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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for create_operator (redhat section 7)

CREATE OPERATOR(7)			   SQL Commands 		       CREATE OPERATOR(7)

       CREATE OPERATOR - define a new operator

       CREATE OPERATOR name ( PROCEDURE = func_name
	    [, LEFTARG = lefttype
	    ] [, RIGHTARG = righttype ]
	    [, COMMUTATOR = com_op ] [, NEGATOR = neg_op ]
	    [, RESTRICT = res_proc ] [, JOIN = join_proc ]
	    [, HASHES ] [, MERGES ]
	    [, SORT1 = left_sort_op ] [, SORT2 = right_sort_op ]
	    [, LTCMP = less_than_op ] [, GTCMP = greater_than_op ] )

       name   The  operator  to  be defined. See below for allowable characters.  The name may be
	      schema-qualified, for example CREATE OPERATOR myschema.+ (...).

	      The function used to implement this operator.

	      The type of the left-hand argument of the operator, if any.  This option	would  be
	      omitted for a left-unary operator.

	      The  type of the right-hand argument of the operator, if any.  This option would be
	      omitted for a right-unary operator.

       com_op The commutator of this operator.

       neg_op The negator of this operator.

	      The restriction selectivity estimator function for this operator.

	      The join selectivity estimator function for this operator.

       HASHES Indicates this operator can support a hash join.

       MERGES Indicates this operator can support a merge join.

	      If this operator can support a merge join, the less-than operator  that  sorts  the
	      left-hand data type of this operator.

	      If  this	operator  can support a merge join, the less-than operator that sorts the
	      right-hand data type of this operator.

	      If this operator can support a merge join, the less-than operator that compares the
	      input data types of this operator.

	      If  this operator can support a merge join, the greater-than operator that compares
	      the input data types of this operator.

	      Message returned if the operator is successfully created.

       CREATE OPERATOR defines a new operator, name.  The user who defines  an	operator  becomes
       its owner.

       If  a schema name is given then the operator is created in the specified schema. Otherwise
       it is created in the current schema (the one at the front of the  search  path;	see  CUR-

       Two  operators in the same schema can have the same name if they operate on different data
       types. This is called overloading. The system will attempt to pick the  intended  operator
       based on the actual input data types when there is ambiguity.

       The operator name is a sequence of up to NAMEDATALEN-1 (63 by default) characters from the
       following list:

       + - * / < > = ~ ! @ # % ^ & | ` ? $

       There are a few restrictions on your choice of name:

       o $ cannot be defined as a single-character operator, although it can be part of a  multi-
	 character operator name.

       o --  and  /*  cannot appear anywhere in an operator name, since they will be taken as the
	 start of a comment.

       o A multicharacter operator name cannot end in + or -, unless the name  also  contains  at
	 least one of these characters:

	 ~ ! @ # % ^ & | ` ? $

	 For  example,	@-  is	an allowed operator name, but *- is not.  This restriction allows
	 PostgreSQL to parse SQL-compliant queries without requiring spaces between tokens.

	      Note: When working with non-SQL-standard operator names, you will usually  need  to
	      separate	adjacent  operators  with spaces to avoid ambiguity.  For example, if you
	      have defined a left-unary operator named @, you cannot write X*@Y; you  must  write
	      X* @Y to ensure that PostgreSQL reads it as two operator names not one.

       The operator != is mapped to <> on input, so these two names are always equivalent.

       At least one of LEFTARG and RIGHTARG must be defined. For binary operators, both should be
       defined. For right unary operators, only LEFTARG should be defined, while for  left  unary
       operators only RIGHTARG should be defined.

       The  func_name  procedure must have been previously defined using CREATE FUNCTION and must
       be defined to accept the correct number of arguments (either one or two) of the	indicated

       The commutator operator should be identified if one exists, so that PostgreSQL can reverse
       the order of the operands if it wishes.	For example, the  operator  area-less-than,  <<<,
       would probably have a commutator operator, area-greater-than, >>>.  Hence, the query opti-
       mizer could freely convert:

       box '((0,0), (1,1))'  >>> MYBOXES.description


       MYBOXES.description <<< box '((0,0), (1,1))'

       This allows the execution code to always use the latter representation and simplifies  the
       query optimizer somewhat.

       Similarly,  if  there is a negator operator then it should be identified.  Suppose that an
       operator, area-equal, ===, exists, as well as an area not equal, !==.   The  negator  link
       allows the query optimizer to simplify

       NOT MYBOXES.description === box '((0,0), (1,1))'


       MYBOXES.description !== box '((0,0), (1,1))'

       If  a  commutator operator name is supplied, PostgreSQL searches for it in the catalog. If
       it is found and it does not yet have a commutator itself, then the commutator's	entry  is
       updated to have the newly created operator as its commutator. This applies to the negator,
       as well.  This is to allow the definition of two operators that are the commutators or the
       negators of each other. The first operator should be defined without a commutator or nega-
       tor (as appropriate). When the second operator is defined, name the first as the  commuta-
       tor or negator. The first will be updated as a side effect. (As of PostgreSQL 6.5, it also
       works to just have both operators refer to each other.)

       The HASHES, MERGES, SORT1, SORT2, LTCMP, and GTCMP options  are	present  to  support  the
       query  optimizer  in  performing joins.	PostgreSQL can always evaluate a join (i.e., pro-
       cessing a clause with two tuple variables separated by an operator that returns a boolean)
       by  iterative  substitution . In addition, PostgreSQL can use a hash-join algorithm ; how-
       ever, it must know whether this strategy is applicable. The current hash-join algorithm is
       only  correct  for  operators  that represent equality tests; furthermore, equality of the
       data type must mean bitwise equality of the representation of the type.	(For  example,	a
       data  type  that  contains  unused  bits that don't matter for equality tests could not be
       hash-joined.) The HASHES flag indicates to the query optimizer that a hash join may safely
       be used with this operator.

       Similarly, the MERGES flag indicates whether merge-sort is a usable join strategy for this
       operator. A merge join requires that the two input data types have  consistent  orderings,
       and  that  the merge-join operator behave like equality with respect to that ordering. For
       example, it is possible to merge-join equality between an integer and a float variable  by
       sorting both inputs in ordinary numeric order. Execution of a merge join requires that the
       system be able to identify four operators related to  the  merge-join  equality	operator:
       less-than  comparison  for  the	left  input data type, less-than comparison for the right
       input data type, less-than comparison between the two data types, and greater-than compar-
       ison  between  the  two data types. It is possible to specify these by name, as the SORT1,
       SORT2, LTCMP, and GTCMP options respectively. The system will fill in the default names <,
       <,  <,  >  respectively if any of these are omitted when MERGES is specified. Also, MERGES
       will be assumed to be implied if any of these four operator options appear.

       If other join strategies are found to be practical, PostgreSQL will change  the	optimizer
       and run-time system to use them and will require additional specification when an operator
       is defined. Fortunately, the research community invents new join strategies  infrequently,
       and the added generality of user-defined join strategies was not felt to be worth the com-
       plexity involved.

       The RESTRICT and JOIN options assist the query optimizer in estimating result sizes. If	a
       clause of the form:

       myboxes.description <<< box '((0,0), (1,1))'

       is  present in the qualification, then PostgreSQL may have to estimate the fraction of the
       instances in myboxes that satisfy the clause. The function res_proc must be  a  registered
       function  (meaning it is already defined using CREATE FUNCTION) which accepts arguments of
       the correct data types and returns a floating-point number.  The  query	optimizer  simply
       calls this function, passing the parameter ((0,0), (1,1)) and multiplies the result by the
       relation size to get the expected number of instances.

       Similarly, when the operands of the operator both contain instance  variables,  the  query
       optimizer must estimate the size of the resulting join. The function join_proc will return
       another floating-point number which will be multiplied by the  cardinalities  of  the  two
       tables involved to compute the expected result size.

       The difference between the function

       my_procedure_1 (MYBOXES.description, box '((0,0), (1,1))')

       and the operator

       MYBOXES.description === box '((0,0), (1,1))'

       is  that  PostgreSQL  attempts  to  optimize  operators	and can decide to use an index to
       restrict the search space when operators are involved. However, there  is  no  attempt  to
       optimize  functions,  and they are performed by brute force.  Moreover, functions can have
       any number of arguments while operators are restricted to one or two.

       Refer to the chapter on operators in the PostgreSQL User's Guide for further  information.
       Refer to DROP OPERATOR to delete user-defined operators from a database.

       To  give  a  schema-qualified operator name in com_op or the other optional arguments, use
       the OPERATOR() syntax, for example

	  COMMUTATOR = OPERATOR(myschema.===) ,

       The following command defines a new operator, area-equality, for the BOX data type:

       CREATE OPERATOR === (
	  LEFTARG = box,
	  RIGHTARG = box,
	  PROCEDURE = area_equal_procedure,
	  COMMUTATOR = ===,
	  NEGATOR = !==,
	  RESTRICT = area_restriction_procedure,
	  JOIN = area_join_procedure,
	  SORT1 = <<<,
	  SORT2 = <<<
	  -- Since sort operators were given, MERGES is implied.
	  -- LTCMP and GTCMP are assumed to be < and > respectively

       CREATE OPERATOR is a PostgreSQL extension.  There  is  no  CREATE  OPERATOR  statement  in

SQL - Language Statements		    2002-11-22			       CREATE OPERATOR(7)

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