Skip site navigation (1) Skip section navigation (2)

Re: column number instead of column name

From: First Last <y2kdis(at)atenista(dot)net>
To: pgsql-novice-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: column number instead of column name
Date: 2006-01-23 07:14:15
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-novice
From:   Michael Fuhr <mike(at)fuhr(dot)org>
To:   First Last <y2kdis(at)atenista(dot)net>
Cc:   pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject:   Re: column number instead of column name
Date:   Sat 01/21/06 10:20 PM  
On Fri, Jan 20, 2006 at 12:24:37AM -0800, First Last wrote:
> how can i make use of the column number instead of the column
> name when making the select statement?
> for instance:
> "SELECT mytable.col[1], mytable.col[2], mytable.col[3], mytable.userid
 from mytable"

I don't think you can do that in ordinary SQL, but you could query
the system catalogs to get the table structure and generate a list
of column names from that.

> i have several tables and i need to extract the first three columns
> and a known column. the first three columns for the different tables
> vary, but all the tables have the userid column.

Can you tell us a little more about what you're doing?  Some people
would question this design, arguing that a relation's attributes
should be referenced by name and that the order in which they happen
to be stored should be irrelevant and not relied upon.  However,
without knowing what you're doing it's hard to insist that such a
generalization should apply to your case.

Michael Fuhr


Actually the order by which the columns were made represents the relevance of the relationship of the column to the table it belongs (i.e., information in a particular column is more important than the succeeding column). The various tables however differ in the number of level of information they present (i.e., they vary in number of columns) so that whenever a user makes a query, i just want to limit the level of information that will be presented to the first three columns. Furthermore, the names of the columns across the tables are not the same making a single query for all tables not applicable. There is a lone column though whose name is common to all the tables, but the position of this column could be anywhere from fourth to last. I also want this particular column in addition to the first three columns.

I know the database has a bad design, but it's what i have and i'm not supposed to revise it.

I hope the explanation is not a bad one. I'm not so good in making one. Also, it's my first time to post in response to a reply so just correct me if my method is not correct. Thank you.


Check out Atenista.Net ( new design, regular content and additional services!

pgsql-novice by date

Next:From: Rolf stvikDate: 2006-01-23 09:00:06
Subject: Re: msysconf error
Previous:From: Bruno Wolff IIIDate: 2006-01-23 06:21:00
Subject: Re: Forums

Privacy Policy | About PostgreSQL
Copyright © 1996-2017 The PostgreSQL Global Development Group