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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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6.14.4 Modifying Arrays

An array value can be replaced completely:

UPDATE sal_emp SET pay_by_quarter = '{25000,25000,27000,27000}'
    WHERE name = 'Carol';

or using the ARRAY expression syntax:

UPDATE sal_emp SET pay_by_quarter = ARRAY[25000,25000,27000,
  27000]
    WHERE name = 'Carol';

An array can also be updated at a single element:

UPDATE sal_emp SET pay_by_quarter[4] = 15000
    WHERE name = 'Bill';

or updated in a slice:

UPDATE sal_emp SET pay_by_quarter[1:2] = '{27000,27000}'
    WHERE name = 'Carol';

A stored array value can be enlarged by assigning to elements not already present. Any positions between those previously present and the newly assigned elements will be filled with nulls. For example, if array myarray currently has 4 elements, it will have six elements after an update that assigns to myarray[6]; myarray[5] will contain null. Currently, enlargement in this fashion is only allowed for one-dimensional arrays, not multidimensional arrays.

Subscripted assignment allows creation of arrays that do not use one-based subscripts. For example one might assign to myarray[-2:7] to create an array with subscript values from -2 to 7.

New array values can also be constructed using the concatenation operator, ||:

SELECT ARRAY[1,2] || ARRAY[3,4];
 ?column?
-----------
 {1,2,3,4}
(1 row)

SELECT ARRAY[5,6] || ARRAY[[1,2],[3,4]];
      ?column?
---------------------
 {{5,6},{1,2},{3,4}}
(1 row)

The concatenation operator allows a single element to be pushed onto the beginning or end of a one-dimensional array. It also accepts two N-dimensional arrays, or an N-dimensional and an N+1-dimensional array.

When a single element is pushed onto either the beginning or end of a one-dimensional array, the result is an array with the same lower bound subscript as the array operand. For example:

SELECT array_dims(1 || '[0:1]={2,3}'::int[]);
 array_dims
------------
 [0:2]
(1 row)

SELECT array_dims(ARRAY[1,2] || 3);
 array_dims
------------
 [1:3]
(1 row)

When two arrays with an equal number of dimensions are concatenated, the result retains the lower bound subscript of the left-hand operand's outer dimension. The result is an array comprising every element of the left-hand operand followed by every element of the right-hand operand. For example:

SELECT array_dims(ARRAY[1,2] || ARRAY[3,4,5]);
 array_dims
------------
 [1:5]
(1 row)

SELECT array_dims(ARRAY[[1,2],[3,4]] || ARRAY[[5,6],[7,8],[9,
  0]]);
 array_dims
------------
 [1:5][1:2]
(1 row)

When an N-dimensional array is pushed onto the beginning or end of an N+1-dimensional array, the result is analogous to the element-array case above. Each N-dimensional sub-array is essentially an element of the N+1-dimensional array's outer dimension. For example:

SELECT array_dims(ARRAY[1,2] || ARRAY[[3,4],[5,6]]);
 array_dims
------------
 [1:3][1:2]
(1 row)

An array can also be constructed by using the functions array_prepend, array_append, or array_cat. The first two only support one-dimensional arrays, but array_cat supports multidimensional arrays. Note that the concatenation operator discussed above is preferred over direct use of these functions. In fact, these functions primarily exist for use in implementing the concatenation operator. However, they might be directly useful in the creation of user-defined aggregates. Some examples:

SELECT array_prepend(1, ARRAY[2,3]);
 array_prepend
---------------
 {1,2,3}
(1 row)

SELECT array_append(ARRAY[1,2], 3);
 array_append
--------------
 {1,2,3}
(1 row)

SELECT array_cat(ARRAY[1,2], ARRAY[3,4]);
 array_cat
-----------
 {1,2,3,4}
(1 row)

SELECT array_cat(ARRAY[[1,2],[3,4]], ARRAY[5,6]);
      array_cat
---------------------
 {{1,2},{3,4},{5,6}}
(1 row)

SELECT array_cat(ARRAY[5,6], ARRAY[[1,2],[3,4]]);
      array_cat
---------------------
 {{5,6},{1,2},{3,4}}
ISBN 9781906966041The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language ReferenceSee the print edition