Provided by: postgresql-client-9.1_9.1.3-2_i386 bug


       NOTIFY - generate a notification


       NOTIFY channel [ , payload ]


       The NOTIFY command sends a notification event together with an optional
       “payload” string to each client application that has previously
       executed LISTEN channel for the specified channel name in the current

       NOTIFY provides a simple interprocess communication mechanism for a
       collection of processes accessing the same PostgreSQL database. A
       payload string can be sent along with the notification, and
       higher-level mechanisms for passing structured data can be built by
       using tables in the database to pass additional data from notifier to

       The information passed to the client for a notification event includes
       the notification channel name, the notifying session's server process
       PID, and the payload string, which is an empty string if it has not
       been specified.

       It is up to the database designer to define the channel names that will
       be used in a given database and what each one means. Commonly, the
       channel 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 channel names to signal different sorts of changes to
       a single table. Alternatively, the payload string could be used to
       differentiate various cases.

       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

       If the same channel name is signaled multiple times from the same
       transaction with identical payload strings, the database server can
       decide to deliver a single notification only. On the other hand,
       notifications with distinct payload strings will always be delivered as
       distinct notifications. Similarly, notifications from different
       transactions will never get folded into one notification. Except for
       dropping later instances of duplicate notifications, NOTIFY guarantees
       that notifications from the same transaction get delivered in the order
       they were sent. It is also guaranteed that messages from different
       transactions are delivered in the order in which the transactions

       It is common for a client that executes NOTIFY to be listening on the
       same notification channel 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.


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

           The “payload” string to be communicated along with the
           notification. This must be specified as a simple string literal. In
           the default configuration it must be shorter than 8000 bytes. (If
           binary data or large amounts of information need to be
           communicated, it's best to put it in a database table and send the
           key of the record.)


       There is a queue that holds notifications that have been sent but not
       yet processed by all listening sessions. If this queue becomes full,
       transactions calling NOTIFY will fail at commit. The queue is quite
       large (8GB in a standard installation) and should be sufficiently sized
       for almost every use case. However, no cleanup can take place if a
       session executes LISTEN and then enters a transaction for a very long
       time. Once the queue is half full you will see warnings in the log file
       pointing you to the session that is preventing cleanup. In this case
       you should make sure that this session ends its current transaction so
       that cleanup can proceed.

       A transaction that has executed NOTIFY cannot be prepared for two-phase

       To send a notification you can also use the function pg_notify(text,
       text). The function takes the channel name as the first argument and
       the payload as the second. The function is much easier to use than the
       NOTIFY command if you need to work with non-constant channel names and


       Configure and execute a listen/notify sequence from psql:

           LISTEN virtual;
           NOTIFY virtual;
           Asynchronous notification "virtual" received from server process with PID 8448.
           NOTIFY virtual, 'This is the payload';
           Asynchronous notification "virtual" with payload "This is the payload" received from server process with PID 8448.

           LISTEN foo;
           SELECT pg_notify('fo' || 'o', 'pay' || 'load');
           Asynchronous notification "foo" with payload "payload" received from server process with PID 14728.


       There is no NOTIFY statement in the SQL standard.


       LISTEN(7), UNLISTEN(7)