Thursday, 6 April 2017

Anonymous row types and monotonic functions

A previous blog post explained about the usefulness of mutually inverse function pairs. It is also useful to know if a function is monotonic. Many joins can be speeded up if the join condition uses a function that is known to be monotonic, so that the table operands are then automatically sorted before forming the join.
Most CASTs are monotonic, and Pyrrho now allows a user-defined function to be declared MONOTONIC through the use of metadata.
For example
create function f(b date) returns (int,int) monotonic return (extract(year from b),extract(month from b))
This function could be used to help join a table with a date primary key to one with a primary key containing year and month, using a join condition such as WHERE (y,m)=f(b) .
In this example we also two small innovations in the current version, as (a) the return type of the function is an anonymous row type, (b) no real distinction is made in Pyrrho now between ON conditions in inner joins, and WHERE conditions in cross joins.
In recent versions of the SQL standard ON conditions can be any boolean expression, so by default Pyrrho combines them and decides which is faster, and whether an index can be used to speed things up.

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