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PHP : Function Reference : PostgreSQL Functions

PostgreSQL Functions


PostgreSQL database is Open Source product and available without cost. Postgres, developed originally in the UC Berkeley Computer Science Department, pioneered many of the object-relational concepts now becoming available in some commercial databases. It provides SQL92/SQL99 language support, transactions, referential integrity, stored procedures and type extensibility. PostgreSQL is an open source descendant of this original Berkeley code.


To use PostgreSQL support, you need PostgreSQL 6.5 or later, PostgreSQL 8.0 or later to enable all PostgreSQL module features. PostgreSQL supports many character encodings including multibyte character encoding. The current version and more information about PostgreSQL is available at » and the » PostgreSQL Documentation.


In order to enable PostgreSQL support, --with-pgsql[=DIR] is required when you compile PHP. DIR is the PostgreSQL base install directory, defaults to /usr/local/pgsql. If shared object module is available, PostgreSQL module may be loaded using extension directive in php.ini or dl() function.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 269. PostgreSQL configuration options

Name Default Changeable Changelog
pgsql.allow_persistent "1" PHP_INI_SYSTEM  
pgsql.max_persistent "-1" PHP_INI_SYSTEM  
pgsql.max_links "-1" PHP_INI_SYSTEM  
pgsql.auto_reset_persistent "0" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 4.2.0.
pgsql.ignore_notice "0" PHP_INI_ALL Available since PHP 4.3.0.
pgsql.log_notice "0" PHP_INI_ALL Available since PHP 4.3.0.

For further details and definitions of the PHP_INI_* constants, see the Appendix I, php.ini directives.

Here's a short explanation of the configuration directives.

pgsql.allow_persistent boolean

Whether to allow persistent Postgres connections.

pgsql.max_persistent integer

The maximum number of persistent Postgres connections per process.

pgsql.max_links integer

The maximum number of Postgres connections per process, including persistent connections.

pgsql.auto_reset_persistent integer

Detect broken persistent links with pg_pconnect(). Needs a little overhead.

pgsql.ignore_notice integer

Whether or not to ignore PostgreSQL backend notices.

pgsql.log_notice integer

Whether or not to log PostgreSQL backends notice messages. The PHP directive pgsql.ignore_notice must be off in order to log notice messages.

Resource Types

There are two resource types used in the PostgreSQL module. The first one is the link identifier for a database connection, the second a resource which holds the result of a query.

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.

PGSQL_ASSOC (integer)
Passed to pg_fetch_array(). Return an associative array of field names and values.
PGSQL_NUM (integer)
Passed to pg_fetch_array(). Return a numerically indexed array of field numbers and values.
PGSQL_BOTH (integer)
Passed to pg_fetch_array(). Return an array of field values that is both numerically indexed (by field number) and associated (by field name).
Passed to pg_connect() to force the creation of a new connection, rather then re-using an existing identical connection.
Returned by pg_connection_status() indicating that the database connection is in an invalid state.
Returned by pg_connection_status() indicating that the database connection is in a valid state.
PGSQL_SEEK_SET (integer)
Passed to pg_lo_seek(). Seek operation is to begin from the start of the object.
PGSQL_SEEK_CUR (integer)
Passed to pg_lo_seek(). Seek operation is to begin from the current position.
PGSQL_SEEK_END (integer)
Passed to pg_lo_seek(). Seek operation is to begin from the end of the object.
Returned by pg_result_status(). The string sent to the server was empty.
Returned by pg_result_status(). Successful completion of a command returning no data.
Returned by pg_result_status(). Successful completion of a command returning data (such as a SELECT or SHOW).
PGSQL_COPY_OUT (integer)
Returned by pg_result_status(). Copy Out (from server) data transfer started.
PGSQL_COPY_IN (integer)
Returned by pg_result_status(). Copy In (to server) data transfer started.
Returned by pg_result_status(). The server's response was not understood.
Returned by pg_result_status(). A nonfatal error (a notice or warning) occurred.
Returned by pg_result_status(). A fatal error occurred.
Returned by pg_transaction_status(). Connection is currently idle, not in a transaction.
Returned by pg_transaction_status(). A command is in progress on the connection. A query has been sent via the connection and not yet completed.
Returned by pg_transaction_status(). The connection is idle, in a transaction block.
Returned by pg_transaction_status(). The connection is idle, in a failed transaction block.
Returned by pg_transaction_status(). The connection is bad.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The severity; the field contents are ERROR, FATAL, or PANIC (in an error message), or WARNING, NOTICE, DEBUG, INFO, or LOG (in a notice message), or a localized translation of one of these. Always present.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The SQLSTATE code for the error. The SQLSTATE code identifies the type of error that has occurred; it can be used by front-end applications to perform specific operations (such as error handling) in response to a particular database error. This field is not localizable, and is always present.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The primary human-readable error message (typically one line). Always present.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). Detail: an optional secondary error message carrying more detail about the problem. May run to multiple lines.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). Hint: an optional suggestion what to do about the problem. This is intended to differ from detail in that it offers advice (potentially inappropriate) rather than hard facts. May run to multiple lines.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). A string containing a decimal integer indicating an error cursor position as an index into the original statement string. The first character has index 1, and positions are measured in characters not bytes.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). This is defined the same as the PG_DIAG_STATEMENT_POSITION field, but it is used when the cursor position refers to an internally generated command rather than the one submitted by the client. The PG_DIAG_INTERNAL_QUERY field will always appear when this field appears.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The text of a failed internally-generated command. This could be, for example, a SQL query issued by a PL/pgSQL function.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). An indication of the context in which the error occurred. Presently this includes a call stack traceback of active procedural language functions and internally-generated queries. The trace is one entry per line, most recent first.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The file name of the PostgreSQL source-code location where the error was reported.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The line number of the PostgreSQL source-code location where the error was reported.
Passed to pg_result_error_field(). The name of the PostgreSQL source-code function reporting the error.
Passed to pg_set_error_verbosity(). Specified that returned messages include severity, primary text, and position only; this will normally fit on a single line.
Passed to pg_set_error_verbosity(). The default mode produces messages that include the above plus any detail, hint, or context fields (these may span multiple lines).
Passed to pg_set_error_verbosity(). The verbose mode includes all available fields.
Passed to pg_result_status(). Indicates that numerical result code is desired.
Passed to pg_result_status(). Indicates that textual result command tag is desired.
Passed to pg_convert(). Ignore default values in the table during conversion.
Passed to pg_convert(). Use SQL NULL in place of an empty string.
Passed to pg_convert(). Ignore conversion of NULL into SQL NOT NULL columns.



Not all functions are supported by all builds. It depends on your libpq (The PostgreSQL C client library) version and how libpq is compiled. If PHP PostgreSQL extensions are missing, then it is because your libpq version does not support them.


Most PostgreSQL functions accept connection as the first optional parameter. If it is not provided, the last opened connection is used. If it doesn't exist, functions return FALSE.


PostgreSQL automatically folds all identifiers (e.g. table/column names) to lower-case values at object creation time and at query time. To force the use of mixed or upper case identifiers, you must escape the identifier using double quotes ("").


PostgreSQL does not have special commands for fetching database schema information (eg. all the tables in the current database). Instead, there is a standard schema named information_schema in PostgreSQL 7.4 and above containing system views with all the necessary information, in an easily queryable form. See the » PostgreSQL Documentation for full details.


This simple example shows how to connect, execute a query, print resulting rows and disconnect from a PostgreSQL database.

Example 1901. PostgreSQL extension overview example

// Connecting, selecting database
$dbconn = pg_connect("host=localhost dbname=publishing user=www password=foo")
   or die(
'Could not connect: ' . pg_last_error());

// Performing SQL query
$query = 'SELECT * FROM authors';
$result = pg_query($query) or die('Query failed: ' . pg_last_error());

// Printing results in HTML
echo "<table>\n";
while (
$line = pg_fetch_array($result, null, PGSQL_ASSOC)) {
   foreach (
$line as $col_value) {

// Free resultset

// Closing connection

Table of Contents

pg_affected_rows — Returns number of affected records (tuples)
pg_cancel_query — Cancel an asynchronous query
pg_client_encoding — Gets the client encoding
pg_close — Closes a PostgreSQL connection
pg_connect — Open a PostgreSQL connection
pg_connection_busy — Get connection is busy or not
pg_connection_reset — Reset connection (reconnect)
pg_connection_status — Get connection status
pg_convert — Convert associative array values into suitable for SQL statement
pg_copy_from — Insert records into a table from an array
pg_copy_to — Copy a table to an array
pg_dbname — Get the database name
pg_delete — Deletes records
pg_end_copy — Sync with PostgreSQL backend
pg_escape_bytea — Escape a string for insertion into a bytea field
pg_escape_string — Escape a string for insertion into a text field
pg_execute — Sends a request to execute a prepared statement with given parameters, and waits for the result.
pg_fetch_all_columns — Fetches all rows in a particular result column as an array
pg_fetch_all — Fetches all rows from a result as an array
pg_fetch_array — Fetch a row as an array
pg_fetch_assoc — Fetch a row as an associative array
pg_fetch_object — Fetch a row as an object
pg_fetch_result — Returns values from a result resource
pg_fetch_row — Get a row as an enumerated array
pg_field_is_null — Test if a field is SQL NULL
pg_field_name — Returns the name of a field
pg_field_num — Returns the field number of the named field
pg_field_prtlen — Returns the printed length
pg_field_size — Returns the internal storage size of the named field
pg_field_table — Returns the name or oid of the tables field
pg_field_type_oid — Returns the type ID (OID) for the corresponding field number
pg_field_type — Returns the type name for the corresponding field number
pg_free_result — Free result memory
pg_get_notify — Gets SQL NOTIFY message
pg_get_pid — Gets the backend's process ID
pg_get_result — Get asynchronous query result
pg_host — Returns the host name associated with the connection
pg_insert — Insert array into table
pg_last_error — Get the last error message string of a connection
pg_last_notice — Returns the last notice message from PostgreSQL server
pg_last_oid — Returns the last row's OID
pg_lo_close — Close a large object
pg_lo_create — Create a large object
pg_lo_export — Export a large object to file
pg_lo_import — Import a large object from file
pg_lo_open — Open a large object
pg_lo_read_all — Reads an entire large object and send straight to browser
pg_lo_read — Read a large object
pg_lo_seek — Seeks position within a large object
pg_lo_tell — Returns current seek position a of large object
pg_lo_unlink — Delete a large object
pg_lo_write — Write to a large object
pg_meta_data — Get meta data for table
pg_num_fields — Returns the number of fields in a result
pg_num_rows — Returns the number of rows in a result
pg_options — Get the options associated with the connection
pg_parameter_status — Looks up a current parameter setting of the server.
pg_pconnect — Open a persistent PostgreSQL connection
pg_ping — Ping database connection
pg_port — Return the port number associated with the connection
pg_prepare — Submits a request to create a prepared statement with the given parameters, and waits for completion.
pg_put_line — Send a NULL-terminated string to PostgreSQL backend
pg_query_params — Submits a command to the server and waits for the result, with the ability to pass parameters separately from the SQL command text.
pg_query — Execute a query
pg_result_error_field — Returns an individual field of an error report.
pg_result_error — Get error message associated with result
pg_result_seek — Set internal row offset in result resource
pg_result_status — Get status of query result
pg_select — Select records
pg_send_execute — Sends a request to execute a prepared statement with given parameters, without waiting for the result(s).
pg_send_prepare — Sends a request to create a prepared statement with the given parameters, without waiting for completion.
pg_send_query_params — Submits a command and separate parameters to the server without waiting for the result(s).
pg_send_query — Sends asynchronous query
pg_set_client_encoding — Set the client encoding
pg_set_error_verbosity — Determines the verbosity of messages returned by pg_last_error() and pg_result_error().
pg_trace — Enable tracing a PostgreSQL connection
pg_transaction_status — Returns the current in-transaction status of the server.
pg_tty — Return the TTY name associated with the connection
pg_unescape_bytea — Unescape binary for bytea type
pg_untrace — Disable tracing of a PostgreSQL connection
pg_update — Update table
pg_version — Returns an array with client, protocol and server version (when available)

Code Examples / Notes » ref.pgsql


Yes, PHP does support stored procedures
You have to add "select" before the name of the
procedure, just like that:
$result = pg_querry($conn, "SELECT procedure_x($aa)");
if a procedure returns a cursor you do something like that:
$result = pg_query($conn, "SELECT procedure_x('rcursor'); FETCH ALL IN rcursor");


There is an example:
* Define PostgreSQL database server connect parameters.
define('PGUSER', 'root');
define('PGPASSWORD', 'nopass');
define('ERROR_ON_CONNECT_FAILED','Sorry, can not connect the database server now!');
* Merge connect string and connect db server with default parameters.
pg_pconnect('host=' . PGHOST . ' port=' . PGPORT . ' dbname=' . PGDATABASE . ' user=' . PGUSER . ' password=' . PGPASSWORD);
* generate sql statements to call db-server-side stored procedure(or function)
* @parameter string $proc stored procedure name.
* @parameter array $paras parameters, 2 dimensions array.
* @return string $sql = 'select "proc"(para1,para2,para3);'
* @example pg_prepare('userExists',
* array(
* array('userName','chin','string'),
* array('userId','7777','numeric')
* )
* )
function pg_prepare($proc, $paras)
$sql = 'select "' . $proc . '"(';
$sql .= $paras[0][2] == 'numeric' ? $paras[0][1] : "'" . str_replace("'","''",$paras[0][1]) . "'";
$len = count($paras);
for ($i = 1; $i < $len; $i ++)
$sql .= ',';
$sql .= $paras[$i][2] == 'numeric' ? $paras[$i][1] : "'" . str_replace("'","''",$paras[$i][1]) . "'";
$sql .= ');';
return $sql;


The best way to find the separated list of tables, sequences, keys etc is:
SELECT relname FROM pg_class WHERE relkind='<value>' AND relname !~ '^pg_';
<value> takes:
i for keys,
r for relations,
S for sequences
Note that all tables names that begins with 'pg_' are PostgreSQL internal tables (this explain why I use AND relname !~ '^pg_' condition).


Setting up PostgreSQL for higher security PHP connection.
We want to connect to PostgreSQL database using username and password supplied by webuser at login time.
Fact (Linux):
Apache (perhaps other servers, too) running the server as (default to) apache user account. So if you connect to PostgreSQL using default user, apache will be assingned for it. If you hard code the user and password in your PHP script, you'll loose security restriction from PostgreSQL.
(You are assumed to have enough privilege to do these things, though)
1. Edit pg_hba.conf to have the line like the one below
   host    db_Name    [web_server_ip_address] [ip_address_mask] md5
2. Add to you script the login page that submits username and password.
3. Use those information to login to PostgreSQL like these...
   $conn = "host=$DBHost port=$DBPort dbname=$DBName ".
           "user='{$_POST['dbUsername']}' password='{$_POST['dbPassword']}'";
   $db = pg_connect ($conn);
[your other codes go here...]
4. You must add users in PostgreSQL properly.
5. For your convenience, you can store the username and password to $_SESSION variable.
Good luck.
Anis WN


Running RedHat Linux and Apache with suexec enabled you must include on each .php file using dl("") and remove "" from php.ini, otherwise Apache (httpd) will not start.

12-mar-2007 05:28

Quick and dirty emulation of the mysql_select_db () function for Postgres:
function pg_select_db ($dbName)
   $query = '\connect '.pg_escape_string ($dbName);
   if ($result = pg_query ($query))
       return (true);
       return (false);
Obviously not a great example, but it at least demonstrates how to implement mysql_select_db functionality when using Postgres.  Or you could always use schemas :)


Nice to know fact that I didn't find documented here.
PHP will return values of PostgreSQL boolean datatype as single character strings "t" and "f", not PHP true and false.
[Editor's Note]
't' or 'f' is valid boolean expression for PostgreSQL.
All values from PostgreSQL are strings, since PostgreSQL integer, float may be much larger than PHP's native int, double can handle. PostgreSQL array is not supported.


My talk on PHP and PostgreSQL which I presented at O'Reilly OSCON 2002 is now online.

21-oct-2006 06:10

Lots of advice on stored procedures didn't work for me.  This did:
$response = pg_query( $connection, "BEGIN; DECLARE s CURSOR FOR SELECT get_consumer('harry'); FETCH ALL IN s; END;" );
..where harry looks like this:
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION get_consumer( varchar )
RETURNS refcursor
AS '
 _name          ALIAS FOR $1;
 r              refcursor;
 OPEN r FOR SELECT name FROM consumer
 WHERE = _name
' LANGUAGE 'plpgsql';


If you want to see all the objects in a database, you can find that information in the pg_class table.
SELECT * FROM pg_class;
Now this is going to be kind of long and complex, to see how psql command handles the \d and other things. use the syntax.  psql -E <Database>, ie psql -E mydatabase
What this will do is show the SQL command used for everything. So when you type a \d or something, it shows the SQL query used for the result.


If you want to extract data from select statements, you need to store the result index, and then apply pg_result to that value. Basically, do this
$resultIdx = pg_query ($database, "select * from tablename");
$mySelect = pg_fetch_result($resultIdx, 0, 0);  // gets column 0 of tuple 0
echo("My select: [".$mySelect."]");
I'm new to php and had to do some fiddling around to work this out. It's reasonably elementary, but not demonstrated by the examples on these pages. Hopefully it will come in useful to someone else.


I've tried to mimic the following mysql database connection functions for postgres.
These are assuming that you're passing in $link as the result from pg_connect:
function pg_list_dbs($link)
   $sql = 'SELECT datname FROM pg_database';
   return (pg_query($link, $sql));
function pg_list_tables($link)
   $sql = "SELECT relname FROM pg_class WHERE relname !~ '^pg_'";
   return (pg_query($link, $sql));


I've found another function to mimic the following mysql list tables function ( that's more useful for my target:
function pg_list_tables() {
     $sql = "SELECT a.relname AS Name
         FROM pg_class a, pg_user b
         WHERE ( relkind = 'r') and relname !~ '^pg_' AND relname !~ '^sql_'
         AND relname !~ '^xin[vx][0-9]+' AND b.usesysid = a.relowner
         AND NOT (EXISTS (SELECT viewname FROM pg_views WHERE viewname=a.relname));";
     return(pg_query($conn, $sql));


I tried compiling PHP from source with PostgreSQL support (./configure --with-pgsql=/usr/local/pgsql) and ran into a bunch of problems when trying to 'make'. The problem was that some of the PostgreSQL headers were not installed by default when I installed PostgreSQL from source. When installing PostgreSQL make sure you 'make install-all-headers' after you 'make install'.


I just wanted to add to my previous post I've got the system up and running.
Environment: Windows XP, Apache 1.3.23, Php 4.3 RC2, PostGreSQL beta4 native windows build
Installation was fairly easy:
1. read the readme.txt
2. edit the setenv.bat as described in readme
3. run 'initdb'
   all execs are in /bin
   help is accessed like <command> --help
4. Start the psql deamon - you may want to create a batch file like
   'D:\postgres_beta4\bin\postmaster -h localhost -D D:/postgres_beta4/data'
   --deamon should be up and running now--
You can login into a shell from a console like
'psql -h localhost -d <username>'
You must load the postgresql extension by editing the php.ini and restarting apache in order to access psql with php.
And one final not: when running
$dbconn = pg_connect ("host=localhost port=5432 dbname=$dbname user=$user");
remember that $user and or $dbname is CASESENSITIVE.
Oh yeah, I created the data dir manually - don't know whether that was necessary
Grtz Vargo


Here is some quick and dirty code to convert Postgres-returned arrays into PHP arrays.  There's probably a billion bugs, but since I'm only dealing with variable-depth-and-length arrays of integers, it works for my needs.
Most notably, any data that might have commas in it won't work right...
function PGArrayToPHPArray($pgArray)
 $ret = array();
 $stack = array(&$ret);
 $pgArray = substr($pgArray, 1, -1);
 $pgElements = explode(",", $pgArray);
 foreach($pgElements as $elem)
     if(substr($elem,-1) == "}")
         $elem = substr($elem,0,-1);
         $newSub = array();
         while(substr($elem,0,1) != "{")
             $newSub[] = $elem;
             $elem = array_pop($ret);
         $newSub[] = substr($elem,1);
         $ret[] = array_reverse($newSub);
       $ret[] = $elem;
 return $ret;

chris kl

Here is a better array parser for PHP.  It will work with 1-d arrays only.  Unlike the example below it will work in all cases.
* Change a db array into a PHP array
* @param $arr String representing the DB array
* @return A PHP array
function phpArray($dbarr) {
// Take off the first and last characters (the braces)
$arr = substr($dbarr, 1, strlen($dbarr) - 2);
// Pick out array entries by carefully parsing.  This is necessary in order
// to cope with double quotes and commas, etc.
$elements = array();
$i = $j = 0;
$in_quotes = false;
while ($i < strlen($arr)) {
// If current char is a double quote and it's not escaped, then
// enter quoted bit
$char = substr($arr, $i, 1);
if ($char == '"' && ($i == 0 || substr($arr, $i - 1, 1) != '\\'))
$in_quotes = !$in_quotes;
elseif ($char == ',' && !$in_quotes) {
// Add text so far to the array
$elements[] = substr($arr, $j, $i - $j);
$j = $i + 1;
// Add final text to the array
$elements[] = substr($arr, $j);
// Do one further loop over the elements array to remote double quoting
// and escaping of double quotes and backslashes
for ($i = 0; $i < sizeof($elements); $i++) {
$v = $elements[$i];
if (strpos($v, '"') === 0) {
$v = substr($v, 1, strlen($v) - 2);
$v = str_replace('\\"', '"', $v);
$v = str_replace('\\\\', '\\', $v);
$elements[$i] = $v;
return $elements;

74012 dot 2773

for just a list of tables, this works with postgresql-7.2.1:
function pg_list_tables($db) {
$sql = "select relname from pg_stat_user_tables order by relname;";
return pg_query($db, $sql);

17-nov-2006 12:30

Chris KL: Will parse well {"\\"}? The second " will be treat as escaped while it shoudn't...


Another good source of knowledge is

raja shahed

A very good tutorial for Windows users' is here Herr Johan Faxer Shows also how to install Cygwin.

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SDO Functions
SDO XML Data Access Service Functions
SDO Relational Data Access Service Functions
SESAM Database Functions
PostgreSQL Session Save Handler
Session Handling Functions
Shared Memory Functions
SimpleXML functions
SNMP Functions
SOAP Functions
Socket Functions
Standard PHP Library (SPL) Functions
SQLite Functions
SQLite Functions (PDO_SQLITE)
Secure Shell2 Functions
Statistics Functions
Stream Functions
String Functions
Subversion Functions
Shockwave Flash Functions
Swish Functions
Sybase Functions
TCP Wrappers Functions
Tidy Functions
Tokenizer Functions
Unicode Functions
URL Functions
Variable Handling Functions
Verisign Payflow Pro Functions
vpopmail Functions
W32api Functions
WDDX Functions
win32ps Functions
win32service Functions
xattr Functions
xdiff Functions
XML Parser Functions
XML-RPC Functions
XMLReader functions
XMLWriter Functions
XSL functions
XSLT Functions
YAZ Functions
YP/NIS Functions
Zip File Functions
Zlib Compression Functions
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