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Prefix Range module for PostgreSQL
C Makefile

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debian
Makefile
README.txt
TESTS.txt
prefix.c
prefix.spec
prefix.sql.in
prefixes.fr.csv
prefixes.sql
queries.sql
ranges.sql

README.txt

= Prefix Opclass

This module is written by Dimitri Fontaine with a great amount of help
from RhodiumToad (formely known as AndrewSN), who was the one advising
for a 'GiST opclass' to solve the prefix matching problem.

== Presentation

Prefix matching is both very common and important in telephony
applications, where call routing and costs depend on matching
caller/callee phone number to an operator prefix.

Let's say the prefixes table is called +prefixes+, a typical query
will try to match a phone number to the longest prefix in the table:

    SELECT * 
      FROM prefixes
     WHERE prefix @> '0123456789'
  ORDER BY length(prefix)
     LIMIT 1;

== Installation

Check +$PATH+, then

  make
  make install
  psql <connection string> -f prefix.sql <database>

The +make install+ step might have to be done as +root+, and the
psql one has to be done as a PostgreSQL 'superuser'.

== Uninstall

It's as easy as:

  DROP TYPE prefix_range CASCADE;

== Usage

=== Table and index creation

  create table prefixes (
         prefix    prefix_range primary key,
         name      text not null,
         shortname text,
         status    char default 'S',

         check( status in ('S', 'R') )
  );
  comment on column prefixes.status is 'S:   - R: reserved';
  
  \copy prefixes from 'prefixes.fr.csv' with delimiter ; csv quote '"'

  create index idx_prefix on prefixes using gist(prefix);
 
=== Simple tests:

  dim=# select '123'::prefix_range @> '123456';
   ?column?
  ----------
   t
  (1 row)

Please note earlier versions of +prefix+ didn't use any restriction
nor join selectivity estimator functions for the +@>+ operator, so you
had to +set enable_seqscan to off+ to use the index. That's no more
the case, the +@>+ operator uses +contsel+ and +contjoinsel+ and the
planner is able to figure out by itself when to use the index or not.

If you don't understand previous mention, ignore it and use a more
recent version of +prefix+ than +0.2+.

==== Forcing seqcan

  dim=# select * from ranges where prefix @> '0146640123';
   prefix |      name      | shortname | state
  --------+----------------+-----------+-------
   0146[] | FRANCE TELECOM | FRTE      | S
  (1 row)
  
  Time: 4,071 ms

  dim=# select * from ranges where prefix @> '0100091234';
    prefix  |    name    | shortname | state
  ----------+------------+-----------+-------
   010009[] | LONG PHONE | LGPH      | S
  (1 row)
  
  Time: 4,110 ms

==== Using the Index

  dim=# select * from ranges where prefix @> '0146640123';
   prefix |      name      | shortname | state
  --------+----------------+-----------+-------
   0146[] | FRANCE TELECOM | FRTE      | S
  (1 row)
  
  Time: 1,036 ms

  dim=# select * from ranges where prefix @> '0100091234';
    prefix  |    name    | shortname | state
  ----------+------------+-----------+-------
   010009[] | LONG PHONE | LGPH      | S
  (1 row)
  
  Time: 0,771 ms

As of version 1.0, prefix_range GiST index supports also queries using the
<@, && and = operators (see below).

=== creating prefix_range, cast to and from text

There's a *constructor* function:

  prefix=# select prefix_range('123');
   prefix_range 
  --------------
   123
  (1 row)

  prefix=# select prefix_range('123', '4', '5');
   prefix_range 
  --------------
   123[4-5]
  (1 row)

Casting from unknown literal or text is as easy as usual:

  prefix=# select '123'::prefix_range;
   prefix_range 
  --------------
   123
  (1 row)

  prefix=# select x, x::prefix_range from (values('123'), ('123[4-5]'), ('[2-3]')) as t(x);
      x     |    x     
  ----------+----------
   123      | 123
   123[4-5] | 123[4-5]
   [2-3]    | [2-3]
  (3 rows)

And two casts are provided:

  CREATE CAST (text as prefix_range) WITH FUNCTION prefix_range(text) AS IMPLICIT;
  CREATE CAST (prefix_range as text) WITH FUNCTION text(prefix_range);

Which means you can use text expression in a context where a prefix_range is
expected and it'll get implicit casting, but prefix_range to text has to be
asked explicitely, so that you don't get strange behavior.

=== Provided operators

The prefix module is all about indexing prefix lookups, but in order to be
able to do this with some efficiency, it has to know a lot about prefix
ranges, such as basic comparing, containment, union, intersection and
overlapping.

The operators <=, <, =, <>, >= and > are read as usual, @> is read
*contains*, <@ is read *is contained by*, && is read *overlaps*, and | is
"union" and "&" is "intersect".

  prefix=# select a, b,
    a <= b as "<=", a < b as "<", a = b as "=", a <> b as "<>", a >= b as ">=", a > b as ">",
    a @> b as "@>", a <@ b as "<@", a && b as "&&"
  from  (select a::prefix_range, b::prefix_range
           from (values('123', '123'),
                       ('123', '124'),
                       ('123', '123[4-5]'),
                       ('123[4-5]', '123[2-7]'),
                       ('123', '[2-3]')) as t(a, b)
        ) as x;
      a     |    b     | <= | < | = | <> | >= | > | @> | <@ | && 
  ----------+----------+----+---+---+----+----+---+----+----+----
   123      | 123      | t  | f | t | f  | t  | f | t  | t  | t
   123      | 124      | t  | t | f | t  | f  | f | f  | f  | f
   123      | 123[4-5] | t  | t | f | t  | f  | f | t  | f  | t
   123[4-5] | 123[2-7] | f  | f | f | t  | t  | t | f  | t  | t
   123      | [2-3]    | t  | t | f | t  | f  | f | f  | f  | f
  (5 rows)

  prefix=# select a, b, a | b as union, a & b as intersect 
    from  (select a::prefix_range, b::prefix_range
             from (values('123', '123'), 
                         ('123', '124'), 
                         ('123', '123[4-5]'),
                         ('123[4-5]', '123[2-7]'), 
                         ('123', '[2-3]')) as t(a, b)
          ) as x;
      a     |    b     |  union   | intersect 
  ----------+----------+----------+-----------
   123      | 123      | 123      | 123
   123      | 124      | 12[3-4]  | 
   123      | 123[4-5] | 123      | 123
   123[4-5] | 123[2-7] | 123[2-7] | 123[4-5]
   123      | [2-3]    | [1-3]    | 
  (5 rows)


== See also

This link:TESTS.html[Tests] page is more developper oriented material,
but still of interest.
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