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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 478 pages
ISBN 9781906966065
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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11.4 Global Values in PL/Perl

You can use the global hash %_SHARED to store data, including code references, between function calls for the lifetime of the current session.

Here is a simple example for shared data:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION set_var(name text, val text) 
  RETURNS text AS $$
    if ($_SHARED{$_[0]} = $_[1]) {
        return 'ok';
    } else {
        return "cannot set shared variable $_[0] to $_[1]";
$$ LANGUAGE plperl;

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION get_var(name text) RETURNS text AS $$
    return $_SHARED{$_[0]};
$$ LANGUAGE plperl;

SELECT set_var('sample', 'Hello, PL/Perl!  How”s tricks?');
SELECT get_var('sample');

Here is a slightly more complicated example using a code reference:

    $_SHARED{myquote} = sub {
        my $arg = shift;
        $arg =~ s/(['\\])/\\$1/g;
        return "'$arg'";
$$ LANGUAGE plperl;

SELECT myfuncs(); /* initializes the function */

/* Set up a function that uses the quote function */

    my $text_to_quote = shift;
    my $qfunc = $_SHARED{myquote};
    return &$qfunc($text_to_quote);
$$ LANGUAGE plperl;

(You could have replaced the above with the one-liner return $_SHARED{myquote}->($_[0]); at the expense of readability.)

For security reasons, PL/Perl executes functions called by any one SQL role in a separate Perl interpreter for that role. This prevents accidental or malicious interference by one user with the behavior of another user's PL/Perl functions. Each such interpreter has its own value of the %_SHARED variable and other global state. Thus, two PL/Perl functions will share the same value of %_SHARED if and only if they are executed by the same SQL role. In an application wherein a single session executes code under multiple SQL roles (via SECURITY DEFINER functions, use of SET ROLE, etc) you may need to take explicit steps to ensure that PL/Perl functions can share data via %_SHARED. To do that, make sure that functions that should communicate are owned by the same user, and mark them SECURITY DEFINER. You must of course take care that such functions can't be used to do anything unintended.

ISBN 9781906966065The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming GuideSee the print edition