Foreign Data Wrappers with PostgreSQL and PHP


PostgreSQL is more than a relational database. It has many cool features. Today we’re going to play with Foreign Data Wrappers (FDW). The idea is crate a virtual table from an external datasource and use it like we use a traditional table.

Let me show you an example. Imagine that we’ve got a REST datasource on port 8888. We’re going to use this Silex application, for example

use Silex\Application;

$app = new Application();

$app->get('/', function(Application $app) {

    return $app->json([
        ['name' => 'Peter', 'surname' => 'Parker'],
        ['name' => 'Clark', 'surname' => 'Kent'],
        ['name' => 'Bruce', 'surname' => 'Wayne'],
    ]);
});

$app->run();

We want to use this datasource in PostgreSQL, so we need to use a “www foreign data wrapper”.

First we create the extension (maybe we need to compile the extension. We can follow the installation instructions here)

CREATE EXTENSION www_fdw;

Now with the extension we need to create a “server”. This server is just a proxy that connects to the real Rest service

CREATE SERVER myRestServer FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER www_fdw OPTIONS (uri 'http://localhost:8888');

Now we need to map our user to the server

CREATE USER MAPPING FOR gonzalo SERVER myRestServer;

And finally we only need our “Foreign table”

CREATE FOREIGN TABLE myRest (
    name text,
    surname text
) SERVER myRestServer;

Now we can perform SQL queries using our Foreign table

SELECT * FROM myRest

We must take care with one thing. We can use WHERE clauses but if we run

SELECT * FROM myRest WHERE name='Peter'

We’ll that the output is the same than “SELECT * FROM myRest”. That’s because if we want to filter something with WHERE clause within Foreign we need to do it in the remote service. WHERE name=‘Peter’ means that our Database will execute the following request:

http://localhost:8888?name=Peter

And we need to handle this parameter. For example doing something like that

use Silex\Application;
use Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Request;

$app = new Application();

$app->get('/', function(Application $app, Request $request) {
    $name = $request->get('name');

    $data = [
        ['name' => 'Peter', 'surname' => 'Parker'],
        ['name' => 'Clark', 'surname' => 'Kent'],
        ['name' => 'Bruce', 'surname' => 'Wayne'],
    ];
    return $app->json(array_filter($data, function($reg) use($name){
        return $name ? $reg['name'] == $name : true;
    }));
});

$app->run();

About Gonzalo Ayuso

Web Architect. PHP, Python, Node, Angular, ionic, PostgreSQL, Linux, ... Always learning.

Posted on February 22, 2016, in php, PostgreSQL, Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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