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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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9.6.2.3 IF-THEN-ELSIF

IF boolean-expression THEN
    statements
[ ELSIF boolean-expression THEN
    statements
[ ELSIF boolean-expression THEN
    statements
    ...]]
[ ELSE
    statements ]
END IF;

Sometimes there are more than just two alternatives. IF-THEN-ELSIF provides a convenient method of checking several alternatives in turn. The IF conditions are tested successively until the first one that is true is found. Then the associated statement(s) are executed, after which control passes to the next statement after END IF. (Any subsequent IF conditions are not tested.) If none of the IF conditions is true, then the ELSE block (if any) is executed.

Here is an example:

IF number = 0 THEN
    result := 'zero';
ELSIF number > 0 THEN
    result := 'positive';
ELSIF number < 0 THEN
    result := 'negative';
ELSE
    -- hmm, the only other possibility is that number is null
    result := 'NULL';
END IF;

The key word ELSIF can also be spelled ELSEIF.

An alternative way of accomplishing the same task is to nest IF-THEN-ELSE statements, as in the following example:

IF demo_row.sex = 'm' THEN
    pretty_sex := 'man';
ELSE
    IF demo_row.sex = 'f' THEN
        pretty_sex := 'woman';
    END IF;
END IF;

However, this method requires writing a matching END IF for each IF, so it is much more cumbersome than using ELSIF when there are many alternatives.

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