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PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 408 pages
ISBN 0954612035
RRP £19.95 ($34.95)

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9.1.1 Advantages of Using PL/pgSQL

SQL is the language PostgreSQL and most other relational databases use as query language. It's portable and easy to learn. But every SQL statement must be executed individually by the database server.

That means that your client application must send each query to the database server, wait for it to be processed, receive and process the results, do some computation, then send further queries to the server. All this incurs interprocess communication and will also incur network overhead if your client is on a different machine than the database server.

With PL/pgSQL you can group a block of computation and a series of queries inside the database server, thus having the power of a procedural language and the ease of use of SQL, but with considerable savings because you don't have the whole client/server communication overhead.

This can allow for a considerable performance increase as compared to an application that does not use stored functions.

Also, with PL/pgSQL you can use all the data types, operators and functions of SQL.

ISBN 0954612035PostgreSQL Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming GuideSee the print edition