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If you've ever needed a particular sequence of numbers in PostgreSQL, for example for a pivot table, the only way to generate these has been either to create a temporary sequence or to work with a temporary table generated by your application. Beginning with 8.0, PostgreSQL provides the built-in function generate_series(), a set-returning function which can generate any sequence of numbers.

Posted at 9:08 PM

October 29, 2004

Added in PostgreSQL 7.4, the information schema is a facility to provide a standardized description of PostgreSQL metadata: definitions of tables, views etc. The information schema is defined in the SQL standard and should remain stable between PostgreSQL versions (unlike the system catalogues, PostgreSQL's "data dictionary") and should also be compatible with other database systems offering the same feature.

Posted at 6:01 PM

October 28, 2004

The most visible new feature of PostgreSQL's upcoming 8.0 release is the native Windows version, the first time it has been ported specifically to the Microsoft platform. However, it is only available for the most recent Windows generation, for users of older Windows installation via the Cygwin emulation layer is the only option. The following table provides an overview of which installation options are available for which Windows versions.

Posted at 8:58 PM

Ever start a transaction in psql, then lose track of whether it's been committed or not? psql provides a prompt formatting option (%x) which displays a * whenever a transaction is in process:

Posted at 7:24 PM

Containing mainly bugfixes, localisation commits and more modifications for Windows32. The changelog from Beta 3 is at ftp://ftp.postgresql.org/pub/source/v8.0.0beta/ChangeLog-Beta3-to-Beta4. This is likely to be the last Beta release before the Release Candidates become available.
Posted at 6:42 AM

In more recent PostgreSQL versions, the command \copy can be used to generate CSV files.

psql is an excellent command line tool, but lacks the advanced report formatting facilities of, for example, Oracle's SQL*Plus. However it can be used to output results in several different formats including CSV.

Posted at 5:23 AM

A potential 'data loss' bug and several minor fixes are covered by the latest PostgreSQL "point" releases: 7.2.6, 7.3.8 and 7.4.6 (announcement). Additionally a minor security risk involving the script make_oidjoins_check's use of temporary files has been fixed.

Source files are available from FTP mirrors, see http://www.postgresql.org/mirrors-ftp.html.

UPDATE: apparently two further, slightly more serious but non-specified security fixes are included in these releases.

Posted at 5:00 PM

October 22, 2004

The next release of PostgreSQL will be 8.0, the first major version number change since 2000. Expected before the end of the year, 8.0 is not a radical makeover, but contains a bundle of new features improving accessibility, functionality and performance for developers, administrators and users alike.

Posted at 12:54 PM

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