A list of commonly used functions/indexes/helpers for postgres SQL statements;


SELECT LOWER("rooms"."name") FROM "rooms";

This is straight forward, LOWER() function convert string into small case letters, non-alpha letters are skipped;


SELECT (NOW() - "rooms"."created_at") FROM "rooms";

NOW() will return the current date time from the postgres engine; so the result will be e.g. 5 days 13:58:30.700536;


SELECT (NOW() - INTERVAL '1 day');
 2019-01-25 19:29:46.430743+11
(1 row)

can do for days, hours, minutes, seconds, ms, months, weeks, years for interval


replace string pattern with something string @params: (value, regex scanner, replace string[, ‘g’])

SELECT REGEXP_REPLACE('<head>header</head><body>body<body>', '<[^\<]*>', '', 'g');

This will remove all tags; resulting in headerbody; ‘g’ will apply the replacement globally;

SELECT REGEXP_REPLACE('<head>header</head><body>body<body>', '<[^\<]*>', '');

This will remove the first match; resulting in header</head><body>body<body>


Return the first non-null value, often used to replace null field to an alternative string;

SELECT COALESCE(NULL, NULL, NULL, 'alternative', NULL, 'alternative2');

this will return “alternative”, and an example usage in relality is like this: SELECT COALESCE("users"."name", 'guest'); purpose is to set default user name as guest;


Syntax: add EXPLAIN ANALYZE to select statement will generate a analyse report, e.g.

EXPLAIN ANALYZE SELECT  "rooms".* FROM "rooms" WHERE (REGEXP_REPLACE(LOWER(name), '[^a-z0-9]+', '', 'g') LIKE '%b7e%') ORDER BY levenshtein(name, 'b7e'), "rooms"."name";
                                                   QUERY PLAN
 Sort  (cost=19.23..19.28 rows=20 width=135) (actual time=3.437..3.437 rows=0 loops=1)
   Sort Key: (levenshtein((name)::text, 'b7e'::text)), name
   Sort Method: quicksort  Memory: 25kB
   ->  Seq Scan on rooms  (cost=0.00..18.80 rows=20 width=135) (actual time=2.869..2.869 rows=0 loops=1)
         Filter: (regexp_replace(lower((name)::text), '[^a-z0-9]+'::text, ''::text, 'g'::text) ~~ '%b7e%'::text)
         Rows Removed by Filter: 5
 Planning time: 14.188 ms
 Execution time: 4.979 ms
(8 rows)

(cost=19.23..19.28 rows=20 width=135) means that Postgres expects that it will “cost” 19.28 unit to find these values, the 19.23 is the cost at which this node can begin working(prepare all the regex replace and lower), here the unit means arbitrary unit of computation, rows is the estimated number of rows this Index Scan will return, and width is the estimated size in bytes of each row;

(actual time=3.437..3.437 rows=0 loops=1) means the the Sort was executed 1 time(loop value), and it returns 0 rows in 3.437 units.

Seq Scan is searching by sequencial order, Bitmap Heap Scan is for fields has bitmap index, so often it indicates index should be added for more efficiently searching.


For fields whose value will be searched on WHERE clause directly, a b-tree index is good for that purpose:

CREATE INDEX index_rooms_on_name ON public.rooms USING btree (name);

For fields which are searched on WHERE clause with LIKE, should use trigram index, it basically break down the values into 3-letter gram for quick reference, as a result the it will only take effect when the LIKE clause is more than 4 letters.

CREATE INDEX index_rooms_on_regex_replace_lower_name ON public.rooms USING gin (regexp_replace(lower((name)::text), '[^a-z0-9]+'::text, ''::text, 'g'::text) public.gin_trgm_ops);

This is to create a trigram index of field, but only for pre-computed name field value with all the non-digit-non-alpha letters removed.