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From: Phil Endecott (spam_from_boost_dev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-07-11 09:07:36

Maciej Sobczak wrote:
> What about object length? Let's suppose that user does this:
> long long salary;
> sql << "select salary from ...", into(salary);
> and the server returns binary data of length 4. Still, the access
> library would need to figure out that it is not what is expected, and do
> the necessary conversion.

We were talking about query arguments, not results, before. Many of
the issues are the same, but I think that in the case of results it's
more legitimate to worry about performance. I hadn't actually noticed
that results were also being transferred as text.

> It is much better with Oracle, where the client defines the expected
> data types before executing the query and the server (or the native
> client library) does the rest, so that no discovery and conversion is
> needed in the client code.

When necessary, the approach that I've taken is for the client to
define the expected data type, but to do this using a cast inside the
SQL string:

"select salary::int64 from ..."

You can then be fairly certain that you'll actually get a 64-bit value
back. (I guess that SQL types with defined sizes are non-standard
though.) If the type of salary can't be converted to int64 for some
reason I think you should get an error at preparation time.

Then at execution time, all I do is a quick check that the retuned
column types are the expected ones, and throw if they aren't. (This is
per-query not per-row.) There's no need for all the combinations of
conversions that you suggest.

> In any case, the fact that PostgreSQL uses text for data transfer is an
> implementation detail of this backend. It is possible to implement
> alternative backend for binary transfer - the rest of the library is
> prepared for this.

Right, yes.

Regards, Phil.

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