PostgreSQL Backend Reference

SOCI backend for accessing PostgreSQL database.


Supported Versions

The SOCI PostgreSQL backend is supported for use with PostgreSQL >= 7.3, although versions older than 8.0 will suffer from limited feature support. See below for details.

Tested Platforms

PostgreSQL OS Compiler
9.6 Windows Server 2016 MSVC++ 14.1
9.4 Windows Server 2012 R2 MSVC++ 14.0
9.4 Windows Server 2012 R2 MSVC++ 12.0
9.4 Windows Server 2012 R2 MSVC++ 11.0
9.4 Windows Server 2012 R2 Mingw-w64/GCC 4.8
9.3 Ubuntu 12.04 g++ 4.6.3
9.0 Mac OS X 10.6.6 g++ 4.2
8.4 FreeBSD 8.2 g++ 4.1
8.4 Debian 6 g++ 4.3
8.4 RedHat 5 g++ 4.3

Required Client Libraries

The SOCI PostgreSQL backend requires PostgreSQL's libpq client library.

Note that the SOCI library itself depends also on libdl, so the minimum set of libraries needed to compile a basic client program is:

-lsoci_core -lsoci_postgresql -ldl -lpq

Connecting to the Database

To establish a connection to the PostgreSQL database, create a session object using the postgresql backend factory together with a connection string:

session sql(postgresql, "dbname=mydatabase");

// or:
session sql("postgresql", "dbname=mydatabase");

// or:
session sql("postgresql://dbname=mydatabase");

The set of parameters used in the connection string for PostgreSQL is the same as accepted by the PQconnectdb function from the libpq library.

In addition to standard PostgreSQL connection parameters, the following can be set:

For example:

session sql(postgresql, "dbname=mydatabase singlerows=true");

If the singlerows parameter is set to true or yes, then queries will be executed in the single-row mode, which prevents the client library from loading full query result set into memory and instead fetches rows one by one, as they are requested by the statement's fetch() function. This mode can be of interest to those users who want to make their client applications more responsive (with more fine-grained operation) by avoiding potentially long blocking times when complete query results are loaded to client's memory. Note that in the single-row operation:

Also please note that single rows mode requires PostgreSQL 9 or later, both at compile- and run-time. If you need to support earlier versions of PostgreSQL, you can define SOCI_POSTGRESQL_NOSINGLEROWMODE when building the library to disable it.

Once you have created a session object as shown above, you can use it to access the database, for example:

int count;
sql << "select count(*) from invoices", into(count);

(See the connection and data binding documentation for general information on using the session class.)

SOCI Feature Support

Dynamic Binding

The PostgreSQL backend supports the use of the SOCI row class, which facilitates retrieval of data whose type is not known at compile time.

When calling row::get<T>(), the type you should pass as T depends upon the underlying database type. For the PostgreSQL backend, this type mapping is:

PostgreSQL Data Type SOCI Data Type row::get<T> specializations
numeric, real, double dt_double double
boolean, smallint, integer dt_integer int
int8 dt_long_long long long
oid dt_integer unsigned long
char, varchar, text, cstring, bpchar dt_string std::string
abstime, reltime, date, time, timestamp, timestamptz, timetz dt_date std::tm

(See the dynamic resultset binding documentation for general information on using the row class.)

Binding by Name

In addition to binding by position, the PostgreSQL backend supports binding by name, via an overload of the use() function:

int id = 7;
sql << "select name from person where id = :id", use(id, "id")

Bulk Operations

The PostgreSQL backend has full support for SOCI's bulk operations interface.


Transactions are also fully supported by the PostgreSQL backend.

blob Data Type

The PostgreSQL backend supports working with data stored in columns of type Blob, via SOCI's blob class with the exception that trimming is not supported.

rowid Data Type

The concept of row identifier (OID in PostgreSQL) is supported via SOCI's rowid class.

Nested Statements

Nested statements are not supported by PostgreSQL backend.

Stored Procedures

PostgreSQL stored procedures can be executed by using SOCI's procedure class.

Native API Access

SOCI provides access to underlying datbabase APIs via several get_backend() functions, as described in the beyond SOCI documentation.

The PostgreSQL backend provides the following concrete classes for navite API access:

Accessor Function Concrete Class
session_backend * session::get_backend() postgresql_session_backend
statement_backend * statement::get_backend() postgresql_statement_backend
blob_backend * blob::get_backend() postgresql_blob_backend
rowid_backend * rowid::get_backend() postgresql_rowid_backend

Backend-specific extensions

uuid Data Type

The PostgreSQL backend supports working with data stored in columns of type UUID via simple string operations. All string representations of UUID supported by PostgreSQL are accepted on input, the backend will return the standard format of UUID on output. See the test test_uuid_column_type_support for usage examples.

Configuration options

To support older PostgreSQL versions, the following configuration macros are recognized: