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Postgres DataBase Connector

What is Postgres?

PostgreSQL or Postgres for short is a relational database management system, similar to MySQL or Oracle. With development starting as early as 1986 and continuous improvement ever since it is as mature and established as databases go and has become one of the most solid and reliable cornerstones of the database world.

But that doesn’t mean that Postgres is complicated or old fashioned. Over the years it has evolved from a simple relational database into a powerful data programming platform with elaborate stored procedures, trigger functions, a myriad of datatypes and powerful querying capabilities.

Why you should use Postgres as a database for deepstream

Postgres is established, reliable and rock solid. But it’s especially its newer functionality that makes it a great fit for deepstream:

  • It’s support for binary JSON allows for efficient storage and searching of deepstream records
  • It’s built-in notification mechanism allows to run pub-sub and realtime events based on data-changes, a feature supported by
  • It’s extensively programmable in C, Python, Perl or Postgres own PL/pgSQL -It allows to automatically organize deepstream’s data into tables created on the fly with very little overhead
  • Combining triggers, jsonb-queries and notifications allows for the creation of realtime querying capabilities with streaming results

Why you should not use Postgres as a database for deepstream

deepstream’s data-structures are schemaless JSON documents identified by a unique key. This makes object-oriented databases a more natural fit as deepstream won’t make much use of Postgres relational features. Beyond that, there’s not much negative to say: Postgres is solid, fast and available from many hosting companies, e.g. AWS or Heroku as well as under a very permissive open source license - give it a go!

How to use deepstream with Postgres

deepstream comes preinstalled with an official connector for postgres.

It can be configured in the storage section of deepstreams config.yml

name: postgres
user: some-user
database: some-database
password: some-password
host: localhost
port: 5432 #postgres default post
schema: ds #schema defaults to ds. Will be created if it doesn't exist
defaultTable: default # default table name defaults to default
max: 10 #concurrent connections
idleTimeoutMillis: 30000 #timeout after which connection will be cut
writeInterval: 200 #amount of milliseconds during which writes will be buffered
useJsonb: false #store values as searchable binary JSON (slower)
CREATE_TABLE: false #Get notified when tables are created
DESTROY_TABLE: false #Get notified when tables are dropped
INSERT: false # Get notified when records are created
UPDATE: false # Get notified when records are updated
DELETE: false # Get notified when records are deleted

This connector can also be used as a standalone component from node.js to connect to postgres' notification mechanism. To do this, install the connector via

npm install @deepstream/storage-postgres --save
yarn add @deepstream/storage-postgres

and instantiate it directly

const { Connector } = require( '@deepstream/storage-postgres' );
const settings = {
user: process.env.PG_USER,
database: process.env.PG_DB,
password: process.env.PG_PASSWORD,
host: process.env.PG_HOST,
port: parseInt( process.env.PG_PORT, 10 )

const connector = new Connector( settings )

// start connector

connector.on( 'ready', ()=>{
connector.subscribe( event =>{
//event will be a map of event and table for CREATE_TABLE and DESTROY_TABLE
// { event: 'CREATE_TABLE', table: 'some-table' })
// or of event, table and key for INSERT, UPDATE AND DELETE, e.g.
// { event: 'INSERT', table: 'some-table', key: 'some-key' }
}, err => { if( err ) throw err; })

//subscriptions can be removed
connector.unsubscribe(( err )=>{ /* done */ })

// the connector also comes with a facility to get a map of all tables and the numbers of items within
connector.getSchemaOverview(( err, result ) => {
/* result will be e.g.
'some-table': 2,
'some-other-table': 1,
'new-table': 1,
'table-a': 2,
'table-b': 2

The API at a glance


Create the Connector, see above for options


Destroy the connector. Callback will be invoked once complete

createSchema(name, callback)

Create a new schema. The schema specified in the constructor options will be implicitly created. Default schema is 'ds'

destroySchema(name, callback)

Destroys an existing schema

getSchemaOverview(callback, name)

Returns a map of tables to their number of rows (see above for example). Name is optional, if omitted, the schema from the options will be used

subscribe(callback, done, schema)

Subscribe to notifications from the schema. Which notifications you'll receive is determined by the notifications option passed to the constructor. callback will be invoked with notifications in the format { event: 'INSERT', table: 'some-table', key: 'some-key' }, done will be called once the subscription is established. Schema is optional.

unsubscribe(callback, done, schema)

Removes a previously registered callback or all listeners if callback is omitted. Schema is optional

set(key, version, value, callback)

Writes a value to the database. If key includes a / e.g. cars/bmw, the first part will be used to create a table and the second part as id. Value can be any JSON blob, callback will be invoked once the write is complete. Please note that reads are buffered and batched and might not be executed straight away.

get(key, callback)

Retrieves a value from a database. Callback will be invoked with error or null, version and value. If record not found version will be -1.

delete(key, callback)

Deletes a value from the database

query(statement, callback, args, silent)

Low level query interface. Statement is a PostgreSQL string, args an optional array of arguments for parameterized queries and silent = true ensures that errors are forwarded to the callback rather than thrown/logged.