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Version: v2.x

Postgres triggers

Introduction

Postgres triggers are used to invoke previously defined Postgres functions before or after a specific database event (e.g. INSERT) occurs.

Note

For more information on Postgres triggers, please refer to the Postgres documentation.

Examples

Trigger a Postgres function before an article is inserted or updated:

Let's say we want to check if an author is active before a corresponding article can be inserted or updated. We can do so with the following Postgres function:

CREATE FUNCTION check_author_active()
RETURNS trigger AS $BODY$
DECLARE active_author BOOLEAN;
BEGIN
SELECT author.is_active INTO active_author FROM "authors" author WHERE author.id = NEW."author_id";
IF active_author != TRUE THEN
RAISE EXCEPTION 'Author must be active';
END IF;
RETURN NEW;
END;
$BODY$ LANGUAGE plpgsql;

Now we want to have this function executed whenever a new article is about to be inserted or updated. We can create a Postgres trigger as follows:

CREATE TRIGGER insert_article BEFORE INSERT OR UPDATE ON "articles" FOR EACH ROW EXECUTE PROCEDURE check_author_active();

If someone now tries to insert an article for an author that is not active, the following error will be thrown:

unexpected : Author must be active

Refresh a materialized view when an author gets inserted:

Let's say we want to refresh a materialized view whenever a new author is inserted.

The following Postgres function refreshes a materialized view:

CREATE FUNCTION refresh_materialized_view()
RETURNS trigger AS $BODY$
BEGIN
REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW popular_active_authors;
RETURN NULL;
END;
$BODY$ LANGUAGE plpgsql;

Now, to make sure this function gets called whenever a new author is inserted, we can create the following Postgres trigger:

CREATE TRIGGER update_materialized_view AFTER INSERT ON "authors" FOR EACH ROW EXECUTE PROCEDURE refresh_materialized_view();

Postgres triggers & Hasura

Postgres triggers can be used to perform business logic such as data validation and can be added as described here.

Note

Hasura also has event triggers that can be used to invoke external HTTP APIs for executing custom business logic on database events.