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4.5. Binary String Functions and Operators

This section describes functions and operators for examining and manipulating binary string values. Strings in this context include values of the type BYTEA.

SQL defines some string functions with a special syntax where certain keywords rather than commas are used to separate the arguments. Details are in Table 4-8. Some functions are also implemented using the regular syntax for function invocation. (See Table 4-9.)

Table 4-8. SQL Binary String Functions and Operators

Function Return Type Description Example Result
string || string bytea string concatenation '\\\\Postgre'::bytea || '\\047SQL\\000'::bytea \\Postgre'SQL\000
octet_length(string) integer number of bytes in binary string octet_length('jo\\000se'::bytea) 5
position(substring in string) integer location of specified substring position('\\000om'::bytea in 'Th\\000omas'::bytea) 3
substring(string [from integer] [for integer]) bytea extract substring substring('Th\\000omas'::bytea from 2 for 3) h\000o
trim([both] characters from string) bytea Removes the longest string containing only the characters from the beginning/end/both ends of the string. trim('\\000'::bytea from '\\000Tom\\000'::bytea) Tom

Additional binary string manipulation functions are available and are listed below. Some of them are used internally to implement the SQL-standard string functions listed above.

Table 4-9. Other Binary String Functions

Function Return Type Description Example Result
btrim(string bytea, trim bytea) bytea Remove (trim) the longest string consisting only of characters in trim from the start and end of string. btrim('\\000trim\\000'::bytea,'\\000'::bytea) trim
length(string) integer length of binary string length('jo\\000se'::bytea) 5
encode(string bytea, type text) text Encodes binary string to ASCII-only representation. Supported types are: 'base64', 'hex', 'escape'. encode('123\\000456'::bytea, 'escape') 123\000456
decode(string text, type text) bytea Decodes binary string from string previously encoded with encode(). Parameter type is same as in encode(). decode('123\\000456', 'escape') 123\000456