner. our queries have only accessed one table at a time.temp_lo AS low.temp_lo < W2. 4. W2. This means that Postgres sometimes recomputes the same target list several times. (In the terminology of most database systems. In effect. Postgres computes and returns the values specified in the target list. W1. Queries can access multiple tables at once.) A query can contain an arbitrary number of table names and surrogates. W1.city. both W1 and W2 are surrogates for a row of the table weather.Chapter 4.temp_hi > W2. of course. The Query Language This forms an implicit CREATE command. W1 and W2 are known as range variables. We can then. 33 . W2.temp_hi. We can do this with the following query: SELECT W1. In this case.temp_lo AS low. this frequently happens when Boolean expressions are connected with an "or". For those rows in the Cartesian product for which the qualification is true.temp_hi AS high FROM weather W1.temp_hi AS high. but this is invisible to the user. Postgres SQL does not assign any meaning to duplicate values in such expressions. creating a new table temp with the column names and types specified in the target list of the SELECT INTO command. and both range over all rows of the table. weather W2 WHERE W1.

All weather recording belonging to Hayward are removed. but it’s wasteful. you are allowed to write a HAVING clause that doesn’t use aggregates. PostgreSQL supports aggregate functions. For example. 34 . Updates You can update existing rows using the UPDATE command. temp_lo = temp_lo . there are aggregates to compute the count. WHERE date > ’1994-11-28’. DELETE will simply remove all rows from the given table.8. it controls which rows go into the aggregate computation). (Strictly speaking.2. 4. Deletions Deletions are performed using the DELETE command: DELETE FROM weather WHERE city = ’Hayward’. leaving it empty. If we want to know what city (or cities) that reading occurred in. The system will not request confirmation before doing this. Using Aggregate Functions Like most other relational database products.) As an example. avg (average). One should be wary of queries of the form DELETE FROM tablename. The fundamental difference between WHERE and HAVING is this: WHERE selects input rows before groups and aggregates are computed (thus. Suppose you discover the temperature readings are all off by 2 degrees as of Nov 28.Chapter 4. HAVING clauses always contain aggregate functions. we can find the highest low-temperature reading anywhere with SELECT max(temp_lo) FROM weather. it makes no sense to try to use an aggregate to determine which rows will be inputs to the aggregates. Without a qualification. you may update the data as follow: UPDATE weather SET temp_hi = temp_hi . The Query Language 4. Thus. It is important to understand the interaction between aggregates and SQL’s WHERE and HAVING clauses.2 4.10. An aggregate function computes a single result from multiple input rows. sum. max (maximum) and min (minimum) over a set of rows. the WHERE clause may not contain aggregate functions. whereas HAVING selects group rows after groups and aggregates are computed.9. we might try SELECT city FROM weather WHERE temp_lo = max(temp_lo). the same condition could be used more efficiently at the WHERE stage. On the other hand.

However. we can get the maximum low temperature observed in each city with SELECT city. For example.Chapter 4. which gives us the same results for only the cities that have some below-zero readings. max(temp_lo) FROM weather GROUP BY city HAVING min(temp_lo) < 0. if we only care about cities whose names begin with "P". This is more efficient than adding the restriction to HAVING. Note that we can apply the city-name restriction in WHERE. as is often the case the query can be restated to accomplish the intended result. The Query Language but this will not work since the aggregate max can’t be used in WHERE. which gives us one output row per city. since it needs no aggregate. max(temp_lo) FROM weather WHERE city like ’P%’ GROUP BY city HAVING min(temp_lo) < 0. max(temp_lo) FROM weather GROUP BY city. Aggregates are also very useful in combination with GROUP BY clauses. here by using a subselect: SELECT city FROM weather WHERE temp_lo = (SELECT max(temp_lo) FROM weather). we might do SELECT city. We can filter these grouped rows using HAVING: SELECT city. 35 . Finally. This is OK because the sub-select is an independent computation that computes its own aggregate separately from what’s happening in the outer select. because we avoid doing the grouping and aggregate calculations for all rows that fail the WHERE check.

State capitals have an extra column. In Postgres. ( text. CREATE TABLE cities name population altitude ). In this case.sql in the tutorial directory.1. a table can inherit from zero or more other tables. altitude FROM cities WHERE altitude > 500.(in ft) CREATE TABLE capitals ( state char(2) ) INHERITS (cities). real. cities. that are located at an altitude over 500ft: SELECT name. which returns: +----------+----------+ |name | altitude | +----------+----------+ |Las Vegas | 2174 | 36 . that shows their state. For example. Inheritance Let’s create two tables. The capitals table contains state capitals that are also cities. state. a native Postgres type for variable length ASCII strings. population. including state capitals. we will now discuss those features of Postgres that distinguish it from conventional data managers. (Refer to Chapter 4 for how to use it. int -.) 5. Advanced Postgres SQL Features Having covered the basics of using Postgres SQL to access your data. Note: The inheritance hierarchy is a directed acyclic graph. the capitals table should inherit from cities. The type of the column name is text. The type of the column population is real.and set-valued attributes). a type for single precision floating point numbers. the following query finds the names of all cities. time travel and non-atomic data values (array. Naturally. These features include inheritance. Examples in this section can also be found in advance.Chapter 5. and a query can reference either all rows of a table or all rows of a tables plus all of its descendants. and altitude) from its parent. a row of capitals inherits all columns (name.

Advanced Postgres SQL Features +----------+----------+ |Mariposa | 1953 | +----------+----------+ |Madison | 845 | +----------+----------+ On the other hand.support this ONLY notation. For example SELECT * from cities*. the default behavior for an undecorated table name is to scan its child tables too. SET SQL_Inheritance TO OFF. You can still explicitly specify scanning child tables by appending "*". and not tables below cities in the inheritance hierarchy.g. Non-Atomic Values One of the tenets of the relational model is that the columns of a table are atomic. e.. altitude FROM ONLY cities WHERE altitude > 500. +----------+----------+ |name | altitude | +----------+----------+ |Las Vegas | 2174 | +----------+----------+ |Mariposa | 1953 | +----------+----------+ Here the ONLY before cities indicates that the query should be run over only the cities table.2. columns can themselves contain sub-values that can be accessed from the query language. the following query finds all the cities that are not state capitals and are situated at an altitude of 500ft or higher: SELECT name. 37 . UPDATE and DELETE -. or add a line in your postgresql.conf file. set the configuration option SQL_Inheritance to off.Chapter 5. Deprecated: In previous versions of Postgres. Many of the commands that we have already discussed -. as well as explicitly specify not scanning child tables by writing ONLY .SELECT.1. But beginning in version 7. Postgres does not have this restriction. 5. To get the old default behavior. to get the sub-tables you append "*" to the table name. Under the old syntax. This was found to be error prone and is also in violation of SQL99. you can create columns that are arrays of base types. the default was not to get access to child tables. whereas before the default was not to do so. For example.

schedule text[][] ). ’{10000. ’{20000. ’{{"meeting". "lunch"}. First. an array of n elements starts with array[1] and ends with array[n]. this is not unlike the syntax for initializing structures.1.pay_by_quarter[2]. a one-dimensional array of integer (pay_by_quarter).pay_by_quarter[1] <> SAL_EMP. INSERT INTO SAL_EMP VALUES (’Bill’. 10000. 25000}’.Chapter 5. This query retrieves the names of the employees whose pay changed in the second quarter: SELECT name FROM SAL_EMP WHERE SAL_EMP. Arrays of any base type or user-defined type can be created. Arrays Postgres allows columns of a row to be defined as fixed-length or variable-length multi-dimensional arrays. {"meeting"}}’). Postgres uses the "one-based" numbering convention for arrays -. we show how to access a single element of an array at a time. ’{{"talk". By default. If you know C. which represents the employee’s salary by quarter and a two-dimensional array of text (schedule). {}}’). Now. we can run some queries on SAL_EMP. 25000. note that when appending to an array. 10000}’.2. we enclose the values within braces and separate them by commas. CREATE TABLE SAL_EMP ( name text. "consult"}. INSERT INTO SAL_EMP VALUES (’Carol’. To illustrate their use. pay_by_quarter integer[]. we first create a table with arrays of base types. The above query will create a table named SAL_EMP with a text string (name). Now we do some INSERTs. 25000. +------+ |name | +------+ |Carol | +------+ 38 . which represents the employee’s weekly schedule.that is. Advanced Postgres SQL Features 5. 10000.

This query retrieves the first item on Bill’s schedule for the first two days of the week.schedule[1:2][1:1] FROM SAL_EMP WHERE SAL_EMP. Advanced Postgres SQL Features This query retrieves the third quarter pay of all employees: SELECT SAL_EMP. SELECT SAL_EMP.3.Chapter 5. These are discussed in more detail in both the User’s and Programmer’s Guides.{""}} | +-------------------+ 5. 39 . More Advanced Features Postgres has many features not touched upon in this tutorial introduction.name = ’Bill’.pay_by_quarter[3] FROM SAL_EMP. +-------------------+ |schedule | +-------------------+ |{{"meeting"}. which has been oriented toward newer users of SQL. +---------------+ |pay_by_quarter | +---------------+ |10000 | +---------------+ |25000 | +---------------+ We can also access arbitrary slices of an array (subarrays) by specifying both lower and upper bounds for each subscript.

CS. PostgreSQL-Specific Documentation The PostgreSQL Administrator’s Guide . J. 6.Prof. 2000-05-01. 1996. 1994. 1988 . 40 . Bowman et al. The PostgreSQL Developer’s Guide . 1994. Stefan Simkovics. Edited by Thomas Lockhart.Bibliography Selected references and readings for SQL and Postgres. Date and Hugh Darwen. An Introduction to Database Systems . Edited by Thomas Lockhart. 1996 . 1. 2000-05-01. Georg Gottlob and Univ.Ass. Edited by Thomas Lockhart. 1993. A user’s guide to the standard database language SQL . C.Univ. Addison-Wesley. A complete guide. 0-201-96426-0. 4. Simon. Melton and Simon. Enhancement of the ANSI SQL Implementation of PostgreSQL . Ullman. Judith Bowman. The Developer’s Guide . Using Structured Query Language . Understanding the New SQL . Some white papers and technical reports from the original Postgres development team are available at the University of California. The PostgreSQL Programmer’s Guide . The User’s Guide . A Guide to the SQL Standard . 1997. Ullman. 3.. 2000-05-01. The Tutorial . 1988 .Univ. J. 2000-05-01. Mag. Principles of Database and Knowledge : Base Systems . 1-55860-245-3.Dr. 1994 . 1998. 1998 . November 29. The PostgreSQL Global Development Group. 0-201-44787-8. Abstract Accessible reference for SQL features. Vienna University of Technology . 1. The PostgreSQL Global Development Group. Discusses SQL history and syntax. The Administrator’s Guide . Computer Science Department web site (http://s2k-ftp. 1993 . Addison-Wesley. and Marcy Darnovsky.EDU:8000/postgres/papers/) SQL Reference Books The Practical SQL Handbook . Department of Information Systems. Edited by Thomas Lockhart. The PostgreSQL Tutorial Introduction . The PostgreSQL Global Development Group. O. Date. Morgan Kaufmann. 1997 .Berkeley. The PostgreSQL Global Development Group. Edited by Thomas Lockhart. Date. 1993. C. The PostgreSQL User’s Guide . Addison-Wesley. Simkovics. The Programmer’s Guide . Katrin Seyr at Vienna University of Technology. Berkeley. Jeffrey D. Jim Melton and Alan R. Prepared as a Master’s Thesis with the support of O. The PostgreSQL Global Development Group.Dr. Date and Darwen. 1997. Sandra Emerson. 1996. 2000-05-01. and describes the addition of INTERSECT and EXCEPT constructs into Postgres. Georg Gottlob.Prof. Computer Science Press .

Stonebraker. The POSTGRES Group . Hirohama. 41 . Rowe. Swami. Brighton.ps. L. 1995. Stonebraker and et al. 1987 . 1990 . 1987. M. Rowe. L. Stonebraker. Stonebraker. M. Berkeley CA. Brighton. 1995. Stonebraker and L. Stonebraker. M. England. 1987 . VLDB Conference. M. Stonebraker and Rowe. Hearst. March 1990. 1989. 1986 . Berkeley CA. 1989. 1990. Hong. Washington DC. Hong. Feb. 1995 . UCB Engin T7. Caching and Views in Database Systems . Chen. ERL Technical Memorandum M90/33. E. Sept. H. 1990 . Potamianos. Eleventh International Conference on Data Engineering. The Design of Postgres . Stonebraker.4):4-11. ACM. Rowe. M.edu/home/praveen/papers/partindex.cornell. A Unified Framework for Version Modeling Using Production Rules in a Database System . Record 18(no. 1989. Proceedings and Articles Partial indexing in POSTGRES: research project . 1987. May 1986. Berkeley CA. Generalized partial indexes (http://simon. M. and S. A.cs.pdf) .EDU:8000/postgres/papers/ERL-M89-17. Los Angeles. Cat. Ong and Goh. University of California. Rowe and M. University of California. 1993 . L. Stonebraker. IEEE. Seshadri and A. Seshardri. The Postgres Storage System .1993 O676. Stonebraker. Nels Olson. Stonebraker. Yu and J. Sept. 1987. 1987 . IEEE Computer Society Press. March 1995. The case for partial indexes (DBMS) (http://s2k-ftp. Hanson. and C. 1987. Yu and Chen. 5.49. ACM-SIGMOD. VLDB Conference. 1995 . and M. M. Sept. Stonebraker et al. Procedures. Stonebraker. P. 1986. 1990 . Stonebraker et al. June 1990. Olson. The Design of the Postgres Rules System. Goh. No. 1987. 1987. CA. Hanson. SIGMOD. The Postgres Data Model . England.95CH35724.Bibliography The Postgres95 User Manual . Record 18(3). A. Hirohama.Z) . Stonebraker. Conference on Management of Data. A Commentary on the Postgres Rules System . April. 1993. Dec. Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 2(1).Berkeley. SIGMOD. M.de95. On Rules. The Implementation of Postgres . Conference on Management of Data. 1989.CS. Sept. Ong and J. 1989b. IEEE. Rowe and Stonebraker. University of California. Conference on Data Engineering. 1989. M. ACM-SIGMOD.

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