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PostgreSQL – Variables

  • Last Updated : 28 Aug, 2020

In PostgreSQL, a variable is a meaningful name for a memory location. A variable holds a value that can be changed through the block or function. A variable is always associated with a particular data type. Before using a variable, you must declare it in the declaration section of the PostgreSQL Block. The following illustrates the syntax of declaring a variable.

Syntax: variable_name data_type [:= expression];

Let’s analyze the above syntax:

  • First, specify the name of the variable. It is a good practice to assign a meaningful name to a variable. For example, instead of naming a variable “i one should use index or counter.
  • Second, associate a specific data type with the variable. The data type can be any valid PostgreSQL data type such as INTEGER, NUMERIC, VARCHAR, and CHAR.
  • Third, optionally assign a default value to a variable. If you don’t, the initial value of the variable is initialized to NULL.

Example 1:

DO $$ 
DECLARE
   counter    INTEGER := 1;
   first_name VARCHAR(50) := 'John';
   last_name  VARCHAR(50) := 'Doe';
   payment    NUMERIC(11,2) := 20.5;
BEGIN 
   RAISE NOTICE '% % % has been paid % USD', counter, first_name, last_name, payment;
END $$;

Output:



Example 2:

DO $$ 
DECLARE
   created_at time := NOW();
BEGIN 
   RAISE NOTICE '%', created_at;
   PERFORM pg_sleep(10);
   RAISE NOTICE '%', created_at;
END $$;

Output:

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