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8.12. UUID Type

The data type uuid stores Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) as defined by RFC 4122, ISO/IEC 9834-8:2005, and related standards. (Some systems refer to this data type as a globally unique identifier, or GUID, instead.) This identifier is a 128-bit quantity that is generated by an algorithm chosen to make it very unlikely that the same identifier will be generated by anyone else in the known universe using the same algorithm. Therefore, for distributed systems, these identifiers provide a better uniqueness guarantee than sequence generators, which are only unique within a single database.

A UUID is written as a sequence of lower-case hexadecimal digits, in several groups separated by hyphens, specifically a group of 8 digits followed by three groups of 4 digits followed by a group of 12 digits, for a total of 32 digits representing the 128 bits. An example of a UUID in this standard form is:

a0eebc99-9c0b-4ef8-bb6d-6bb9bd380a11

PostgreSQL also accepts the following alternative forms for input: use of upper-case digits, the standard format surrounded by braces, omitting some or all hyphens, adding a hyphen after any group of four digits. Examples are:

A0EEBC99-9C0B-4EF8-BB6D-6BB9BD380A11
{a0eebc99-9c0b-4ef8-bb6d-6bb9bd380a11}
a0eebc999c0b4ef8bb6d6bb9bd380a11
a0ee-bc99-9c0b-4ef8-bb6d-6bb9-bd38-0a11
{a0eebc99-9c0b4ef8-bb6d6bb9-bd380a11}

Output is always in the standard form.

PostgreSQL provides storage and comparison functions for UUIDs, but the core database does not include any function for generating UUIDs, because no single algorithm is well suited for every application. The uuid-ossp module provides functions that implement several standard algorithms. Alternatively, UUIDs could be generated by client applications or other libraries invoked through a server-side function.

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