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Admin         How ToInstallingand UsingPostgreSQLModulesIn this article, we will learn how to install and use the PostgreS...
How To         AdminCREATE TABLE accounts (username varchar(100), password         Using isnchkpass);                     ...
Admin         How To                                                           concatenation. Now that we have a table and...
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PostgreSQL Modules Tutorial - chkpass, hstore, fuzzystrmach, isn

This article will give you an introduction to installing PostgreSql modules.
- Learn how to query the key-value pairs with hstore
- Store and validate ISBN numbers with isn
- Store encrypted data with chkpass
- Do partial keyword match (fuzzy string matching) with fuzzystrmatch

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PostgreSQL Modules Tutorial - chkpass, hstore, fuzzystrmach, isn

  1. 1. Admin How ToInstallingand UsingPostgreSQLModulesIn this article, we will learn how to install and use the PostgreSQL modules chkpass,fuzzystrmatch, isn and hstore. Modules add different capabilities to a database, likeadmin and monitoring tools, new data types, operators, functions and algorithms.Let’s look at modules that add new data types and algorithms, which will help us topush some of the application logic to the database.P ostgreSQL has been called the ‘most advanced open su postgres source database’. I have been using it for the last four createdb module_test years as an RDBMS for, and as a spatialdata store at CSTEP (Center for Study of Science, Technology Apply the chkpass, fuzzystrmatch, isn and hstore modulesand Policy). PostgreSQL is one piece of software that doesn’t to the module_test database by running the followingfail to impress me every now and then. commands:Installing the modules psql -d module_test -f chkpass.sql psql -d module_test -f fuzzystrmatch.sql Note: I am running Ubuntu 10.04 and PostgreSQL 8.4. psql -d module_test -f isn.sql psql -d module_test -f hstore.sql Install the postgresql-contrib package and restart thedatabase server, then check the contrib directory for the list of Let us now look at an example of how each of theavailable modules: modules is used.sudo apt-get install postgresql-contrib Using chkpasssudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.4 restart The chkpass module will introduce a new data type,cd /usr/share/postgresql/8.4/contrib/ ‘chkpass’, in the database. This type is used to store anls encrypted field, e.g., a password. Let’s see how chkpass works for a user account table that we create and insert Create a test database called module_test: two rows into:88  |  March 2012  | LINUX For You  |
  2. 2. How To AdminCREATE TABLE accounts (username varchar(100), password Using isnchkpass); This module will introduce data types to storeINSERT INTO accounts(username, “password”) VALUES (‘user1’, international standard numbers like International Standard‘pass1’); Book Numbers (ISBN), International Standard MusicINSERT INTO accounts(username, “password”) VALUES (‘user2’, Numbers (ISMN), International Standard Serial Numbers‘pass2’); (ISSN), Universal Product Codes (UPC), etc. It will also add functions to validate data, type-cast numbers from We can authenticate users with a query like the one older formats to the newer 13-digit formats, and vice-that follows: versa. Let’s test this module for storing book information:SELECT count(*) from accounts where username=’user1’ and CREATE TABLE books(number isbn13, title varchar(100))password = ‘pass1’ INSERT INTO books(“number”, title) VALUES (‘978-03’, ‘Rework’); The ‘=’ operator uses the eq(column_name, text) inthe module to test for equality. Chkpass uses the Unix The INSERT statement throws an error: Invalidcrypt() function, and hence it is weak; only the first eight input syntax for ISBN number: “978-03”. However, thischaracters of the text are used in the algorithm. Chkpass works just fine:has limited practical use; the pgcrypto module is aneffective alternative. INSERT INTO books(“number”, title) VALUES (‘978-0307463746’, ‘Rework’)Using fuzzystrmatchThis module installs the soundx(), difference(), To convert a 10-digit ISBN to 13 digits, use thelevenshtein() and metaphone() functions. Soundx() and isbn13() function:metaphone() are phonetic algorithms—they convert atext string to a code string based on its pronunciation. INSERT INTO books(“number”, title) VALUESDifference() and levenshtein() return a numeric value (isbn13(‘0307463745’), ‘Rework’)based on the similarity of the two input strings. Let’snow look into the levenshtein() and metaphone() (Actually, the name of the book mentioned here,functions. The Levenshtein distance between two Rework by Jason Fried, happens to be my favouritestrings is the minimum number of insertions, deletions book on product/project management! I have prescribedor substitutions required to convert one string to it to all my team-mates.)another. Using hstoreSELECT levenshtein(‘foodlets’, ‘booklets’); You must have heard enough about NoSQL and key- value databases. It’s not always NoSQL vs relational This query returns 2, as is obvious. databases—with the hstore module, PostgreSQL The metaphone() function takes a text string and allows you to store data in the form of key-value pairs,the maximum length of the output code as its two input within a column of a table. Imagine you are processingparameters. These examples return FTLTS: spreadsheets and you have no idea about the column headers and the data type of the data in the sheets.SELECT metaphone(‘foodlets’, 6); That’s when hstore comes to your rescue! Incidentally,SELECT metaphone(‘fudlets’, 6); hstore takes keys and values as text; the value can be NULL, but not the key. Let’s create a table with a If we try to get the Levenshtein distance between the column of type hstore and insert some rows:returned strings, this returns 0: CREATE TABLE kv_data( id integer, data hstore)SELECT levenshtein(‘FTLTS’,’FTLTS’); INSERT into kv_data values (1, hstore(‘name’, ‘amit’) || hstore(‘city’, ‘bangalore’)), This means that the two words sound similar. (2, hstore(‘name’, ‘raghu’) || hstore(‘age’, ‘26’)), Fuzzystrmatch is very helpful in implementing the (3, hstore(‘name’, ‘ram’) || hstore(‘age’, ‘28’));search feature for a website. Now the search can work withalternate spellings and misspelled keywords. Reminds you You can create your own keys like ‘height’,of the ‘Did you mean...’ feature on Google Search, right? ‘favourite_book,’ etc. The ‘||’ operator is used for  | LINUX For You  |  March 2012  |  89
  3. 3. Admin How To concatenation. Now that we have a table and a few rows of data, let’s look at some SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE queries. To select rows with the value for ‘city’ as ‘bangalore’, use the following query: SELECT * from kv_data where data->’city’ = ‘bangalore’ To get the average age across the table (returns 27.0), use the query given below: SELECT avg((data->’age’)::integer) age from kv_data; Here, ::integer is used to type-cast the text value to an integer, so that math operations can be performed on it. To select and sort rows by ‘name’ values, use: SELECT * from kv_data order by data->’name’ desc Update the ‘city’ value to ‘delhi’ for all rows, as follows: UPDATE kv_data SET data = data || (‘city’ => ‘delhi’); Then, delete the ‘age’ key (and values) from all rows, as shown below: UPDATE kv_data set data = delete(data, ‘age’) Next, delete rows with the ‘name’ as ‘amit’: DELETE from kv_data where data->’name’ = ‘amit’ Although not a full-fledged key-value storage, hstore does provide us with the flexibility of a key-value database and the power of SQL queries. Other useful modules Here are some other modules you may find useful: • Pgcrypto provides functions for hashing and encryption. It supports SHA, MD5, Blowfish, AES and other algorithms. • Citext adds a case-insensitive text data type, which stores text in lower-case form. • Uuid-ossp provides functions to generate universally unique identifiers. • Pg_trgm adds functions to find text similarity based on trigram matching. By: Sagar Arlekar The author is a research engineer at CSTEP, Bengaluru. He works in the domains of GIS and agent-based simulations. He co-founded, a visual food guide built entirely on open source technologies.90  |  March 2012  | LINUX For You  |