On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 9:21 AM, Pavel Stehule <pavel.steh...@gmail.com>

> Hi,
> I propose a  new database object - a variable. The variable is persistent
> object, that holds unshared session based not transactional in memory value
> of any type. Like variables in any other languages. The persistence is
> required for possibility to do static checks, but can be limited to session
> - the variables can be temporal.
> My proposal is related to session variables from Sybase, MSSQL or MySQL
> (based on prefix usage @ or @@), or package variables from Oracle (access
> is controlled by scope), or schema variables from DB2. Any design is coming
> from different sources, traditions and has some advantages or
> disadvantages. The base of my proposal is usage schema variables as session
> variables for stored procedures. It should to help to people who try to
> port complex projects to PostgreSQL from other databases.
> The Sybase  (T-SQL) design is good for interactive work, but it is weak
> for usage in stored procedures - the static check is not possible. Is not
> possible to set some access rights on variables.
> The ADA design (used on Oracle) based on scope is great, but our
> environment is not nested. And we should to support other PL than PLpgSQL
> more strongly.
> There is not too much other possibilities - the variable that should be
> accessed from different PL, different procedures (in time) should to live
> somewhere over PL, and there is the schema only.
> The variable can be created by CREATE statement:
> CREATE VARIABLE public.myvar AS integer;
> CREATE VARIABLE myschema.myvar AS mytype;
>   [ DEFAULT expression ] [[NOT] NULL]
>   [ { VOLATILE | STABLE } ];
> It is dropped by command DROP VARIABLE  [ IF EXISTS] varname.
> The access rights is controlled by usual access rights - by commands
> GRANT/REVOKE. The possible rights are: READ, WRITE
> The variables can be modified by SQL command SET (this is taken from
> standard, and it natural)
> SET varname = expression;
> Unfortunately we use the SET command for different purpose. But I am
> thinking so we can solve it with few tricks. The first is moving our GUC to
> pg_catalog schema. We can control the strictness of SET command. In one
> variant, we can detect custom GUC and allow it, in another we can disallow
> a custom GUC and allow only schema variables. A new command LET can be
> alternative.
> The variables should be used in queries implicitly (without JOIN)
> SELECT varname;
> The SEARCH_PATH is used, when varname is located. The variables can be
> used everywhere where query parameters are allowed.
> I hope so this proposal is good enough and simple.
> Comments, notes?

I have a question on this.  Since one can issue set commands on arbitrary
settings (and later ALTER database/role/system on settings you have created
in the current session) I am wondering how much overlap there is between a
sort of extended GUC with custom settings and variables.

Maybe it would be simpler to treat variables and GUC settings to be similar
and see what can be done to extend GUC in this way?

I mean if instead we allowed restricting SET to known settings then we
could have a CREATE SETTING command which would behave like this and then
use SET the same way across both.

In essence I am wondering if this really needs to be as separate from GUC
as you are proposing.

If done this way then:

1.  You could issue grant or revoke on GUC settings, allowing some users
but not others to set things like work_mem for their queries
2.  You could specify allowed types in custom settings.
3.  In a subsequent stage you might be able to SELECT .... INTO
setting_name FROM ....;  allowing access to setting writes based on queries.

> regards
> Pavel

Best Regards,
Chris Travers
Database Administrator

Tel: +49 162 9037 210 | Skype: einhverfr | www.adjust.com
Saarbrücker Straße 37a, 10405 Berlin

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