33.7. The Fast-Path Interface

PostgreSQL provides a fast-path interface to send simple function calls to the server.


This interface is somewhat obsolete, as one can achieve similar performance and greater functionality by setting up a prepared statement to define the function call. Then, executing the statement with binary transmission of parameters and results substitutes for a fast-path function call.

The function PQfn requests execution of a server function via the fast-path interface:

PGresult *PQfn(PGconn *conn,
               int fnid,
               int *result_buf,
               int *result_len,
               int result_is_int,
               const PQArgBlock *args,
               int nargs);

typedef struct
    int len;
    int isint;
        int *ptr;
        int integer;
    } u;
} PQArgBlock;

The fnid argument is the OID of the function to be executed. args and nargs define the parameters to be passed to the function; they must match the declared function argument list. When the isint field of a parameter structure is true, the u.integer value is sent to the server as an integer of the indicated length (this must be 2 or 4 bytes); proper byte-swapping occurs. When isint is false, the indicated number of bytes at *u.ptr are sent with no processing; the data must be in the format expected by the server for binary transmission of the function's argument data type. (The declaration of u.ptr as being of type int * is historical; it would be better to consider it void *.) result_buf points to the buffer in which to place the function's return value. The caller must have allocated sufficient space to store the return value. (There is no check!) The actual result length in bytes will be returned in the integer pointed to by result_len. If a 2- or 4-byte integer result is expected, set result_is_int to 1, otherwise set it to 0. Setting result_is_int to 1 causes libpq to byte-swap the value if necessary, so that it is delivered as a proper int value for the client machine; note that a 4-byte integer is delivered into *result_buf for either allowed result size. When result_is_int is 0, the binary-format byte string sent by the server is returned unmodified. (In this case it's better to consider result_buf as being of type void *.)

PQfn always returns a valid PGresult pointer. The result status should be checked before the result is used. The caller is responsible for freeing the PGresult with PQclear when it is no longer needed.

Note that it is not possible to handle null arguments, null results, nor set-valued results when using this interface.