spgsql: PostgreSQL connectivity

_spgsql: PostgreSQL connectivity_

By Ryan Culpepper (rculpepper at users dot sourceforge dot net)

This manual documents spgsql version 4.0.

Keywords: _spgsql_, _postgresql_, _postgres_, _database_


The spgsql library provides classes, datatypes, and procedures useful
for connecting to a PostgreSQL database server over TCP.

Notes on Common Problems

TCP Interface
By default, many PostgreSQL servers only listen on local domain
sockets. Since PLT Scheme at this time provides no mechanism to
connect to such a socket, the server must be reconfigured to listen to
a TCP port and restarted. See the PostgreSQL manual for information on
doing this.

Passwords and Authentication
PostgreSQL also comes with a configuration file (pg_hba.conf) which
lists accepted authentication methods. It is often necessary to add
lines to this file that describe what authentication method is used
for TCP connections. Methods supported by spgsql include password,
crypt, and md5 (recommended). Users must also set their passwords
using the ALTER USER SQL command.

spgsql API

Use the following module to access spgsql:

  (require (planet "" ("schematics" "spgsql.plt" 1)))

Making a connection

> (connect server port database user [password]) -> connection<%>

Creates a connection to a PostgreSQL server. The server, database, and
user are strings, and the port is a number. If password is given, it
must be a string.

Note: the password will be sent in the clear if that is the
authentication method requested by the database server.

> interface connection<%>

The connection<%> interface contains the following administrative

>   disconnect : -> void

      Disconnects the connection.

>   disconnected? : -> boolean

      Returns true if the connection is disconnected.

>   set-notification-handler : (NotificationResult -> void) -> void

      Sets the procedure used by this connection to handle
      asynchronous notifications sent by the backend.
      The default handler does nothing. For more information about
      notifications, see the SQL commands LISTEN, UNLISTEN, and

>   set-notice-handler : (NoticeResult -> void) -> void

      Sets the procedure used by this connection to handle
      asynchronous notices sent by the backend. The default handler
      prints the notice's message to the current error port.

>   use-type-conversions : boolean -> void

      Determines whether the connection should convert data received
      from the backend into the appropriate Scheme data. The default
      is to leave data in string form.

The connection<%> interface contains the following query-related

>   fold : sql-string ('a field ... -> 'a) 'a -> 'a
>   fold-right : sql-string 'a ('a field ... -> 'a) -> 'a

      Left and right folds over the results of a single query.

>   query-list : sql-string -> (listof value) | raises error

      Executes a SQL query and returns the list of (single) values
      from a query.

>   query-tuple : sql-string -> (vector-of value) | raises error

      Executes a SQL query and returns its (single) tuple result as a

>   query-value : sql-string -> value | raises error

      Executes a SQL query and returns its single value result (that
      is: one record, one field).

>   map : sql-string (field ... -> 'a) -> (listof 'a)

      Executes a SQL query and maps the given function over the rows,
      returning a list of results.

>   for-each : sql-string (field ... -> void) -> void

      Executes a SQL query and applies the given function to each row,
      discarding the result.

>   mapfilter : sql-string (field... -> 'a) (field... -> boolean) 
                -> (listof 'a)

      Like map, but applies the map function (given first) to only
      those rows which satisfy the given predicate (given second).

>   exec : sql-string -> void | raises error

      Executes a SQL query for effect and discards the (usually
      trivial) result.

> sql-null
> sql-null?

A special value and predicates used to represent NULL values in

> exn:spgsql

The root type of all spgsql-specific exceptions.

> exn:spgsql:fatal
> exn:spgsql:nonfatal

Fatal errors automatically cause the connection to become
disconnected. After a nonfatal error, further use of a connection is
generally possible.

> exn:spgsql:auth

Error occurred during the authentication process. For example, the
given password was not accepted.

> exn:spgsql:communication

Communication with the backend has been disrupted. For example, the
network connection is abruptly disconnected.

> exn:spgsql:internal

Internal error in spgsql---report this as a bug!

> exn:spgsql:query

The backend sent an error in response to a query. For example, bad SQL
syntax, reference to a non-existant table, or a constraint violation.

> exn:spgsql:user

User error. For example, using query-list on a SQL statement that
returns results with multiple fields.

Type Conversions

By default, data is returned from queries as strings in a
platform-independent external representation. Thus:

  (send c query-value "select 18") => "18"
  (send c query-value "select false") => "f"

The single exception is that SQL NULL values are always translated
into the unique sql-null value provided by spgsql.

Connections can automatically convert data into appropriate Scheme
representations in many cases. To enable this conversion, use the
method use-type-conversion (documented above).