wiki:WikiStart

Version 28 (modified by jtv, 13 years ago) (diff)

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libpqxx is the official C++ API for writing client programs that talk to the PostgreSQL database management system. (If that's too verbose, call it by its shorter name, postgres).

Finding Everything

Where What
Sales Pitch Why this library should interest you
Using This Site The various services offered by this development site
Download Page Source tarballs (no binaries; those depend on your individual platform)
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions, and their answers
Online Documentation Same as included in the source tarball
Bug Tracker Known bugs and requests (as in View Tickets option in top bar)
Reporting Bugs How to report a problem or request a new feature
Mailing Lists (Still hosted on the old libpqxx site)
Other Projects Other open-source development projects hosted on thaiopensource.org
Old Site Old home page for libpqxx development

For issues not suitable for the mailing list or bug tickets, contact the author at jtv@…

Technical Overview

This library works on top of the C-level API library, libpq. You will need libpq in order to use libpqxx.

The first thing you're likely to notice in programming with libpqxx is that unlike other libraries, it revolves entirely around transactions. Transactions are a central concept in database management systems, but they are widely underappreciated among application developers. Another well-known open source database system, MySQL, never even got around to implementing them at all in their own engine, relying on a third-party replacement engine (now owned by Oracle) to provide this functionality instead.

It may sometimes be possible to build limited applications reliably without serious use of transactions. More usually, however, transactions are designed without transactions simply because the developers aren't aware of the risks they are taking, and any data loss is rare or small enough not to be noticed. That kind of design was not considered acceptable for libpqxx.

With conventional database APIs, you issue commands and queries to a database session or connection, and optionally create the occasional transaction. In libpqxx you start a transaction inside the connection first, do your SQL work using that transaction, then commit the transaction when it's complete. There are several types of transactions with various "quality of service" properties; if you don't really want to use transactions at all, one of the available transaction types is called nontransaction. This transaction type provides classic, nontransactional behaviour.

Every command or query issues a result object, which is really a smart pointer so it can be copied around without incurring much cost in terms of performance. No need to write special code to check these for success; error conditions are converted to regular C++ exceptions. Result objects can be kept around for as long as they are needed, completely separate from the connections and transactions that originated them.