Database Objects vs. pg-structure Objects

In this documentation database objects means database parts provided by PostgreSQL such as table, column, constraint etc. Sometimes those objects are simply refereed as database as a general term in this documentation.

pg-structure objects means object instances provided by pg-structure classes.

Objects (Instances)

In pg-structure database objects such as Schema, Column etc. are represented by JavaScript objects such as Schema, Column etc.

pgStructure(connectionArgs, schemas).then((db) => {
    // db is an DB object.


pg-structure objects attributes are designed to be read only. They access various database objects' details. Attributes are read only and formed as nouns.

Unlike previous versions of pg-structure, current version does not enforce read only behaviour for the sake of new performance oriented design.

  • Singular named attributes such as table#name contains single data which is a simple JavaScript type.
  • Plural named attributes such as table#columns contains array of related objects.
  • Plural named attributes with suffix ByName such as table#columnsByName contains a simple object as key/value pairs. Keys are object's names, values are related objects.


pg-structure also provides methods to access database details.

Methods are named as verbs like Table#getPrimaryKeys or Table#columnExists.

get shortcut

DB, schema, table classes provide get method for a shortcut. This method may be used to save a few key strokes.

For example all below are equal:

var userColumn      = db.get('public.account.user_name');
var sameColumn      = db.getSchema('public').getTable('account').getColumn('user_name');
var againSameColumn = db.schemasByName.public.tablesByName.account.columnsByName.user_name;

console.log(userColumn === sameColumn); // true 

Relation Classes vs. Foreign Key Constraint

pg-structure Foreign Key Constraint objects represent directly PostgreSQL foreign key constraints.

Developers and ORM users need to have more information about relations than present in foreign key constraints. For example many to many relationships and many to one relationships are not available in database engine. pg-structure provides O2MRelation, M2MRelation and M2ORelation classes to answer those needs.

Description Data / Comment Data

PostgreSQL objects holds free form text in their description. pg-structure offers some help to store extra data in database objects' description as JSON. pg-structure automatically parses JSON data between [pg-structure]and [/pg-structure] tags. Tags are case-insensitive. Only one pg-structure object is processed per description.

For maximum comfort JSON parsing is made by jsonic. It is a non-strict JSON parser.

  • You don't need to quote property names: { foo:"bar baz", red:255 }
  • You don't need the top level braces: foo:"bar baz", red:255
  • You don't need to quote strings with spaces: foo:bar baz, red:255
  • You do need to quote strings if they contain a comma or closing brace or square bracket: icky:",}]"
  • You can use single quotes for strings: Jules:'Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war!'
  • You can have trailing commas: foo:bar, red:255,

For details, please see jsonic.

// For example: 'This constraint connects account table to contact
// table. [pg-structure]{ hasMany: primaryContacts, belongsTo: primaryAccount, free: 3 }[/pg-structure]'

let description = constraint.description;           // -> 'This constraint connects account table to contact table.' (Tags and JSON data are replaced from description.)  
let data = constraint.descriptionData;              // -> { hasMany: 'primaryContacts', belongsTo: 'primaryAccount', free: 3 }
console.log(constraint.descriptionData.hasMany);    // -> primaryContacts