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Community Blog How Does PostgreSQL Implement Batch Update, Deletion, and Insertion?

How Does PostgreSQL Implement Batch Update, Deletion, and Insertion?

This article addresses all the frequently asked questions pertaining to batch update, insertion, and deletion in PostgreSQL.

Background

This article aims to answer all the following questions:

  • How do I insert multiple records at once?
  • How do I update multiple records at once?
  • How do I delete multiple records at once?

Batch operations help reduce the interactions between databases and applications and improve data processing throughput.

Batch Insertion

Batch Insertion 1

Use the insert into ... select method as shown below.

postgres=# insert into tbl1 (id, info ,crt_time) select generate_series(1,10000),'test',now();    
INSERT 0 10000    
postgres=# select count(*) from tbl1;    
 count     
-------    
 10001    
(1 row)   

Batch Insertion 2

Use the values(),(),...() method as shown below.

postgres=# insert into tbl1 (id,info,crt_time) values (1,'test',now()), (2,'test2',now()), (3,'test3',now());    
INSERT 0 3    

Batch Insertion 3

Use the BEGIN; ... multiple insert statements... ; END method as shown below.

Strictly speaking, this is not a batch operation, but it helps to reduce the synchronization wait time when transactions are submitted. It also improves performance.

postgres=# begin;    
BEGIN    
postgres=# insert into tbl1 (id,info,crt_time) values (1,'test',now());    
INSERT 0 1    
postgres=# insert into tbl1 (id,info,crt_time) values (2,'test2',now());    
INSERT 0 1    
postgres=# insert into tbl1 (id,info,crt_time) values (3,'test3',now());    
INSERT 0 1    
postgres=# end;    
COMMIT    

Batch Insertion 4

Unlike Insert protocol, the Copy protocol is more streamlined and makes insertion more efficient.

test03=# \d test  
                Table "public.test"  
  Column  |            Type             | Modifiers   
----------+-----------------------------+-----------  
 id       | integer                     | not null  
 info     | text                        |   
 crt_time | timestamp without time zone |   
Indexes:  
    "test_pkey" PRIMARY KEY, btree (id)  
  
test03=# copy test from stdin;  
Enter data to be copied followed by a newline.  
End with a backslash and a period on a line by itself.  
>> 8    'test'  '2017-01-01'  
>> 9    'test9' '2017-02-02'  
>> \.  
COPY 2  

The corresponding copy interface varies with the language driver.

Batch Update

Implement a batch update as shown below.

test03=# update test set info=tmp.info from (values (1,'new1'),(2,'new2'),(6,'new6')) as tmp (id,info) where test.id=tmp.id;  
UPDATE 3  
test03=# select * from test;  
 id |     info     |          crt_time            
----+--------------+----------------------------  
  3 | hello        | 2017-04-24 15:31:49.14291  
  4 | digoal0123   | 2017-04-24 15:42:50.912887  
  5 | hello digoal | 2017-04-24 15:57:29.622045  
  1 | new1         | 2017-04-24 15:58:55.610072  
  2 | new2         | 2017-04-24 15:28:20.37392  
  6 | new6         | 2017-04-24 15:59:12.265915  
(6 rows)  

Use other table names after 'from' to perform multi-table JOIN batch update.

Batch Deletion

Implement batch deletion as shown below.

test03=# delete from test using (values (3),(4),(5)) as tmp(id) where test.id=tmp.id;  
DELETE 3  
test03=# select * from test;  
 id |  info   |          crt_time            
----+---------+----------------------------  
  1 | new1    | 2017-04-24 15:58:55.610072  
  2 | new2    | 2017-04-24 15:28:20.37392  
  6 | new6    | 2017-04-24 15:59:12.265915 

Use other table names after 'using' to perform multi-table JOIN batch deletion.

If you want to clear the table, we recommend usig truncate.

test03=# set lock_timeout = '1s';
SET
test03=# truncate test;  
TRUNCATE TABLE  
test03=# select * from test;  
 id | info | crt_time   
----+------+----------  
(0 rows)  

Batch Update or Deletion -If Cartesian or One-to-Many or Many-to-Many JOIN Operations Occur

In a scenario where a Cartesian or one-to-many or many-to-many JOIN operations occur, the database might not know the target row for which the value needs to be updated.

postgres=# create table t1 (id int primary key, info text);
CREATE TABLE
postgres=# create table t2(id int, info text);
CREATE TABLE
postgres=# insert into t1 select generate_series(1,10), 't1';
INSERT 0 10
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t2');
INSERT 32796 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t2');
INSERT 32797 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t3');
INSERT 32798 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t4');
INSERT 32799 1
postgres=# update t1 set info=t2.info from t2 where t1.id=t2.id;
UPDATE 1
postgres=# select * from t1 where id=1;
 id | info 
----+------
  1 | t2
(1 row)

postgres=# delete from t1 using t2 where t1.id=t2.id;
DELETE 1

postgres=# drop table t1;
DROP TABLE
postgres=# drop table t2;
DROP TABLE
postgres=# create table t1 (id int, info text);
CREATE TABLE
postgres=# create table t2 (id int, info text);
CREATE TABLE
postgres=# insert into t1 values (1,'t1');
INSERT 32814 1
postgres=# insert into t1 values (1,'t1');
INSERT 32815 1
postgres=# insert into t1 values (1,'t1');
INSERT 32816 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t2');
INSERT 32817 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t3');
INSERT 32818 1
postgres=# insert into t2 values (1,'t4');
INSERT 32819 1
postgres=# insert into t1 values (2,'t1');
INSERT 32820 1
postgres=# select * from t1;
 id | info 
----+------
  1 | t1
  1 | t1
  1 | t1
  2 | t1
(4 rows)

postgres=# select * from t2;
 id | info 
----+------
  1 | t2
  1 | t3
  1 | t4
(3 rows)

postgres=# update t1 set info=t2.info from t2 where t1.id=t2.id;
UPDATE 3
postgres=# select ctid,* from t1;
 ctid  | id | info 
-------+----+------
 (0,4) |  2 | t1
 (0,5) |  1 | t2
 (0,6) |  1 | t2
 (0,7) |  1 | t2
(4 rows)

postgres=# delete from t1 using t2 where t1.id=t2.id;
DELETE 3
postgres=# select ctid,* from t1;
 ctid  | id | info 
-------+----+------
 (0,4) |  2 | t1
(1 row)

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