postgresql hstore is easy to compare

(Comments)

hstore is an option key=>value column type that's been around in postgresql for a long time. I was looking at it for a project where I want to compare "new data" to old, so I can approve it. There is a hstore-hstore option that compares two hstore collections and shows the differences.

In reality, an hstore column looks like text. It's just in a format that postgresql understands.

Here, we have an existing record with some network information.

hs1=# select id, data::hstore from d1 where id = 3;
 id |                          data                          
----+--------------------------------------------------------
  3 | "ip"=>"192.168.219.2", "fqdn"=>"hollaback.example.com"
(1 row)

Let's say I submitted a form with slightly changed network information. I can do a select statement to get the differences.

hs1=# select id, hstore('"ip"=>"192.168.219.2", "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com"')-data from d1 where id =3;
 id |             ?column?              
----+-----------------------------------
  3 | "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com"
(1 row)

This works just as well if we're adding a new key.

hs1=# select id, hstore('"ip"=>"192.168.219.2", "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com", "netmask"=>"255.255.255.0"')-data from d1 where id =3;
 id |                           ?column?                            
----+---------------------------------------------------------------
  3 | "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com", "netmask"=>"255.255.255.0"
(1 row)

This information could be displayed on a confirmation page. Ideally, a proposed dataset would be placed somewhere, and a page could be rendered on the fly showing any changes an approval would create within the database.

Then we can update with the newly submitted form.

hs1=# update d1 set data = data || hstore('"ip"=>"192.168.219.2", "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com", "netmask"=>"255.255.255.0"') where id = 3;
UPDATE 3

hs1=# select id, data::hstore from d1 where id = 3; id |                                         data                                         
----+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  3 | "ip"=>"192.168.219.2", "fqdn"=>"hollaback01.example.com", "netmask"=>"255.255.255.0"
(1 row)

Note that if I wanted to delete a key instead of just setting it to NULL, that would be a separate operation.

update d1 SET data = delete(data, 'ip') where id = 3;
UPDATE 1

http://stormatics.com/howto-handle-key-value-data-in-postgresql-the-hstore-contrib/

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