Provided by: postgresql-client-8.4_8.4.4-2_i386 bug

NAME

       NOTIFY - generate a notification

SYNOPSIS

       NOTIFY name

DESCRIPTION

       The   NOTIFY   command  sends  a  notification  event  to  each  client
       application that has previously executed LISTEN name for the  specified
       notification name in the current database.

       NOTIFY  provides  a simple form of signal or interprocess communication
       mechanism for a collection of processes accessing the  same  PostgreSQL
       database.   Higher-level mechanisms can be built by using tables in the
       database to pass additional data (beyond a mere notification name) from
       notifier to listener(s).

       The  information passed to the client for a notification event includes
       the notification name and the notifying session’s server  process  PID.
       It is up to the database designer to define the notification names that
       will be used in a given database and what each one means.

       Commonly, the notification name is the same as the name of  some  table
       in  the  database,  and the notify event essentially means, ‘‘I changed
       this table, take a look  at  it  to  see  what’s  new’’.  But  no  such
       association is enforced by the NOTIFY and LISTEN commands. For example,
       a database designer could use several different notification  names  to
       signal different sorts of changes to a single table.

       When NOTIFY is used to signal the occurrence of changes to a particular
       table, a useful programming technique is to put the NOTIFY  in  a  rule
       that  is triggered by table updates.  In this way, notification happens
       automatically when the table is changed, and the application programmer
       cannot accidentally forget to do it.

       NOTIFY interacts with SQL transactions in some important ways. Firstly,
       if a NOTIFY is executed inside a transaction, the notify events are not
       delivered  until  and  unless  the  transaction  is  committed. This is
       appropriate, since if the transaction  is  aborted,  all  the  commands
       within  it  have  had  no  effect,  including  NOTIFY.  But  it  can be
       disconcerting if  one  is  expecting  the  notification  events  to  be
       delivered  immediately.  Secondly,  if  a  listening session receives a
       notification signal while it is within a transaction, the  notification
       event  will  not  be delivered to its connected client until just after
       the transaction is completed (either committed or aborted). Again,  the
       reasoning is that if a notification were delivered within a transaction
       that was later aborted, one would want the notification  to  be  undone
       somehow  —  but  the server cannot ‘‘take back’’ a notification once it
       has sent it to the client.  So notification events are  only  delivered
       between  transactions.  The  upshot  of this is that applications using
       NOTIFY for real-time signaling should try to  keep  their  transactions
       short.

       NOTIFY  behaves like Unix signals in one important respect: if the same
       notification name is  signaled  multiple  times  in  quick  succession,
       recipients might get only one notification event for several executions
       of NOTIFY. So it is a bad idea to depend on the number of notifications
       received.  Instead, use NOTIFY to wake up applications that need to pay
       attention to something, and use a database object (such as a  sequence)
       to keep track of what happened or how many times it happened.

       It  is  common for a client that executes NOTIFY to be listening on the
       same notification name  itself.  In  that  case  it  will  get  back  a
       notification  event,  just  like  all  the  other  listening  sessions.
       Depending on the application logic, this could result in useless  work,
       for  example,  reading  a  database table to find the same updates that
       that session just wrote out. It is possible to avoid such extra work by
       noticing  whether  the notifying session’s server process PID (supplied
       in the notification event message) is the same as one’s  own  session’s
       PID  (available  from  libpq). When they are the same, the notification
       event is one’s own work bouncing back, and  can  be  ignored.  (Despite
       what  was  said  in  the preceding paragraph, this is a safe technique.
       PostgreSQL  keeps  self-notifications   separate   from   notifications
       arriving   from   other   sessions,  so  you  cannot  miss  an  outside
       notification by ignoring your own notifications.)

PARAMETERS

       name   Name of the notification to be signaled (any identifier).

EXAMPLES

       Configure and execute a listen/notify sequence from psql:

       LISTEN virtual;
       NOTIFY virtual;
       Asynchronous notification "virtual" received from server process with PID 8448.

COMPATIBILITY

       There is no NOTIFY statement in the SQL standard.

SEE ALSO

       LISTEN [listen(7)], UNLISTEN [unlisten(7)]