I have written some Java code which builds a postgresql function. That function calls approximately 6 INSERT statements with a RETURNING clause. I recreate and re-run the function about 900,000 times. I use JDBC to execute these functions on postgresql 8.3 on Windows. When I tried running this on a single Connection of Postgresql, it failed (some kind of memory error). So I split the JDBC connections up into chunks of 5000. I reran and everything was fine. It took about 1 hour to execute all the updates.
Since it took so long to perform the update, I wanted to prevent other users from querying the data during that time. So I read about the LOCK command. It seemed like I should LOCK all the tables in the database with an ACCESS EXCLUSIVE mode. That would prevent anyone from getting data while the database was making its updates.
Since a LOCK is only valid for 1 transaction, I set autocommit to FALSE. I also removed the code which chunked up the inserts. I had read that a single transaction ought to have better performance than committing after each insert, but that was clearly not what ended up happening in my case.
In my case, a few problems occurred. Number 1, the process ran at least 8 hours and never finished. It did not finish because the hard drive was filled up. After running a manual vacuum (VACUUM FULL), no space was freed up. I think this has cost me 20 GB of space. Is there any way to free this space up? I even dropped the database to no avail.
Secondly, why did this process take over 8 hours to run? While reading the performance mailing list, it seems like recommendations are to run lots of INSERTS in a single commit. Is 5 million too many? Is redefining a function over and over inside a transaction a problem? Does the RETURNING clause present a problem during a single transaction?
If anyone has any suggestions for me, I would really appreciate it.
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