There are a couple of things going on here.  First you really can't use 
a postgres char/varchar/text datatype to store/retrieve binary 
information with jdbc.  (See a message I just posted to the jdbc mail 
list explaining character set conversions in the 7.1 jdbc drivers).

So the proper datatype for binary information in Postgres is the 'bytea' 
type.  Unfortunately there isn't any support in the jdbc drivers for 
this datatype (anyone want to contribute a fix???), so you really can't 
use that in your situation either.

In my code where I need to store short pieces of binary data (like 
digests) I encode them in hex and store the hex.  Yes this results in a 
2 times increase in storage, and some overhead in encoding/decodeing, 
but it isn't too bad.  Sure you could use other encodings for the binary 
data, but I find hex to be the easiest for small amounts of data.


Jerry Reid wrote:

> I apologize if this message appears in duplicate. The original was 
> posted before the I received notice that an additional confirmation 
> message would be needed to get onto the list.
> I recently migrated an application from Oracle to Postgresql 7.1. The
> migration was fairly painless with one exception:
> User's passwords are hashed using SHA, then stored in the database. Ie.
>    // Get the hash of the password
>    MessageDigest md=null;
>    try {
>      md = MessageDigest.getInstance("sha");
>    }
>    catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException e) {
>      System.out.println("Error: sha encryption unavailable.");
>    }
>    String hashedPass = new
> String(md.digest(request.getParameter("pass").getBytes()));
> This string contains several characters that are outside the normal ASCII
> range. The string could be stored and retrieved using Oracle and 
> MySQL, but
> in Postgres any unusual characters become '?'. This corrupts the hash and
> prevents users from logging on.
> So far, the following have been tried:
> - Password stored using PreparedStatement setString() call. Retrieved 
> using
> ResultSet.getString(). Verified hash corruption in the database.
> - Password field datatype changed from varchar to bytea. Oddly enough,
> PreparedStatement.setBytes() can not be used against this datatype. 
> Resorted
> to using .setString(). Hash was still corrupted at the database level.
> Any insight into how to accomplish this task would be greatly 
> appreciated.
> Jerry
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