Data Types

SQL is considered a strongly typed language. This means that any piece of data represented by PostgreSQL has an associated data type, even if it is not plainly obvious. A data value’s type both defines and constrains the kinds of operations which may be performed on it.

Not only is every piece of data associated with a type, but types play a large part in the construction of tables. As stated in the section titled Introduction to Relational Databases, tables are made up of one or more columns. These columns must, in addition to having a name, have a specific data type.

Note

Data Types

While PostgreSQL provides a wide variety of built-in data types, you also have the option to add new data types to PostgreSQL using the CREATE TYPE command. See the reference entry on CREATE TYPE for more on this command.

Table 3-10 lists the data types officially supported by PostgreSQL, as well as any PostgreSQL recognized aliases (alternative names that are identical in connotation). There are many other internal (meaning they are no longer intended for normal use) or deprecated (outdated, and discouraged) data types available that are unlisted.

Additionally, while most of the data types implemented in PostgreSQL are directly derived from SQL standards, there are some actively maintained data types that are non-standard (such as the geometric and spacial types). Therefore, you will not always be able to ...

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