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    6.5.2-6 • Public • Published


    Promises/A+ interface for PostgreSQL.

    Build Status Coverage Status Package Quality Join the chat at https://gitter.im/vitaly-t/pg-promise

    • Supporting Promise, Bluebird, When, Q, etc.
    • Transactions, functions, flexible query formatting;
    • Automatic database connections;
    • Strict query result filters.

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    Built on top of node-postgres and its connection pool, this library enhances the callback interface with promises, while extending the protocol to a higher level, with automated connections and transactions management.

    In addition, the library provides:

    • its own, more flexible query formatting
    • events reporting for connectivity, errors, queries, etc.
    • support for all popular promise libraries + ES6 generators
    • declarative approach to controlling query results
    • extensive support for external SQL files


    See the Official Documentation to get started.

    Much of the documentation on this page below is either detailing some of the larger aspects of using the library, or the older API documentation, due to be refactored out. You should use the Official Documentation as the most up-to-date source.


    See Testing wiki for instructions on how to test this library.


    Queries and Parameters

    Every connection context of the library shares the same query protocol, starting with generic method query, defined as shown below:

    function query(query, values, qrm){}
    • query (required) - a string with support for three types of formatting, depending on the values passed:
      • format $1 (single variable), if values is of type string, boolean, number, Date, function, null or QueryFile;
      • format $1, $2, etc.., if values is an array;
      • format $*propName*, if values is an object (not null and not Date), where * is any of the supported open-close pairs: {}, (), <>, [], //;
    • values (optional) - value/array/object to replace the variables in the query;
    • qrm - (optional) Query Result Mask, as explained below. When not passed, it defaults to pgp.queryResult.any.

    When a value/property inside array/object is an array, it is treated as a PostgreSQL Array Type, converted into the array constructor format of array[], the same as calling method pgp.as.array().

    When a value/property inside array/object is of type object (except for null, Date or Buffer), it is automatically serialized into JSON, the same as calling method pgp.as.json(), except the latter would convert anything to JSON.

    For the latest SQL formatting support see the API: methods query and as.format.

    SQL Names

    When a variable ends with ~ (tilde) or :name, it represents an SQL name or identifier, which must be a text string of at least 1 character long. Such name is then properly escaped and wrapped in double quotes.

    query('INSERT INTO $1~($2~) VALUES(...)', ['Table Name', 'Column Name']);
    //=> INSERT INTO "Table Name"("Column Name") VALUES(...)
    // A mixed example for a dynamic column list:
    const columns = ['id', 'message'];
    query('SELECT ${columns^} FROM ${table~}', {
        columns: columns.map(pgp.as.name).join(),
        table: 'Table Name'
    //=> SELECT "id","message" FROM "Table Name"

    Version 5.2.1 and later supports extended syntax for ${this~} and for method as.name:

    const obj = {
        one: 1,
        two: 2
    format('INSERT INTO table(${this~}) VALUES(${one}, ${two})', obj);
    //=>INSERT INTO table("one","two") VALUES(1, 2)

    Relying on this type of formatting for sql names and identifiers, along with regular variable formatting makes your application impervious to sql injection.

    See method as.name for the latest API.

    Version 5.9.0 added explicit support for SQL aliases, to keep them separate from the generic SQL Names, as they only allow a simple syntax. See method as.alias.

    The formatting engine was extended with modifier :alias, which automatically calls method as.alias.

    Raw Text

    Raw-text values can be injected by ending the variable name with ^ or :raw: $1^, $2^, etc..., $*varName^*, where * is any of the supported open-close pairs: {}, (), <>, [], //

    Raw text is injected without any pre-processing, which means:

    • No proper escaping (replacing each single-quote symbol ' with two);
    • No wrapping text into single quotes.

    Unlike regular variables, value for raw-text variables cannot be null or undefined, because of the ambiguous meaning in this case. If such values are passed in, the formatter will throw error Values null/undefined cannot be used as raw text.

    Special syntax this^ within the Named Parameters refers to the formatting object itself, to be injected as a raw-text JSON-formatted string.

    For the latest SQL formatting support see method as.format

    Open Values

    Open values simplify concatenation of string values within a query, primarily for such special cases as LIKE/ILIKE filters.

    Names for open-value variables end with either :value or symbol #, and it means that such a value is to be properly formatted and escaped, but not to be wrapped in quotes when it is a text.

    Similar to raw-text variables, open-value variables are also not allowed to be null or undefined, or they will throw error Open values cannot be null or undefined. And the difference is that raw-text variables are not escaped, while open-value variables are properly escaped.

    Below is an example of formatting LIKE filter that ends with a second name:

    // using $1# or $1:value syntax:
    query('...WHERE name LIKE \'%$1#\'', 'O\'Connor');
    query('...WHERE name LIKE \'%$1:value\'', 'O\'Connor');
    //=> ...WHERE name LIKE '%O''Connor'
    // using ${propName#} or ${propName:value} syntax:
    query('...WHERE name LIKE \'%${filter#}\'', {filter: 'O\'Connor'});
    query('...WHERE name LIKE \'%${filter:value}\'', {filter: 'O\'Connor'});
    //=> ...WHERE name LIKE '%O''Connor'

    See also: method as.value.

    Query Result Mask

    In order to eliminate the chances of unexpected query results and thus make the code more robust, method query uses parameter qrm (Query Result Mask):

    // Query Result Mask flags;
    // Any combination is supported, except for one + many.
    const queryResult = {
        /** Single row is expected. */
        one: 1,
        /** One or more rows expected. */
        many: 2,
        /** Expecting no rows. */
        none: 4,
        /** many|none - any result is expected. */
        any: 6

    In the following generic-query example we indicate that the call can return anything:

    db.query('select * from users');

    which is equivalent to making one of the following calls:

    const qrm = pgp.queryResult;
    db.query('SELECT * FROM users', undefined, qrm.many | qrm.none);
    db.query('SELECT * FROM users', undefined, qrm.any);
    db.manyOrNone('SELECT * FROM users');
    db.any('SELECT * FROM users');

    This usage pattern is facilitated through result-specific methods that can be used instead of the generic query:

    db.many(query, values); // expects one or more rows
    db.one(query, values); // expects a single row
    db.none(query, values); // expects no rows
    db.any(query, values); // expects anything, same as `manyOrNone`
    db.oneOrNone(query, values); // expects 1 or 0 rows
    db.manyOrNone(query, values); // expects anything, same as `any`

    There is however one specific method result to bypass any result verification, and instead resolve with the original Result object passed from the PG library.

    You can also add your own methods and properties to this protocol via the [extend] event.

    Each query function resolves its data according to the qrm that was used:

    • none - data is null. If the query returns any kind of data, it is rejected.
    • one - data is a single object. If the query returns no data or more than one row of data, it is rejected.
    • many - data is an array of objects. If the query returns no rows, it is rejected.
    • one|none - data is null, if no data was returned; or a single object, if one row was returned. If the query returns more than one row of data, the query is rejected.
    • many|none - data is an array of objects. When no rows are returned, data is an empty array.

    If you try to specify one|many in the same query, such query will be rejected without executing it, telling you that such mask is invalid.

    If qrm is not specified when calling generic query method, it is assumed to be many|none = any, i.e. any kind of data expected.

    This is all about writing robust code, when the client specifies what kind of data it is ready to handle on the declarative level, leaving the burden of all extra checks to the library.

    Named Parameters

    The library supports named parameters in query formatting, with the syntax of $*propName*, where * is any of the following open-close pairs: {}, (), <>, [], //

    db.query('SELECT * FROM users WHERE name=${name} AND active=$/active/', {
        name: 'John',
        active: true

    The same goes for all types of query methods as well as method as.format, where values can also be an object whose properties can be referred to by name from within the query.

    A valid property name consists of any combination of letters, digits, underscores or $, and they are case-sensitive. Leading and trailing spaces around property names are ignored.

    It is important to know that while property values null and undefined are both formatted as null, an error is thrown when the property doesn't exist at all (except for partial replacements - see below).

    You can also use partial replacements within method as.format, to ignore variables that do not exist in the formatting object.

    this reference

    Property this is a reference to the formatting object itself, so it can be inserted as a JSON-formatted string, alongside its properties.

    • ${this} - inserts the object itself as a JSON-formatted string;
    • ${this^} - inserts the object itself as a raw-text JSON-formatted string.


    const doc = {
        id: 123,
        body: 'some text'
    db.none('INSERT INTO documents(id, doc) VALUES(${id}, ${this})', doc)
        .then(() => {
            // success;
        .catch(error => {
            // error;

    which will execute:

    INSERT INTO documents(id, doc) VALUES(123'{"id":123,"body":"some text"}')

    Modifier :json is an alternative to formatting the value as a JSON string.

    NOTE: Technically, it is possible in javascript, though not recommended, for an object to contain a property with name this. And in such cases the property's value will be used instead.

    Functions and Procedures

    In PostgreSQL stored procedures are just functions that usually do not return anything.

    Suppose we want to call function findAudit to find audit records by user_id and maximum timestamp. We can make such call as shown below:

    db.func('findAudit', [123, new Date()])
        .then(data => {
            console.log(data); // printing the data returned
        .catch(error => {
            console.log(error); // printing the error

    We passed it user_id = 123, plus current Date/Time as the timestamp. We assume that the function signature matches the parameters that we passed. All values passed are serialized automatically to comply with PostgreSQL type formats.

    Method func accepts optional third parameter - qrm (Query Result Mask), the same as method query.

    And when you are not expecting any return results, call db.proc instead. Both methods return a Promise object, but db.proc doesn't take a qrm parameter, always assuming it is one|none.

    Summary for supporting procedures and functions:

    • func(query, values, qrm) - expects the result according to qrm
    • proc(query, values) - calls func(query, values, qrm.one | qrm.none)

    Conversion Helpers

    The library provides several helper functions to convert javascript types into their proper PostgreSQL presentation that can be passed directly into queries or functions as parameters. All of such helper functions are located within namespace pgp.as, and each function returns a formatted string when successful or throws an error when it fails.

    Custom Type Formatting

    IMPORTANT: Support for this feature changed in v6.5.0.

    Any value/object that has function toPostgres makes use of the Custom Type Formatting.

    Query-formatting engine then calls toPostgres to get the actual value, passing it the object via this, and as a single parameter (in case toPostgres is an ES6 arrow function):

    const obj = {
        toPostgres: function(self) {
            // self = this = obj
            // must return the actual value here

    The actual value returned from toPostgres is formatted/escaped according to its JavaScript type, unless the object contains property _rawType set to a truthy value, in which case the returned value is assumed to be pre-formatted, and thus injected directly, as a raw value.

    Example below implements a class that auto-formats ST_MakePoint from coordinates:

    function STPoint(x, y) {
        this._rawType = true; // do not escape the value from toPostgres()
        this.toPostgres = () => pgp.as.format('ST_MakePoint($1, $2)', [x, y]);

    With this class you can use new STPoint(12, 34) as a formatting value that will be injected correctly.

    You can also use Custom Type Formatting to override any standard type:

    Date.prototype.toPostgres = a => a.getTime();

    Function toPostgres can return anything, including:

    • instance of another object that implements its own toPostgres
    • instance of a regular object, one without toPostgres in it
    • another function, with recursion of any depth

    Query Files

    Use of external SQL files (via QueryFile) offers many advantages:

    • Much cleaner JavaScript code, with all SQL kept in external files;
    • Much easier to write large and well-formatted SQL, with comments and whole revisions;
    • Changes in external SQL can be automatically re-loaded (option debug), without restarting the app;
    • Pre-formatting SQL upon loading (option params), making a two-step SQL formatting very easy;
    • Parsing and minifying SQL (options minify/compress), for early error detection and smaller queries.


    const path = require('path');
    // Helper for linking to external query files:
    function sql(file) {
        const fullPath = path.join(__dirname, file);
        return new pgp.QueryFile(fullPath, {minify: true});
    // Create a QueryFile globally, once per file:
    const sqlFindUser = sql('./sql/findUser.sql');
    db.one(sqlFindUser, {id: 123})
        .then(user=> {
        .catch(error=> {
            if (error instanceof pgp.errors.QueryFileError) {
                // => the error is related to our QueryFile

    File findUser.sql:

        multi-line comment
    SELECT name, dob -- single-line comment 
    FROM Users
    WHERE id = ${id}

    Every query method of the library can accept type QueryFile as its query parameter. The type never throws any error, leaving it for query methods to reject with QueryFileError.


    You should only create a single reusable instance of QueryFile per file, in order to avoid repeated file reads, as the IO is a very expensive resource.

    Notable features of QueryFile:

    • debug mode, to make every query request check if the file has changed since it was last read, and if so - read it afresh. This way you can write sql queries and see immediate updates without having to restart your application.
    • Option params is for static SQL pre-formatting, to inject certain values only once, like a schema name or a configurable table name.

    In version 5.2.0, support for type QueryFile was also integrated into the query formatting engine. See method as.format.


    A task represents a shared connection to be used within a callback function:

    db.task(t => {
        // execute a chain of queries;
        .then(data => {
            // success;
        .catch(error => {
            // failed;    

    The purpose of tasks is to provide a shared connection context for its callback function, and to be released when finished.


    A transaction (method tx) is a special type of task that automatically executes BEGIN + COMMIT/ROLLBACK:

    db.tx(t => {
        // creating a sequence of transaction queries:
        const q1 = t.none('UPDATE users SET active=$1 WHERE id=$2', [true, 123]);
        const q2 = t.one('INSERT INTO audit(entity, id) VALUES($1, $2) RETURNING id',
            ['users', 123]);
        // returning a promise that determines a successful transaction:
        return t.batch([q1, q2]); // all of the queries are to be resolved;
        .then(data => {
            console.log(data); // printing successful transaction output;
        .catch(error => {
            console.log(error); // printing the error;

    Nested Transactions

    Nested transactions automatically share the connection between all levels. This library sets no limitation as to the depth (nesting levels) of transactions supported.


    db.tx(t => {
        const queries = [
            t.none('DROP TABLE users;'),
            t.none('CREATE TABLE users(id SERIAL NOT NULL, name TEXT NOT NULL)')
        for (let i = 1; i <= 100; i++) {
            queries.push(t.none('INSERT INTO users(name) VALUES($1)', 'name-' + i));
            t.tx(t1 => {
                return t1.tx(t2 => {
                    return t2.one('SELECT count(*) FROM users');
        return t.batch(queries);
        .then(data => {
            console.log(data); // printing transaction result;
        .catch(error => {
            console.log(error); // printing the error;

    Implementation details

    It is important to know that PostgreSQL doesn't have proper support for nested transactions, but it supports savepoints inside transactions. Nested transactions and save-points are two ways to deal with partial rollbacks. Save-points are more general and allow this library to offer you nested transactions as an abstraction.

    Save-points allow you to rollback to any previous state since the beginning of the (only) top-level transaction. Nested transactions allow you to only rollback to the state at the beginning of the current transaction. Proper support for nested transactions means that the result of a successful sub-transaction or query is rolled back when its parent transaction is rolled back.

    From a practical point of view, it means that when using nested transactions, a rollback knows automatically which state to restore but when using save-points you must specify which previous save-point to use. This library tracks the save-points for you so you can work as if nested transactions were supported by Postgres.

    It is important to note that when using either save-points or "real" nested transactions (which are tools for partial rollbacks), data is finally written only when the top level transaction is committed.

    Also, Postgres uses BEGIN amd COMMIT / ROLLBACK for the top transaction and SAVEPOINT pointName and ROLLBACK TO pointName for inner save-points. This library automatically provides a transaction on the top level, and save-points for all sub-transactions.


    This implementation of nested transactions has the following transactions

    • The txMode property of sub-transactions is ignored. The transaction mode is only applied for BEGIN statements, so only for top-level transactions.
    • SET TRANSACTION statements are only effective if they are called before any query of the real Postgres transaction. This means that once any nested transaction does a query, the transaction mode is locked for the whole transaction tree.

    See the implementation details above for more information.

    Synchronous Transactions

    A regular task/transaction with a set of independent queries relies on method batch to resolve all queries asynchronously.

    However, when it comes to executing a significant number of queries during a bulk INSERT or UPDATE, such approach is no longer practical. For one thing, it implies that all requests have been created as promise objects, which isn't possible when dealing with a huge number of queries, due to memory limitations imposed by NodeJS. And for another, when one query fails, the rest will continue trying to execute, due to their promise nature, as being asynchronous.

    This is why within each task/transaction we have method sequence, to be able to execute a strict sequence of queries one by one, and if one fails - the rest won't try to execute.

    function source(index, data, delay) {
        // must create and return a promise object dynamically,
        // based on the index of the sequence;
        switch (index) {
            case 0:
                return this.query('SELECT 0');
            case 1:
                return this.query('SELECT 1');
            case 2:
                return this.query('SELECT 2');
        // returning or resolving with undefined ends the sequence;
        // throwing an error will result in a reject;
    db.tx(t => {
        return t.sequence(source);
        .then(data => {
            console.log(data); // print result;
        .catch(error => {
            console.log(error); // print the error;

    Sequence is based on implementation of spex.sequence.

    Configurable Transactions

    In order to be able to fine-tune database requests in a highly asynchronous environment, PostgreSQL supports Transaction Snapshots, plus 3 ways of configuring a transaction:

    • SET TRANSACTION, to configure the current transaction, which your can execute as the very first query in your transaction function;
    • SET SESSION CHARACTERISTICS AS TRANSACTION - setting default transaction properties for the entire session;
    • BEGIN + Transaction Mode - initiates a pre-configured transaction.

    The first method is quite usable, but that means you have to start every transaction with an initial query to configure the transaction, which can be a bit awkward.

    The second approach isn't very usable within a database framework as this one, which relies on a connection pool, so you don't really know when a new connection is created.

    The last method is not usable, because transactions in this library are automatic, executing BEGIN without your control, or so it was until Transaction Mode type was added (read further).

    Transaction Mode extends the BEGIN command in your transaction with a complete set of configuration parameters.

    const TransactionMode = pgp.txMode.TransactionMode;
    const isolationLevel = pgp.txMode.isolationLevel;
    // Create a reusable transaction mode (serializable + read-only + deferrable):
    const tmSRD = new TransactionMode({
        tiLevel: isolationLevel.serializable,
        readOnly: true,
        deferrable: true
    function myTransaction() {
        return this.query('SELECT * FROM table');
    myTransaction.txMode = tmSRD; // assign transaction mode;
        .then(() => {
            // success;

    Instead of the default BEGIN, such transaction will initiate with the following command:


    Transaction Mode is set via property txMode on the transaction function.

    This is the most efficient and best-performing way of configuring transactions. In combination with Transaction Snapshots you can make the most out of transactions in terms of performance and concurrency.


    If you prefer writing asynchronous code in a synchronous manner, you can implement your tasks and transactions as generators.

    function * getUser(t) {
        let user = yield t.oneOrNone('SELECT * FROM users WHERE id = $1', 123);
        return yield user || t.one('INSERT INTO users(name) VALUES($1) RETURNING *', 'John');
        .then(user => {
            // success;
        .catch(error => {
            // error;

    The library verifies whether the callback function is a generator, and executes it accordingly.


    Initialization Options

    When initializing the library, you can pass object options with a set of global properties. See API / options for complete list of supported options.


    By default, pg-promise provides its own implementation of the query formatting, as explained in Queries and Parameters.

    If, however, you want your queries formatted by the PG library, set parameter pgFormatting to be true when initializing the library, and every query formatting will redirect to the PG's implementation.

    Although this has a huge implication to the library's functionality, it is not within the scope of this project to detail. For any further reference you should use documentation of the PG library.

    Below is just some of the query-formatting features implemented by pg-promise that are not in node-postgres:

    • Custom Type Formatting
    • Single-value formatting: pg-promise doesn't require use of an array when passing a single value;
    • Raw-Text support: injecting raw/pre-formatted text values into the query;
    • Functions as formatting parameters, with the actual values returned from the callbacks;
    • PostgreSQL Array Constructors are used when formatting arrays, not the old string syntax;
    • Automatic conversion of numeric NaN, +Infinity and -Infinity into their string presentation;
    • Support for this reference;
    • Automatic QueryFile support

    NOTE: Formatting parameters for calling functions (methods func and proc) is not affected by this override. When needed, use the generic query instead to invoke functions with redirected query formatting.


    By default, pg-promise uses ES6 Promise. If your version of NodeJS doesn't support ES6 Promise, or you want a different promise library to be used, set this property to the library's instance.

    Example of switching over to Bluebird:

    const promise = require('bluebird');
    const options = {
        promiseLib: promise
    const pgp = require('pg-promise')(options);

    Promises/A+ libraries that implement a recognizable promise signature and work automatically:

    • ES6 Promise - used by default, though it doesn't have done() or finally().
    • Bluebird - best alternative all around, which includes the very important Long Stack Traces;
    • Promise - very solid library;
    • When - quite old, not the best support;
    • Q - most widely used;
    • RSVP - doesn't have done(), use finally/catch instead
    • Lie - doesn't have done().

    If you pass in a library that doesn't implement a recognizable promise signature, pg-promise will throw error Invalid promise library specified. during initialization.

    For such libraries you can use Promise Adapter to make them compatible with pg-promise, mostly needed by smaller and simplified Conformant Implementations.

    Library de-initialization

    When exiting your application, you can optionally call pgp.end:

    pgp.end(); // shuts down all connection pools

    This will release all connection pools, to make sure the process can terminate without any delay. If you do not call it, your process may be waiting for 30 seconds (default for poolIdleTimeout), waiting for all connections to expire in every pool.

    If, however you normally exit your application by killing the NodeJS process, then you don't need to use it.


    For the list of all changes see the CHANGELOG.


    Copyright (c) 2017 Vitaly Tomilov (vitaly.tomilov@gmail.com)

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.



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