Erlang PostgreSQL driver
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README.md

Erlang PostgreSQL Driver Build Status

Introduction

This driver is an OTP-compliant PostgreSQL driver. Connections are OTP-supervised processes.

This implementation was initially inspired and derived from existing database drivers, and especially Will Glozer's and Christian Sunesson's PostgreSQL drivers, yet has eventually little in common with those. API and features are different.

In particular, this driver has the following features:

  • OTP-supervision and OTP-upgrades;
  • transparently handling many PostgreSQL types, including arrays, numerics and geometric types;
  • cancellation of running queries using out-of-band protocol;
  • SSL support;
  • timeout for queries;
  • iteration on results using protocol-level implicit portals and cursors, with fold, map and foreach;
  • mapping of types to Erlang using a mapping of known types, handling new types that may arise through the life of the connection (this feature is an improvement of oidmap handling in Christian Sunesson's driver);
  • handling both floating point and integer datetimes (this feature is an improvement of timestamp handling in Will Glozer's driver).

Compilation

Driver can be compiled with rebar or rebar3.

erlc -o ebin/ src/*.erl

also works.

API and usage

The application must be started before connections can be made to a PostgreSQL server.

Opening and closing connections

The main module is pgsql_connection. Connections are opened with one of pgsql_connection:open/1,2,3,4,5 functions. Please refer to pgsql_connection.erl for details.

For convenience with other database APIs, connection objects can be used as parametrized modules as connection objects are {pgsql_connection, pid()} tuples. API functions taking a connection as the last parameter can be called with the connection as the parametrized module. For example, a connection can be closed with pgsql_connection:close(Connection) or with Connection:close().

Performing queries

Two APIs are available. The current, "native" API is composed of the following functions:

simple_query/2,3,4

Perform a simple query (in PostgreSQL parlance), i.e. a query with no parameter. Results are cast to Erlang-types. Text is returned as binaries (unicode:unicode_binary()). Enums are typed {atom() :: TypeName, unicode:unicode_binary()}. See below for details.

extended_query/3,4,5

Perform an extended query, i.e. a query with bound parameters. Parameters must be represented in the query with $1, ..., $n placeholders. Most erlang types are supported. Binaries are passed as-is and are interpreted by PostgreSQL as text or binary depending on what is expected. Lists are interpreted as strings, arrays are represented as {array, [any()]}. See below for details.

batch_query/3,4,5

Perform an extended query several times with different parameters. Saves some network I/O with the server.

fold/4,5,6,7, map/3,4,5,6, foreach/3,4,5,6

Perform an extended query and fold (resp. map, execute a function on each row). This opens an implicit cursor with the server and iterates on results.

cancel/1

Cancel the current running query. This opens a new connection to cancel the query (out-of-band cancelation).

Data types

The following table summarizes the PostgreSQL types currently handled by the driver and their format on input (parameters of extended_query/3,4,5) and on output (e.g. results of select queries).

All types are tested in pgsql_connection_test.erl.

SQL Erlang Notes
NULL 'null'
integer integer() SQL is limited to up to 131072 digits for numeric type
float float() SQL decimal and numeric values lose precision when converted to double()
NaN 'NaN'
±Infinity 'Infinity', '-Infinity'
text unicode:unicode_binary() | string() Driver expects everything is UTF-8 encoded, Strings (lists of integers < 256) can be used on input
bytea binary()
date calendar:date()
time calendar:time()
timestamp calendar:datetime() | {{Y,Mo,D},{H,M,S}} with S::float() Conversion on output with seconds as integer or float is driven by datetime_float_seconds option
boolean boolean()
enums {atom(),unicode:unicode_binary()} | {integer(),unicode:unicode_binary()} | unicode:unicode_binary() | string() Values can be used directly on input (as text). Output is always tagged. Within the transaction creating the enum, the tag can be the OID
point {point,{number(),number()}} Coordinates can be passed as integers and are always returned as floats
lseg {lseg,{number(),number()},{number(),number()}}
box {box,{number(),number()},{number(),number()}}
path {path,open|close,[{number(),number()}]}
polygon {polygon,[{number(),number()}]}
inet {inet,inet:address()} Supports both IPv4 and IPv6
cidr {cidr,inet:address(),0..128}
uuid unicode:unicode_binary() UUID are binaries in AAAAAAAA-BBBB-CCCC-DDDD-EEEEEEEEEEEE format
json {json,unicode:unicode_binary()}
jsonb {jsonb,unicode:unicode_binary()}
arrays {array,list()}

Anything else is not handled yet. Parameters as binaries are passed as is to PostgreSQL, in binary format, and unknown types are returned as {atom(), binary()} or {integer(), binary()} for unknown OIDs. Theoretically, handling of data types unknown to the driver could be handled by the client. However, please note in this case that the driver can return values in text or binary format depending on the sub-protocol used. Typically, simple_query functions will get results in "text format", while extended_query will get results in "binary format".

COPY support

COPY is a PostgreSQL-specific command for bulk transfers of table contents. It is less structured and more brittle to user errors.

copying from a table

Connection:simple_query("COPY mytable TO STDOUT") will return {{copy, ListSize},[<<Tab-delimited data>>, ...]}. ListSize is the number of elements in the associated list, which often corresponds to the number of rows in the table. The actual contents of the returned data depend on the COPY query (for example, specifying a format).

extended_query, fold, map, and foreach may also be used, but note that Postgres does not permit parameter-binding in COPY queries.

copying to a table

Begin a copy using simple_query (not extended_query) to copy from "stdin". Then perform any number of send_copy_data/2 to transmit data to Postgres' stdin. Finally, send_copy_end/1 to have Postgres process the data.

{copy_in,_} = Connection:simple_query("COPY people(fn,ln) FROM STDIN"),
ok = Connection:send_copy_data(<<"Donald\tChamberlin\nRaymond\tBoyce\nMi">>),
ok = Connection:send_copy_data(<<"chael\tStonebraker\n">>),
{copy,3} = Connection:send_copy_end()

Using COPY is generally the fastest method to bulk-insert data by a large margin.

ODBC-like API

The driver also has an ODBC-like interface, which is deprecated. It is composed of sql_query/2,3,4, param_query/3,4,5 and utility function convert_statement/1

Asynchronous operations

Besides cancelation, the driver supports what PostgreSQL documentation calls Asynchronous operations. Namely, it can receive several types of messages when the connection is idle or at any point in the protocol. This is especially meaningful for notifications and notices. These messages are ignored by default but can be sent to subscribers. To subscribe when opening a connection, simply use {async, pid()} option. To subscribe later, use pgsql_connection:subscribe/2. Subscribers can presently receive two types of Erlang messages:

  • {pgsql, Connection, {notice, Fields :: [{atom(), binary()}]}} for notices, where Connection is the connection tuple and Fields describes the notice (typically including {severity, <<"NOTICE">>} and {message, NoticeMessage}).
  • {pgsql, Connection, {notification, ProcID :: pos_integer(), Channel :: binary(), Payload :: binary()}} for notifications, where ProcID is the sender backend id.

Implementers of subscribers are encouraged to handle any message of the form {pgsql, Connection, _} to cope with future features.

Tests

Tests require a user 'test' on postgres, with super privileges, and a test database. For example:

psql -h localhost -U postgres
create user test;
alter user test with superuser;
create database test with owner=test;

OTP upgrades

Application upgrade file (pgsql.appup) is updated for OTP release upgrades, so this application can easily be upgraded without any downtime, even with long running queries. This file is updated for each release tags.

License

Copyright (c) 2009-2018, Semiocast. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.