New in Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.2

7 Oct

Good News Postgres Plus Advanced Server Beta Version is now availabale, which has all the new feature of PostgreSQL 9.2, and it also has new features which are specific to Advanced Server.

I will cover/explain New features of PostgreSQL 9.2 later as per release Notes. However, the following link covers major features of PostgreSQL 9.2 and can be taken as reference.


http://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/What's_new_in_PostgreSQL_9.2

In this Blog, I am going to cover only specific features of Advanced Server 9.2 Core. Which are:

1. INSERT APPEN HINT in PPAS 9.2

PPAS 9.2, now supports INSERT append hint. This is a very interesting feature and it is very useful for users who frequently delete records in Bulk and do bulk of INSERTs.
This hint can provide some benefits in INSERTs. This hint makes PPAS not use Free Space Map and Append the rows at the end of relation(table).
Its usage is given below:

INSERT /*+append*/ INTO tab21115 VALUES(1,'abc',sysdate);

2. Procedure Called like Function Call.

PPAS 9.2 now allows calling procedure with following syntax:

SELECT * FROM procedure(arg1,arg2,…);

This type of Procedure call is allowed for Procedures which have OUT/INOUT Params. With this, user can use exec Function.

lets see how it works:

a. Create a Procedure as Given below:

CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE foo_proc(A IN INT, B INOUT INT, C OUT INT)
AS
BEGIN
   b:=a+b;
   c:=b+1;
END;

Till 9.1 and even in 9.2, user can do something like given below:

DECLARE
  d int:=1;
  e int:=2;
  f int;
BEGIN
   foo_proc(d,e,f);
   DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('e = '||e);
   DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('d = '||d);
   DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('f= '||f);
END;
e = 3
d = 1
f= 4

Now in 9.2, user can also do this:

edb=# select * from foo_proc(1,2);
 b | c 
---+---
 3 | 4
(1 row)

In case the user has Procedure and Function with a same name and the user wants to execute procedure using select command, then SELECT command is going to give preference to Function over Procedure as given below:

Function Definition:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION foo(a INT) RETURN INT
AS
BEGIN
  RETURN 2;
END;

CREATE PROCEDURE foo(A int, B OUT int)
AS
BEGIN
   B:=a+1;
END;

edb=# select * from foo(4);
 foo 
-----
   2

However, user can still use EXEC command to execute Procedure as given below:

edb=# exec foo(4);
 ?column? 
----------
        5
(1 row)

Or if you are using Anonymous function then PERFORM will also work with Procedure as given below:

edb=# DECLARE
edb-#     a int:=4;
edb$#     b int;
edb$# BEGIN
edb$#    PERFORM foo(a,b);
edb$#    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('b = '||b);
edb$# END;
b = 5

EDB-SPL Procedure successfully completed

3. Object Type Support:

PPAS already has Object Type support. However, the new version is coming with a new enhancement in that support. In New Version, user would be able to create Objects with Attributes, Functions, and Procedures. This gives an advantage of reduced coding in terms of defining Object types and maintaining it.

Example is given below:

a. Define a Type:

    CREATE OR REPLACE TYPE PersonObj AS OBJECT (
  first_name  VARCHAR2(50),
  last_name   VARCHAR2(50),
  date_of_birth  DATE,
  MEMBER FUNCTION getAge RETURN NUMBER
);

b. Define a Type Body:

CREATE OR REPLACE TYPE BODY PersonObj AS
  MEMBER FUNCTION getAge RETURN NUMBER AS
  BEGIN
    RETURN Trunc(Months_Between(Sysdate, date_of_birth)/12);
  END getAge;
END;

c. Define a Table based on Body type:

CREATE TABLE people (
  id      NUMBER(10) NOT NULL,
  person  PersonObj
);

d. To insert Data, Default constructor can be use as given below:

INSERT INTO people
VALUES (1, PersonObj('John','Doe',
        TO_DATE('01/01/1999','DD/MM/YYYY')));

e. With the following way, a user can access the data in the table:

SELECT p.id,
       (p.person).first_name,
       p.person.getAge() age
FROM   people p;
 id | first_name | age 
----+------------+-----
  1 | John       |  13
  2 | Jane       |  13
(2 rows)

4. PL/SQL Subtypes:

Subtypes is considered as a TYPE, which is defined on base/user defined types with some constraints, syntax for declaring SUBTYPE in PL/SQL is given below:

SUBTYPE <subtype_name> IS <type_name> [(constraint)] [NOT NULL];

Example is given below:

Example 1:

DECLARE
  SUBTYPE INT2 IS NUMBER;
  v2 INT2 (3,0);
BEGIN
  v2:= 123;
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE ('V2 = '|| v2);
END;

Example 2:

DECLARE
  SUBTYPE v_word IS VARCHAR2(10) NOT NULL;
  verb  v_word  := 'verb';
  noun  v_word  := 'noun';
BEGIN
  noun :='n1';
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE (UPPER(verb));
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE (UPPER(noun));
END;

5. DROP TABLE CASCADE CONSTRAINTS in 9.2:

PPAS 9.2 now supports DROP TABLE CASCADE CONSTRAINTS, this is a very intersting feature and is not available in PostgreSQL 9.2.

Using this command, user would be able to drop all referential integrity constraints that refer to primary and unique keys in the dropped table. If you omit this clause and such referential integrity constraints exist, then the database returns an error and does not drop the table.

This is useful, when somebody wants to drop Master table but doesn’t want to drop child table, which has Foreign Key Constraint and is referencing the Master. An example is given below:

CREATE TABLE master(id numeric primary key);
CREATE table child(id numeric references master(id));
insert into master values(1);
insert into child values(1);
edb=# drop table master cascade constraints;
NOTICE:  drop cascades to constraint child_id_fkey on table child
DROP TABLE
edb=# \d child
  Table "enterprisedb.child"
 Column |  Type   | Modifiers 
--------+---------+-----------
 id     | numeric | 

As you can see above, I have dropped the Master table, on which child table has referential integrity constaint. However, my Child table still exists. PostgreSQL 9.2, doesn’t have CASCADE CONSTRAINTS. Therefore, user has to first drop the constraints on table which has referential integrity constraints and then drop the referenced table. This process requires user to find all tables which has referential integrity constraints that refer to primary key of master table. This commands helps DBAs/Users not to worry about finding the child tables.

6. Allow throwing Multiple Errors as Warning, while compiling Procedures/Functions using SPL.

This is also a very interesting enhancement found for SPL. Whenever the user wants to compile a function/procedure in SPL, it will show all the error messages in the particular Function/Procedure Body, so that the user doesn’t have to re-visit their code everytime to fix the other issue. An example is given below:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION foo() RETURN integer
AS
BEGIN
   a:=a=1
;
B:=b + 1;
I am making fool;
END;

Output:
ERROR:  "a" is not a known variable
LINE 4:    a:=a=1
           ^
ERROR:  "b" is not a known variable
LINE 6: B:=b + 1;
        ^
ERROR:  syntax error at or near "I"
LINE 7: I am making fool;
        ^
ERROR:  compilation of SPL function/procedure "foo" failed due to 3 errors

As you can see above, it has given all the mistakes that I made in Function Body, and now I can fix all of them in one go, to reduce the overhead of executing again and again.

This is very useful for Developers/DBAs.

7. DEFAULT for Types declared in Packages:

Now, in PPAS 9.2, user would be able to define DEFAULT value for particular type, as given below:

CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE INITPKG_pro_b4_default AS
PROCEDURE show_default_values;
 n1 NUMBER DEFAULT 20;
 c1 VARCHAR2 DEFAULT 'Default';
END;

CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE BODY INITPKG_pro_b4_default AS
 PROCEDURE show_default_values IS
  n number;
 BEGIN
  dbms_output.put_line(c1);
  dbms_output.put_line(n1);
  n1 := n1*n1;
  n1 := SQRT(n1);
  dbms_output.put_line(n1);
 END;
END;

edb=# exec INITPKG_pro_b4_default.show_default_values;
Default
20
20.000000000000000

EDB-SPL Procedure successfully completed

8. TABLE Expression support for Nested Tables.

Now, in 9.2, user would be able to use TABLE Expressions for Nested tables. This feature was missing and asked by many Oracle DBAs. Table Expressions allows the user to query a collection in the FROM Clause like a Table.

edb=# CREATE OR REPLACE TYPE comp_typ_str_21189 IS TABLE OF VARCHAR2(100);
CREATE TYPE
edb=# 
edb=# select * from table(comp_typ_str_21189('PPP','QQQ')) ;
 column_value 
--------------
 PPP
 QQQ
(2 rows)

9. INPUT/OUTPUT Functions for NESTED TABLES:

PPAS 9.2 supports user defined input/output functions for NESTED TABLE. This feature was missing in 9.1.

Some examples are given below:

edb=# create or replace type mytab as table of varchar2(90);
CREATE TYPE
edb=# Create or replace function fun return mytab
edb-# as
edb$# begin
edb$#  return mytab('a','b',3);
edb$# end;
CREATE FUNCTION
edb=# select fun;
 fun21168 
----------
 {a,b,3}
(1 row)

edb=# 
edb=# create or replace function fun return mytab
edb-# as
edb$#  nvar mytab;
edb$# begin
edb$#  nvar := mytab();
edb$#  nvar.extend(4);
edb$#  nvar(1) := 'foo';
edb$#  nvar(2) := NULL;
edb$#  nvar(3) := 'deleteme';
edb$#  nvar(4) := 'bar';
edb$#  return nvar;
edb$# end;
CREATE FUNCTION
edb=# --Verify User's is able to see that data
edb=# select fun;
        fun21168         
-------------------------
 {foo,NULL,deleteme,bar}
(1 row)

9. LOG is no more a reserved keyword for functions.
Till PPAS 9.1, LOG was a reserved keyword and users were not allowed to create functions using this Keyword. In 9.2, a user would be able to use this keyword.

edb=# CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION log( a int ) return int as
edb$# BEGIN
edb$# dbms_output.put_line('Function LOG is called');
edb$# return a*2;
edb$# END;
CREATE FUNCTION
edb=# SELECT LOG(10);
Function LOG is called
 log 
-----
  20
(1 row)

10. Variables can be named as current_date.

We know that current_date is special function which returns current date of PostgreSQL/PPAS DB. Till PPAS 9.1, users were not allowed to use this reserved name in variables. Now, in 9.2, users would be able to use it. As given below:

edb=# create table t_currentdate(current_date int);
CREATE TABLE
edb=# desc t_currentdate
    Table "enterprisedb.t_currentdate"
    Column    |  Type   | Modifiers 
--------------+---------+-----------
 current_date | integer | 

create or replace procedure proc_currentdate(current_date date) is
begin
 dbms_output.put_line(current_date);
end;

edb=# exec proc_currentdate(current_date);
05-OCT-12 00:00:00

EDB-SPL Procedure successfully completed

11. New Data Type STRING.

Since Oracle supports string as data type and this datatype wasn’t available in PPAS 9.1, we have included it in 9.2. String is an alias to VARCHAR Data type. Example is given below:

edb=# CREATE TABLE test_string(col string)
edb-# ;
CREATE TABLE
edb=# insert into test_string values('As an Example');
INSERT 0 1
edb=# select * from test_string;
      col      
---------------
 As an Example
(1 row)

edb=# \d test_string
    Table "enterprisedb.test_string"
 Column |       Type        | Modifiers 
--------+-------------------+-----------
 col    | character varying | 

12. NVARCHAR2 data type support in 9.2

PPAS 9.2 allowes users to use NVARCHAR2 as a datatype. In PPAS 9.2, NVARCHAR2 is mapped to VARCHAR data type. This is only for an Oracle user, who always asked question on having this in PPAS.

Example is given below:

edb=# CREATE TABLE test_nvarchar(col NVARCHAR2(10))
edb-# ;
CREATE TABLE
edb=# \d test_nvarchar
     Table "enterprisedb.test_nvarchar"
 Column |         Type          | Modifiers 
--------+-----------------------+-----------
 col    | character varying(10) | 

13. MultiByte and string delimiter support in EDB*loader.

EDB*Loader in PPAS 9.2, is more efficient, compared to 9.1, in loading data. There were some cases, in which it has been observed that it is difficult to find single character delimiter for data in file as the data in a file has all possible characters. To load those kind of data files, users can now define there own STRING Delimiter. An example is given below:

Data File: data.log:
1$$abc
2$$ccc
3$$dddddddd

Control FIle:
LOAD DATA
INFILE '/tmp/data.log'
BADFILE '/tmp/data.bad'
truncate INTO table edb_loader
FIELDS TERMINATED BY '$$' optionally enclosed by '"'
(id , col )

-bash-4.1$ edbldr userid=enterprisedb/ control=/tmp/edb.ctl log=/tmp/edb.log
EDB*Loader: Copyright (c) 2007-2012, EnterpriseDB Corporation.

Successfully processed (3) records
-bash-4.1$ psql
psql (9.2.0.1)
Type "help" for help.

edb=# select * from edb_loader ;
 id |   col    
----+----------
  1 | abc
  2 | ccc
  3 | dddddddd
(3 rows)
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3 Responses to “New in Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.2”

  1. raghavt October 8, 2012 at 11:36 #

    What a coincident, I wrote about the same what is here, but your presentation quite explanatory. Great Post my friend.
    http://raghavt.blogspot.in/2012/10/8-new-oracle-compatibility-features-in.html

    –Raghav

  2. Rama January 21, 2013 at 14:32 #

    do we have Sys_context in postgres9.1?

    • Database Technologies February 18, 2013 at 22:03 #

      No postgreSQL doesn’t have sys_context. However postgresql has functions which can be use as replacement of sys_context or user can write a wrapper which can be use.
      Some important functions are given below:
      current_database, current_user, pg_stat_get_backend_client_addr etc.

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