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Re: JDBC Support for standard_conforming_strings

From: Michael Paesold <mpaesold(at)gmx(dot)at>
To: Kris Jurka <jurka(at)ejurka(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-jdbc(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: JDBC Support for standard_conforming_strings
Date: 2006-11-20 07:38:27
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Lists: pgsql-jdbc
Hi Kris,

I was lacking time to work on this as I was quite busy at work as well 
as with my family, but I am going to finish this in the next days.

Kris Jurka wrote:
> Looks good so far.  So two typos in comments.  Incremental diff attached.

Thanks, included in my local patch.

 > ...
> Doesn't really matter how you pass this around.  The patch's usage of an 
> additional boolean parameter looks fine to me.


>> Question 2:
>> -----------
>> The problem with the V2 protocol code is, that tracking the state of 
>> standard_conforming_strings is not really possible, AFAICS. Currently 
>> I just read standard_conforming_strings at startup, and that's it. So 
>> as soon as someone changes the variable, quoting will be incorrect, 
>> which is a security issue. Therefore my new suggestion is to used the 
>> E'' string syntax in the V2 protocol path if the server version is >= 
>> 8.2. The version of the server cannot change during the connection, so 
>> we are save here.
> I'm not super worried about this.  If an administrator changes the value 
> in postgresql.conf and HUPs the postmaster they really can't expect 
> every client to pick this up immediately.  Even when we are monitoring 
> the state (V3) we won't know it has changed until after we execute the 
> next query (with the wrong escaping setting).  If an interface allows 
> the user to enter arbitrary SQL such that they can change this setting 
> then it's not really a security issue because they don't need to break 
> escaping to sneak a query in because they can already execute any query 
> they want.

I mostly thought about cases where applications assume they can set 
standard_conforming_strings, or when administrators change the settings 
while an application server (with pooled connections) is running. We 
should at least document this issue.

>> For question 1, I would then suggest to add an argument to the V2Query 
>> constructor that tells whether E'' should be used instead of '', or not.
> This is a good idea.

It think it's the safest approach for V2Query. I guess we must really 
prefix the string literal with " E". Otherwise cases like "BETWEEN?AND?" 
will break for string parameters.

>> For parsing inside the JDBC driver, we would still rely on the 
>> initially reported value of standard_conforming_strings. We could also 
>> add an URL parameter to specify what should be set initially.
> I'd like to see a generic way of setting any GUC parameter at startup, 
> instead of just this one.  The existing methods of setting this per user 
> or per database should be OK.

Ok, I will leave that alone for now.

Best Regards
Michael Paesold

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