PL-SQL code rules to write Oracle and Postgresql code
Procedure Language rules
Openbravo supports Oracle and PostgreSQL database engines.
The minimum required version are:
- Oracle >= 10R2
- PostgreSQL >= 8.3
as described in the System Requirements.
This is a set of recommendations for writing Procedure Language that works on both database backends (when possible) or that can be automatically translated by DBSourceManager.
These recommendations assume that you have written code in Oracle and that you want to port it to PostgreSQL. So they point out many features/constructs which oracle adds on top of the SQL standard and which are thus oracle specific and not available in PostgreSQL.
To help developers to test if their code can be translated by dbsourcemanager the ant export.database command contains an Translation consistency check which does the complete standardization/translation cycle once and reports and differences found (ignoring whitespace).
This a list of general rules that assure that PL runs properly on different database backgrounds.
- JOIN statement. Change the code replacing the (+) by LEFT JOIN or RIGHT JOIN
- In XSQL we use a questionmark (?) as parameter placeholder. If it is a NUMERIC variable use TO_NUMBER(?). For dates use TO_DATE(?).
- Do not use GOTO since PostgreSQL does not support it. To get the same functionality that GOTO use boolean control variables and IF/THEN statements to check if the conditions are TRUE/FALSE.
- Replace oracle specific NVL commands by COALESCE.
- Replace oracle specific DECODE commands by CASE. If the CASE is NULL the format is:
CASE WHEN variable IS NULL THEN X ELSE Y END
If the variable is the result of concatenating several strings () are required.
- Replace SYSDATE commands by NOW()
- PostgreSQL/SQL standard treat (empty string) and NULL differently. When checking for a null variable special care is required.
- When a SELECT is inside a FROM clause a synonym is needed.
SELECT * FROM (SELECT 'X' FROM DUAL) A
- When doing SELECT always use AS.
SELECT field AS field_name FROM DUAL
- PostgreSQL does not support synonyms of tables in UPDATE, INSERT or DELETE operations.
- PostgreSQL does not support using the table name in the fields to update.
- PostgreSQL does not support the DELETE TABLE command. DELETE FROM Table should be used instead.
- PostgreSQL does not support parameters like '1' in the ORDER BY or GROUP BY clause. A numeric without quotes can be used.
- PostgreSQL does not support the CURRENT OF clause. An active checking of register to update should be used.
- PostgreSQL does not support COMMIT. It does automatically an explicit COMMIT between BEGIN END blocks. Throwing an exception produces a ROLLBACK.
- PostgreSQL does not support SAVEPOINT. BEGIN, END and ROLLBACK should be used instead to achieve the same functionality.
- PostgreSQL does not support CONNECT.
- Both Oracle and PostgreSQL do not support using variable names that match column table names. For example, use v_IsProcessing instead of IsProcessing.
- PostgreSQL does not support EXECUTE IMMEDIATE ... USING. The same functionality can be achieved using SELECT and replacing the variables with parameters manually.
- PostgreSQL requires () in calls to functions without parameters.
- DBMS_OUTPUT should be done in a single line to enable the automatic translator building the comment.
- In PostgreSQL any string concatenated to a NULL string generates a NULL string as result. It's is recommended to use a COALESCE or initialize the variable to ''.
- Notice that in Oracle null||'a' will return 'a' but in PostgrSQL null, so the solution would be coalesce(null,'')||'a' that will return the same for both. But if the we are working with Oracle's NVarchar type this will cause an ORA-12704: character set mismatch error, to fix it it is possible to use coalesce(to_char(myNVarCharVariable),)||'a'.
- Instead of doing
to guarantee that it will also work in PostgreSQL.
- PostgreSQL does the SELECT FOR UPDATE at a table level while Oracle does it at a column level.
- PostgreSQL does not support INSTR command with three parameters. SUBSTR should be used instead.
- PostgreSQL/SQL standard count characters in SUBSTR starting from 1. Oracle allows SUBSTR(text, 0, Y) also and treats its like SUBSTR(text, 1, Y). If you use this form fix it to use 1 as start character instead of 0 to guarantee that it works in both databases.
- PostgreSQL does not support labels like <<LABEL>> (but it can be commented out).
- In dates comparisons is often needed a default date when the reference is null, January 1, 1900 or December 31, 9999 should be used.
- When is specified a date as a literal it is necessary to use always the to_date function with the correspondent format mask.
RIGHT: COALESCE(movementdate, TO_DATE('01-01-1900', 'DD-MM-YYYY'))
There are two different ways of using cursors: in FETCH clauses and in FOR loops. For FETCH cursor type no changes are required (except for %ISOPEN and %NOTFOUND methods that are explained below).
Oracle FETCH cursor declarations:
CURSOR Cur_SR IS
should be translated in PostgreSQL into:
DECLARE Cur_SR CURSOR FOR
For cursors in FOR loops the format suggested is:
TYPE RECORD IS REF CURSOR; Cur_Name RECORD;
that is both accepted by Oracle and PostgreSQL.
In Oracle, arrays are defined in the following way:
TYPE ArrayPesos IS VARRAY(10) OF INTEGER; v_pesos ArrayPesos; v_dc2 := v_dc2 + v_pesos(v_contador)*v_digito;
but in PostgresSQL they are defined as:
v_pesos integer; v_dc2 := v_dc2 + v_pesos[v_contador]*v_digito;
To limit the number of registers that a SELECT command returns, a cursor needs to be created and read the registers from there. The code could be similar to:
--Initialize counter v_counter := initial_value; --Create the cursor FOR CUR_ROWNUM IN (SELECT CLAUSE) LOOP -- Some sentences --Increment the counter v_counter := v_counter + 1; --Validate condition IF (v_counter = condition_value) THEN EXIT; END IF; END LOOP;
SQL%ROWCOUNT cannot be used directly in PostgreSQL. To convert the SQL%ROWCOUNT into PostgreSQL its value should be defined in a variable. For example:
GET DIAGNOSTICS rowcount := ROW_COUNT;
In place of SQL%ROWCOUNT the previously declared variable should be used.
PostgreSQL cursors do not support %ISOPEN or %NOTFOUND. To address this problem %ISOPEN can be replaced by a boolean variable declared internally in the procedure and is updated manually when the cursor is opened or closed.
- To export properly a RAISE NOTICE from postgresql to xml files you have to follow this syntax:
RAISE NOTICE '%', '@Message@' ;
- To export properly a RAISE EXCEPTION from postgresql to xml files you have to add the following comment at the end of the command; --OBTG:-20000--
RAISE EXCEPTION '%', '@Message@' ; --OBTG:-20000--
- In a IF clause is very important to indent the lines within the IF.
IF (CONDITION) COMMAND; END IF;
- The functions with output parameters have to be invoked with select * into.
SELECT * into VAR from FUNCTION();
- The end of the functions have to be defined as following to be exported properly:
END ; $BODY$ LANGUAGE 'plpgsql' VOLATILE COST 100;
- The cast used by postgresql is not supported by Dbsourcemanager. Instead of using :: type, use a function to convert the value
:: interval -> to_interval(,) :: double precision -> to_number()
Elements not supported by dbsource manager
- Functions that return "set of tablename"
- Functions that return and array
- Functions using regular expresions
- Column with type not included on the table in this document.
PERFORM and SELECT are the two commands that allow calling a function. Since PostgreSQL does not accept default function parameters we define an overloaded function with default parameters.
To allow the automatic translator to do its job the following recommendations should be followed:
- The AS and the IS should not contain spaces to the left
- The function name should not be quoted
- In functions, the END should go at the beginning of the line without any spaces to the left and with the function name.
There are two ways of invoking procedures from PosgreSQL:
- Using the format variable_name := Procedure_Name(...);
- Using a SELECT. This is the method used for procedures that return more than one parameter.
PostgreSQL does not support update for the views. If there is the need of updating a view a set of rules should be created for the views that need to be updated.
In PostgreSQL there are no table/views USER_TABLES or USER_TAB_COLUMNS. They should be created from PostgreSQL specific tables like pg_class or pg_attribute.
Rules that the triggers should follow:
- As general rule, is not desirable to modify child columns in a trigger of the parent table, because it is very usual that child trigger have to consult data from parent table, originating a mutating table error.
- The name should not be quoted (") because PostgreSQL interprets it literally.
- All the triggers have a DECLARE before the legal notice. In PostgreSQL it is necessary to do a function declaration first and then the trigger's declaration that executes the function.
- PostgreSQL does not support the OF ..(columns).. ON Table definition. It is necessary to include the checking inside the trigger.
- PostgreSQL does not support lazy evaluation. For example the following sentence works in Oracle but not in PostgreSQL:
IF INSERTING OR (UPDATING AND :OLD.FIELD = ) THEN
The correct way of expressing this is:
IF INSERTING THEN
... IF UPDATING THEN
IF :OLD.NAME = THEN
- Triggers in PostgreSQL always return something. Depending on the type of operation it returns OLD (DELETE) or NEW (INSERT/UPDATE). It should be placed at the end of the trigger and before the exceptions if there are any.
If you are using the automatic translator consider that:
- The last EXCEPTION in the trigger should not have spaces to its left. The translator considers this the last exception and uses it to setup the right return value.
- The last END should not have spaces to its left. The indentation is used to determine where function ends.
- Beware that if you add an statement like "IF TG_OP = 'DELETE' THEN RETURN OLD; ELSE RETURN NEW; END IF;" just before the EXCEPTION statement, it might be removed by the automatic translator.