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PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 1 - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 716 pages
ISBN 0954612027
RRP £32.00 ($49.95)

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2.1.2.5 Constants of Other Types

A constant of an arbitrary type can be entered using any one of the following notations:

type 'string'
'string'::type
CAST ( 'string' AS type )

The string constant's text is passed to the input conversion routine for the type called type. The result is a constant of the indicated type. The explicit type cast may be omitted if there is no ambiguity as to the type the constant must be (for example, when it is assigned directly to a table column), in which case it is automatically coerced.

The string constant can be written using either regular SQL notation or dollar-quoting.

It is also possible to specify a type coercion using a function-like syntax:

typename ( 'string' )

but not all type names may be used in this way; see section 2.2.8 Type Casts for details.

The ::, CAST(), and function-call syntaxes can also be used to specify run-time type conversions of arbitrary expressions, as discussed in section 2.2.8 Type Casts. But the form type 'string' can only be used to specify the type of a literal constant. Another restriction on type 'string' is that it does not work for array types; use :: or CAST() to specify the type of an array constant.

The CAST() syntax conforms to SQL. The type 'string' syntax is a generalization of the standard: SQL specifies this syntax only for a few data types, but PostgreSQL allows it for all types. The syntax with :: is historical PostgreSQL usage, as is the function-call syntax.

ISBN 0954612027PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 1 - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition